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Fueled By death cast



Fueled By Death Cast Ep. 173 - Troy Sanders

TROY SANDERS - MASTODON

"If you can keep it authentic to yourself and keep writing music or keep creating your drawings and your paintings, your photography, whatever it is, with a high level of authenticity, if you mean it completely from the heart, it's going to be good" Troy Sanders, bass guitar and vocalist, Mastodon, Killer Be Killed, Gone is Gone

 

 

WATCH THIS EXCLUSIVE VIDEO CLIP

ABOUT TROY SANDERS:

Troy Sanders is a busy guy. From writing lyrics, singing, and playing bass in the heavy metal band Mastodon, to playing in two supergroups Gone is Gone and Killer Be Killed, he joins the podcast to talk about his passion, his focus, and the promise of new music from all three bands.

TRANSCRIPT:

Jeff:
Just want to talk about like what we're all dealing with right now? I just got to ask how are you doing?

Troy Sanders:
Man, I'm good. It's pretty great that we all have to stop and take a break.

Jeff:
Right. Yeah. I mean you're staying happy and healthy I hope.

Troy Sanders:
Yeah. So I live on the Gulf Coast of Mexico and Florida, and our band is based out of Atlanta and that's where we rehearse. So I'm gone a lot more than I ever wished to be in a perfect world for band practice or touring. So to be forced at home for two weeks now or more kind of waiting it out, it's a good thing. It's like I'm forced to be at a place that I really enjoy being.

Jeff:
That's good. That's good.

Troy Sanders:
It's pretty silly but I've been able to tackle a lot of these, my house chores, things to do that I've always just blown up because I don't have two full days to trim trees and re mulch. When I'm home for three or four days, I don't want to spend two of those days doing things like that. So it's been great.

Jeff:
That's good. Well, it's good to hear that your spirits are up, you're happy, even though the state of the world is the strangest we've ever lived through.

Troy Sanders:
Yeah. It is weird. All the beaches are closed here and that's odd. That's a weird thing to see.

Jeff:
Yeah. Has it affected anything from the band side of it? I know you guys didn't have... I don't think you guys had announced a tour yet. Did you?

Troy Sanders:
I don't know if it's been fully announced, but we were... Our live agenda this year was four festivals across the US and a month of European festivals in the month of June.

Jeff:
Hmm. Okay. So that's still fingers crossed.

Troy Sanders:
Yeah. But just this morning Download UK canceled, and that's kind of an anchor. That's a big one. So I wouldn't be surprised if they all start falling off, and I'm not expecting us to go to Europe in June.

Jeff:
Yeah. On one side as a music fan, that sucks. I love going to live shows. It's such a release, amazing to see you guys perform live and everything. But you know, the other side of it is I'm glad that everybody is being conscious enough about it and being safe because obviously large gatherings are... We've all been sweaty in a pit and that's like the worst place to be.

Troy Sanders:
Yeah. Yeah. I completely get it. And whatever it takes to move past and beyond it, it's fine.

Jeff:
Yeah.

Troy Sanders:
I think there's going to be a lot of positivity that comes out of something like this, a pandemic or a panic or a scare, and the idea of people having to be home for two weeks or more and whatnot. Of course it's not fun, especially right now in other places have it worse than than we do here at my house. But I don't know, I kind of feel maybe I'm just being a little wishful thinking, but I think a lot of positivity might come out of this in the long run.

Jeff:
I'm hoping for the same thing. I'm hoping that we kind of rediscover how to connect with people. I hope we rediscover what's really important. I can say this for a fact, again, as a music fan, I know I'm going to go to every single show I possibly can when this is all over.

Troy Sanders:
Yeah. When touring resumes, I think the attendance will be very healthy. The numbers, the numbers will be good.

Jeff:
Yes, the numbers will be good at the people will be healthy. We'll all be healthy.

Troy Sanders:
Yeah. But our next show was going to be May 10th and Daytona Beach, one of the Metallica headline festivals. That's been scrapped or postponed to October I believe. So it's like, hey, there's lots of people that this will... We're in the touring world, and our livelihood is based on touring. We can't sit at home and sell records and make money or things of that nature.

Jeff:
That's true.

Troy Sanders:
So we rely on touring heavily. So when that's going to be taken away from us this year as well as many, many, many bands, it's like, hey, be prepared to make little to nothing this year and deal with it, and it's going to be all right.

