Mastodon's Bill Kelliher Says Pandemic Has Him Too Stressed To Write Music


The novel coronavirus pandemic's affect on the music industry won't be fully known until artists are allowed to get back on the road.

And while we've seen plenty of news over the past months about artists making new music during their time in social isolation, the rest of the world has been feeling anything but inspired.

Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher tells Tone Talk that he wrote at least 20 songs before the pandemic shut down most of the country. But as he's been stuck at home, he says he hasn't had the space required to focus on music.

"It's hard right now because I thought I'd be really inspired to be writing, but I'm not," he explained. "I already have 20 songs written, so I'm good with that. But that was before the COVID. ...When I used to go on the road, I could just sit in my hotel room and space out and not have to worry about real life... I mean, real life has always been in my face but now it's like I can't escape. I'm in the clutches of just being under someone else's control, I think."

Music is supposed to be an escape, after all. Kelliher says the COVID pandemic has brought upon him one of the few times in his life he hasn't been able to get the space he needs to work.

"...[I]t's hard right now because COVID is keeping everybody so goddamn close, and to me it's getting on my nerves. I can't relax," he concluded.

Mastodon's last album, 2017's Emperor of Sand, earned the band a grammy for Best Metal Performance for the song "Sultan's Curse." The album was also nominated for Best Rock Album.

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