The funny thing about the Grammy Awards… like all such celebrity awards, we all know they’re overwhelmingly bullshit, out of touch, an industry popularity contest that all too often overlooks quality or innovation in favor of mediocre known entities. So all us true music fans, you know, the ones who were “into Chris Stapleton when he was just a member of the Steeldrivers, man,” even though we know it’ll be terrible we watch the damn thing every year just so we can roll our eyes and suffer and mock Babs or Bono or Kanye or whoever happens to be the biggest, most self-righteous, preachiest platinum-selling boob this go ’round. But then as soon as someone we know, a hometown hero, finally wins a Grammy, why, all of a sudden we’re beaming with pride and offering congrats, high fives all around! And musical acts certainly get boosts from Grammy wins, through sales bumps and increased mainstream recognition.
So, let us take this moment to give a heartfelt salute to Atlanta’s Mastodon, the scrappy band that started out some 18 years ago playing dirtbag clubs and house shows, who worked their tails off and built a devoted following and kept releasing imaginative, artistic albums that kept topping previous ones both creatively and commercially. The quartet had been nominated three other times for Grammys, but went home empty-handed each time. This year they were up for Best Rock Album (for Emperor of Sand) and Best Metal Performance (for “Sultan’s Curse”), and in the latter category they emerged victorious.
Three-quarters of the group – bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders, guitarist Bill Kelliher and drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor – attended the ceremony (pre-broadcast) and were all giddy smiles. Conspicuously absent was guitarist/vocalist Brent Hinds. At first it was vaguely said that Hinds “wasn’t feeling well,” but now we’ve confirmed that he’s been laid up at home recovering after another motorcycle accident in which he possibly suffered a cracked cranium and other injuries requiring multiple stitches. “I’m not sure the extent of his injuries or how it happened,” Dailor tells me, “but he took a spill and will be back up and running in no time.” Hinds broke his leg in a previous mishap on a cycle back in November 2016. We hope he’s healing, in good spirits, not in much pain and doing alright in general.
Certainly his bandmates expect him to be in peak shape by May 6th, which is when Mastodon kicks off an extensive co-headlining tour with Primus in Denver, Colorado. The two-month trek will touch down in pretty much every portion of the continental US, including a May 16th date at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre, the band’s second show there within the past year. Nashville’s awesome All Them Witches will open. Ticket pre-sales begin January 31st at 10 a.m., with public on-sale beginning Feb. 2nd at 10 a.m.
In further news, Brent and Orange Amplifiers have designed the newly unveiled Brent Hinds Terror 15 Watt Guitar Amp Head, which the guitarist personally promotes in this amusing accompanying commercial produced and written by the Newmerica crew and shot by Video Rahim.