Jeff:
No, I totally hear you. I totally hear you. And speaking on that respect, I know you said that you're based in Florida. Is the rest of the band based up in Atlanta?

Troy Sanders:
Yeah, I'm the only one born and raised in Atlanta. Five years ago my family and I moved to the Gulf Coast of Florida. But the other three guys still live in Atlanta. They were all born elsewhere, but moved to Atlanta and Mastodon formed in January of 2000-

Jeff:
2000, right.

Troy Sanders:
So we survived the Y2K scare. The following week we formed a band.

Jeff:
Well you're going to survive this too. Are you guys staying in constant contact, even being isolated now and everything?

Troy Sanders:
Yeah. I think they're just taking it easy and everyone's just pulling up. Atlanta is on a shutdown as well, so I think everyone's just trying to enjoy home time [inaudible 00:05:27]

Jeff:
At the end of last year, I believe you had mentioned and a couple of the other band members had mentioned that you guys had been toying with new ideas, toying with getting the itch to get back out there. I guess it's a perfect time to ask, can we look for a new Mastodon record this year?

Troy Sanders:
Yeah. We've been spending the first few months of this year working on riffs ideas and putting pieces together. It's what makes the healthy balance of our band's existence. Three years ago this month we released Emperor of Sand, and we toured for two and a half years on it, which was fantastic. But as those tours progressed and progressed, the more you have the itch to a, go home and reconnect, and b, start working on something fresh. So we've been lucky for our whole 20-year career too. That's been our pattern, the traditional write, record, full touring cycle, repeat.

Troy Sanders:
So we've all been in a great head space the past few months working on new stuff. It's always exciting.

Jeff:
That is exciting.

Troy Sanders:
[crosstalk 00:06:36] we hit the road, there's little creativity compared to when we're all home and that's all we're focused on is new stuff. So it's a good time for us right now.

Jeff:
I'm always curious about this with every band. What is the recording process like for Mastodon? Do you guys all get into a room together or is it riff-based ideas that coalesce into something else? Or is it just throwing shit at the wall? What is that process like for you guys?

Troy Sanders:
As far as song writing?

Jeff:
Yeah.

Troy Sanders:
Lately it's worked on one or two main ways. Guitar player, Bill Kelliher, he's pretty damn good at Pro Tools.

Jeff:
Nice.

Troy Sanders:
He joins up with our drummer Brann quite a bit and demos a lot of rough sketches for one to three riffs that go together, or sometimes complete songs. And when we all get together he'll present a handful of ideas like, "Hey, this is what I've been working on." And it's either, like I said, two parts that sound great together or it could be the skeleton of a full song. So he's a work horse and it's always really impressive of the things that he creates. Our drummer is a fantastic songwriter as well and he can write a lot of stuff on guitar that he then has one of our guitar players translate for him to, to, to perform it better. And other guitar player Brent, he writes incredibly, sometimes complex and sometimes simple and gorgeous, and he's just an incredible songwriter and a riff master.

Troy Sanders:
So he'll come into the space one day and say, "Hey, I've been working on this, what do you think?" And it's usually really great. So that's how we share ideas with one another, just kind of piece some things together on your own and present it to the guys or if you can rough sketch demo an entire song on a Pro Tools, Garageband or Logic or something, present it to the guys that way, just to have a good representative of what your idea truly is.

Jeff:
That's really cool. And I got to ask too, like all of your records are very thematic, but the first handful of records that the band came out with were very much a concept album, a lot of them were. Does that come into play at all when you're coming up with songs or does that kind of organically come out of the soup of creating everything?

Troy Sanders:
That's a great question. The albums that have been heavily themed conceptual have kind of had that idea as the overlying umbrella where it's songwriting, not necessarily the sonics of the song, but the actual lyrics in the storyline, and it falls under that themed umbrella. So everything stays unified and linear as we can all chip in with lyrics and we all know what the common idea is. But it has to strike us as a band very... It needs to be a profound concept. And if we don't have that or if that's not what we're feeling, then it's just a traditional rock album. Yeah. So we've done several of each. It just has to be an idea that really has a lot of meaning behind it that all four of us can gravitate towards and be on board.

