DRUM! Magazine Continues Its Metal Ride With Mastodon’s Brann Dailor Discussing Hitting On “The Hunter”

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Brann Dailor, DRUM! December 2011

San Jose, Calif., -- With its last several issues of DRUM!, Enter Music Publishing, publishers of high-quality informative magazines on drumming and the world’s top drummers, in print and online, has been on a hard-rock/metal roll. It started two issues ago with Anthrax’s Charlie Benante, followed by Evanescence’s Will Hunt, and now, DRUM! presents a holiday season cover with Mastodon’s heavy hitter, Brann Dailor.

Authored by Andrew Nusca, “In The Time Of Brann” gives the reader a complete perspective on Dailor’s drumming as well as Mastodon’s struggle to overcome many challenges on the way to current album The Hunter. A number of musical and percussive changes occurred during the creation of the album and Dailor played a major role in its creation by exploring new drumming approaches.

Stroking Through Tragedy

The sudden death by heart attack of Bradley Ray Hinds, brother of Mastodon’s front man, Brent, resulted in many changes to how the band writes material. Dailor himself was no stranger to tragedy either. His sister, Skye, had committed suicide when she was 14 and was the inspiration for the band’s previous album, Crack The Skye. As a result, he became more involved in writing the material with Brent. The event was a purging experience for both. As Nusca writes on page 29, “The band’s recording sessions became their own pressure-release valve.” Dailor emphasizes this point when he says, “We just went down to the practice space every day. It felt like it was the only thing we ever had any control over.”

Dramatic Drumming Differences

Dailor’s drumming has changed dramatically on The Hunter in contrast to previous releases. His playing is much more straight-ahead and not as busy as earlier efforts where his prog-metal influences were at play. This is especially true on the title track, which is transcribed on page 34 by Brad Schlueter, who notes, “At first the groove comes across as a bit random, but Dailor is actually playing a longer four-bar phrase.” It’s this approach that gives the new record a fresh feeling in terms of Dailor’s drumming.

Record Recording

Dailor’s newfound style is also the result of changes in the band’s recording process. The group worked with producer Mike Elizondo, who worked closely with Dailor to be more groove-oriented than in the past. Additionally, Elizondo’s recording approach focused on spontaneity and speed in terms of recording the drums. “We did 15 drum tracks in, like five days,” Dailor remembers. “I just worked… A lot of those (tracks) are first takes.”

Obviously, the approach had a major impact on the success of Mastodon. As Nusca was writing the cover story, Dailor and his band mates were getting ready to tour the U.S. in support of The Hunter. To put it mildly, the tour was a roaring success with the media.

Drumming Wishbook

The December issue of DRUM! features a “barn-door” cover, which opens to reveal the front of DRUM!’s annual Holiday Wishbook, a 24-page comprehensive guide to the most recommended drum gear for the holiday season. The issue also includes a Dave Grohl story titled “The Path To Nirvana,” plus workshops with Umphrey’s McGee drummer Kris Myers and percussionist Andy Farag.

Happy holidays, Brann and all drummers everywhere.

About Enter Music Publishing

Founded in San Jose, CA in 1992, Enter Music Publishing, Inc. is a leading publisher of drum/percussion magazines filled with engaging stories, industry news, lessons, and outstanding photography, with distribution in 20 countries. DRUM! is the flagship publication of Enter Music Publishing, Inc. and continues to set the industry standard for editorial quality and innovation. Enter Music Publishing, Inc., also boasts must-read content on its website, drummagazine.com. The company’s mission is to be the best source of drumming news and information on this planet and others as they become populated. The company’s founders, Phil Hood and Andy Doerschuk, are well-respected drum industry veterans with more than 50 years of experience in the field.