MASTODON Releases 90-Minute Documentary On Making Of 'Hushed And Grim' Album
August 24, 2022
Atlanta progressive metallers MASTODON have released "The Making of Hushed & Grim", a 90-minute documentary that chronicles the Grammy Award-winning group's critically acclaimed ninth studio album. The film is an intimate look at the bandmembers' creative process, which was largely influenced by the untimely death of their longtime friend and manager Nick John. The film also intertwines comedic skits that showcase the band's lighter, more humorous dynamic.
John, who also managed GOJIRA, passed away in September 2018 from pancreatic cancer.
"Hushed And Grim" was released in October 2021 via Reprise. The follow-up to 2017's "Emperor Of Sand" was recorded at West End Sound, which is located inside of Ember City, the rehearsal facility that members of MASTODON manage in Atlanta. Helming the effort was Grammy-winning producer/mixer/engineer David Bottrill, who has previously worked with MUSE, DREAM THEATER and TOOL, among many others.
The "Hushed And Grim" artwork was created by longtime MASTODON collaborator Paul Romano, who also designed the sleeves for "Crack The Skye", "Blood Mountain", "Leviathan" and more.
MASTODON drummer Brann Dailor stated about the "Hushed And Grim" cover: "Essentially, to be brief, [the tree] is an afterlife mythology that when you pass away, your spirit goes into the heart of a tree and then experiences all the pillars of your in successions of the seasons that the tree experiences. That is the way you're able to say goodbye to the natural world and move on to the next dimension. You can see a green man in the center of the tree — the heart of the tree — and that is our good friend and manager Nick John, who passed away, unfortunately, a couple of years ago. [Nick] has a lot to do with the inspiration of the album, 'Hushed And Grim'."
Last fall, MASTODON's Troy Sanders told Classic Rock magazine about the musical and lyrical inspiration for "Hushed And Grim": "There was no way we were going to approach this album without addressing how magnificent Nick's impact was on us, as four individuals and as one band. There was no way we could ignore that. It seemed too large of a moment in our lives to not write about it. It was too monumental and too devastating for us to say: 'We're not going to think about that. We're going to write some fun, happy rock songs.' It doesn't work like that with us. From day one, we've always pulled authentic emotions into our lyrics, our story writing and our riff writing. It always comes from within. Nick not only made us better people, but he took our band under his wing and brought us to new heights that we never had dreamt of. This album is us honoring his memory and showing our gratitude for how he touched our lives in the most incredible ways."
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