Troy Sanders:
The first main one, Remission was loosely based on fire, but Leviathan was an extreme parallel to the story of Moby Dick. And at first it was a little scary to even do that, because we were like, "We're this emerging heavy metal band and we're going to write a story on Moby Dick. It's either going to be career suicide, or it might set us apart from the other handful of bands that we're all touring with at the moment." That was a high risk with a great reward. And it's also willing to take chances and we weren't ashamed of that. We didn't really feel it was going to be a career suicide, but it could've been bad, it could've gone south.

Jeff:
Well, it went really well.

Troy Sanders:
Thanks. And then right now for example, this very moment, I'm curious if a powerful story storyline will be... If we'll dream one up or not. And we don't feel like we have to have a conceptual album. Like everything else we do with riffs and songs and titles and lyrics, subject matter, it just needs to come naturally and it needs to feel organic and not like we're trying too hard, because we've always trusted our gut and that's one of my favorite things about the four of us as a collective group is that when we all trust ourselves, things usually work out well.

Jeff:
Yeah. One of my favorite things about your band as a big fan of you guys is that you guys are all authentic, as musicians and as an entire band. You can tell that you put out the music that you guys want, you guys want to create, you guys want to listen to. And like you said, personally speaking, the first time I ever saw you guys was when you guys were touring on Leviathan, you came to Upstate New York. I think the sword opened for you guys.

Jeff:
And it blew me away because you had the big banners with Moby Dick on them and everything. I'm just like, "There's a fricking rock band that's going to sing about Moby Dick. I am so in. This is amazing." And it wasn't like you were apologetic for it or you were the other side of it. Like, "We are all about Moby Dick. In fact, we're changing our name to The Wailers or whatever." I know Bob Marley would be mad, but you guys really exude authenticity with what you do. And I think that speaks to not only the fans of your music, but the music you create as a whole.

Troy Sanders:
Yeah. We've always felt that it's healthy to kind of stem from a selfish standpoint. Because the four of us got together because we wanted to have fun and attempt to be friends and connect with creating this style of heavy, dirty, hopefully unusual rock that the four of us really loved. That's it. It wasn't an idea to try to cater to a certain genre or a crowd, or to expect a record deal right away or just to even be popular, because this music that we all were gearing towards was heavily influenced by Neurosis, the Melvins and Thin Lizzy and not popular at all, as far as becoming a new band with this aggressive style. So it was quite selfish. We were like, "We're going to do what makes us happy, and we're going to get out there and put the energy and the effort and we're going to become road dogs and we're going to take this music to the people and give it our best shot and see if one day..." Our idea of success was if we could tour so much that we couldn't be home long enough to have day jobs.

Troy Sanders:
It didn't take us long to do that. Now that was our first idea of a level of success. Like we just don't want to have terrible day jobs that we all can't stand, but we feel like if you create for lack of a better word, a selfish standpoint, you do it for the right reasons for yourself, hopefully other people can see through that and find some... Being true to ourselves and find something that's authentic. Like it or not, we never wanted to be looked at as like we're trying to hard to cater to something, just cater to a certain crowd or try to sound like another band. And so that was always important to us. We just wanted to go for it. And if it sounded good and felt good we did it.

Jeff:
That's so rad. And correct me if I'm wrong, you and Brent were in bands before Mastodon, right?

Troy Sanders:
Yeah. For seven years prior from '93 to 2000, Brent and I were in a local Atlanta van called Four Hour Fogger. At the same time Brann Dailor and Bill Kelliher were in Rochester, New York in a band called Lethargy together for many years. From '93 to 2000. So our paths are, our tag-team duo was just waiting to happen and we feel like the stars aligned and fate allowed us to come together right after the Y2K scare did not happen. And we just got in a room and made some noise and we could tell right away that we at least had a shot at something special. Whether it made it to any sort of level of success, that wasn't even in the question from the very beginning. It was just like, "Hey, these guys are rad. They love great music. They seem like cool dudes. We can be in a dirty rock band together."

Jeff:
Yeah. And I've been in some bands in my life too, and any band that you start, when you start to get that magic and you start to make songs with new guys or guys that you've been playing with, something that coalesces like that, you just start to think like, "This could be it. There's going to be something special about this." When Mastodon coalesced in 2000, did you get that feeling stronger as opposed to other acts that you were in, or did it take you by surprise?

