Mastodon: “We write our guitar parts separately then show them to each other. We’re not a jam band – we’re more like choreographed acrobatics”

[L-R] Bill Kelliher and Brent Hinds of Mastodon
(Image credit: Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images)

Over the past two-decades-plus, Mastodon have established themselves as one of the best post-2000 progressive, psychedelic metal bands. Born with an equal love of Melvins, Metallica, Rush and Neurosis, the Atlanta-based quartet have blown minds with their bleak, angular rhythms, abrupt tempo changes, meandering atmospherics and psychotronic imagery. 

And, like the best prog-rockers, Mastodon have crafted multifaceted concept albums that have journeyed through haunting fantasy and sci-fi scenes. They based 2004’s Leviathan on Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. 

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Jon Wiederhorn

Jon is an author, journalist, and podcaster who recently wrote and hosted the first 12-episode season of the acclaimed Backstaged: The Devil in Metal, an exclusive from Diversion Podcasts/iHeart. He is also the primary author of the popular Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal and the sole author of Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legends. In addition, he co-wrote I'm the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax (with Scott Ian), Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen (with Al Jourgensen), and My Riot: Agnostic Front, Grit, Guts & Glory (with Roger Miret). Wiederhorn has worked on staff as an associate editor for Rolling Stone, Executive Editor of Guitar Magazine, and senior writer for MTV News. His work has also appeared in Spin, Entertainment Weekly,, Revolver, Inked, and other publications and websites.