Troy Sanders:
No, it did feel like we had a good shot at, and the main reason was because all four of us wanted to put some songs together and hit the road and play anywhere for anybody. So we all shared this very rare mindset of, "We're going to get out there and we're going to do it ourselves. We're going to make it happen. We're not going to sit back and wait for anything good to come our way. We're going to go make it happen." I think it was March of 2000, just two or three months after we made our first load of noise together, I got on [inaudible 00:16:28] magazine called [inaudible 00:16:32] and I went through and I started booking weeks and weeks and weeks of tours, starting in spring of 2000. And we would play anybody's kitchen, living room, basement, VHF hall, dive bar, boat shed, anywhere and everywhere.

Troy Sanders:
And that's how it started. So yeah, we knew we had a shot at something just because I'm only curious of how many great bands had to fall apart because they weren't able to get any type of exposure that they deserved, because so-and-so can't leave. He's got a very high tech job he can't leave it. So and so's wife won't let him leave, or whatever their life situation may be. But for our dirty style that we were going for, we knew we had to bring it to the people or else we had no shot at all.

Jeff:
Oh, I'm so glad you did. Oh, I'm so glad you did. So I got to ask then, you're such a busy musician, it's not just Mastodon. You've got other projects, you got your hands in so many different pots, it's awesome, it keeps you going. And I want to ask about a couple of them. Obviously Gone is Gone, another incredible project with Troy from Queens of the Stone Age. Tony from At The Drive-In. Literally every video game nerds love of their life, fricking Mike. How did that come to be? How did you guys... I'm always curious like how a bunch of other musicians who are always so fricking busy all come together and go, "Oh let's get busier."

Troy Sanders:
Yeah. A lot of it stemmed because you cross paths touring. On the festival circuit, there's 32 bands playing a day. And so in the catering area or the green room area, whatever, you're always crossing paths and everyone starts to know everyone else. And once you befriend one another, many, many times, more often than not the night ends with, "Dude, you're great. It's so good to meet you. We got to start a band one day." And that's how it starts. And I think Troy Van Leeuwen and myself, we would always have a lot of fun together and we would always joke, "We got to start a band because two Troy's are better than one." And flash forward 2013, he called me up and I was in line at the DMV just in a dreadful mental moment and he called and said, "Hey I've got this cool project I've been working on as of late and I think you might be a good voice for it. Would you like to hear some of the music?"

Troy Sanders:
Within two weeks I flew out to Los Angeles and started putting some ideas down, some vocal ideas to the music they had already recorded. And most importantly we all befriended once I got there, because I was friends with Troy but not with Mike or Tony. So once you hit it off on a personal level, if you have appreciation and respect for other's musical tastes, chances are you can create something that's special in your own eyes. But I love being in that van. In a nutshell, Troy Van Leeuwen reached out to me and he's someone that not only do I think is a humble and wonderful human being, but I've been a huge fan of his before I befriended him. With his guitar work with A Perfect Circle and Failure, one of my favorite rock bands of all time. And of course everything that Queens of the Stone Age does is pretty fantastic.

Jeff:
Pretty good.

Troy Sanders:
Yeah. Right. So it was an opportunity that I felt I had to jump on because I think opportunities are precious and for better or worse, sometimes I feel like my life is a bit stretched thin because of fortunate opportunities that have come my way. But that's kind of what fuels me. I can't say no to something that I think is a fantastic opportunity that won't come again if you have to say no.

Jeff:
Yeah. That's such great advice too. Sometimes opportunity knocks on your door and you don't answer, or you're busy doing something else and that's when the best creativity sometimes just gets pushed to the wayside. But you said it, you stretch yourself so thin. The other side of that that I wanted to bring up was Killer Be Killed. Again, a laundry list of killers in this band, Max from Sepultura and Greg from Dillinger Escape Plan and Ben from Converge. Again, how does something like... The same kind of idea you guys are just all like, "We should start a band"?

Troy Sanders:
In fact [inaudible 00:20:44] Mastodom was on tour with Dillinger Escape Plan, I think, 2011, 2012-

Jeff:
Love those guys.

Troy Sanders:
And Greg Puciato and myself were sitting in the dressing room and Toronto, Canada. And he says, "Dude, I've started this side thing with Max and it's going really well. And I play guitar, he plays guitar, we've got a drummer, but we're just trying to find a bass player who can also do vocals, but most importantly is a pretty chilled laid back guy." And I said, "Greg, I think I fit that description." And he's like, "Damn, yeah, you kind of do. Are you interested?" And I said, "Of course, that sounds amazing." And then that really began to happen for me in 2013 as well. So my two other bands, Gone is Gone and Killer Be Killed started right then at 2013. And then Mastodon was working on Once More Around the Sun album.

Troy Sanders:
So I was very busy doing that and that is enough to fulfill all my time just being in Mastodon. So there was nothing negative of Mastodon that made me look elsewhere for things to do. It was something that I chalk up to opportunity when someone who I respect and appreciate them as people and their musicianship, like a Greg Puciato or a Troy Van Leeuwen, when those opportunities are presented to me, I feel like I need to say yes because they're special. So that particular year I was stretched quite thin. Thankfully my wife is cool and knows that I love to make music, so I was gone triple the amount of time that I would have been in the first place. So yeah, that's how those bands happened.

Jeff:
That's amazing. I also read, I think it was either the end of last year or early this year, Max was in an interview, I believe with Loudwire and he was saying that you guys were working again, and maybe to look for something new in 2020. Are we going to get something?

Troy Sanders:
We're friends, so we always talk whenever we can and we do want to put a follow up to... Our one and only album came out in 2014, and it's tough cause we have to live by the calendar, and it's difficult when [inaudible 00:22:48] Cavalera Conspiracy Tour more than Mastodon does. And Mastodon thankfully keeps me very, very busy. And Greg has been working on some solo stuff and he's put out two or three records with his electronic type '80s awesome band called The Black Queen, and they're really fantastic. And that's been taken up all his time. So it's really hard for us to find a week or two to even get together and riff out. But the idea is there and it will happen. It's just a matter of when.

Jeff:
That is so exciting, it really is. And that brings me to the theme of the show and you kind of already touched on it a little bit. We're all fueled by the end line. We're all fueled by death. We all want to leave this world a little different before we inevitably leave it for good and we're doing our best to do that. And you are, you're leaving us with a ton of creativity and leaving your heart on the table with everything that you do, which is great. And like I said, you already kind of touched on it, but what fuels you to keep doing that? What fuels you to keep opening the door to opportunity?

Troy Sanders:
I've always felt since the day I turned 16 and I went and got my driver's license and I drove to my very first band practice all on the same day, I think it boils down to the level of passion that you have with something. And I know over time it can die out. But I feel like I was fortunate enough to have this internal fire that was extremely passionate and I was willing to go to any great lengths to make that happen. And to this day I still feel like that flame is far from being extinguished.

Troy Sanders:
So my drive is still very, very high. I think not taking things for granted too, like opportunities. It's not like, "Oh Troy Van Leeuwen just called me and asked me to join the band and I love this guy. Not right now. Maybe next time." There's rarely a next time, [inaudible 00:25:00] special moments. But so I would... Two angles, band-wise and personal-wise. Bandwise I've always had this passion to be in music and to give it everything I have to make it work for me. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but it also takes a lot of fortunate circumstances. You've got to find guys that have the same mental capacity as you and the same drive and they're willing to leave everything behind, sacrifice all and go out there and make it work for themselves as well. So I was lucky on that front to befriend these guys. But I searched for a long time to find those people.

Troy Sanders:
And if you can keep it authentic to yourself and keep writing music or keep creating your drawings and your paintings, your photography, whatever it is, with a high level of authenticity, if you mean it completely from the heart, it's going to be good. And that's what really matters is if you love it. If we release an album and it comes out, and the four guys in my band, we absolutely love it. We worked hard on it, we're so proud of it and the rest of the world can't stand it, "Hey, we love it. Sorry we didn't write it in hopes." We hope that people love it, but we don't expect you to love it.

Troy Sanders:
So long-winded answer, I think that's what keeps me driven to, to work with my other bands and work hard with Mastodon and continue to... We're writing our ninth or 10th album now and we want it to be more and more special than the previous one. We always feel like we're still ascending the mountain, just because our band's 20 years strong. It's still the same four guys that are still completely driven to outdo ourselves and to continue this amazing magic that we're able to create on stages all over the world. It's really rare. So opportunity and persistence, without it, there's nothing for me.

Jeff:
That's awesome. That's awesome.

Troy Sanders:
[inaudible 00:27:03] And then on a personal note, I have a family, I've got children. And so I try to be a great person with and without them, but just always doing the right thing, and not taking that for granted either. Not realizing or not expecting like, "Oh, I'm going to be a 94-year old man probably before I die." That can happen at any moment, so I'm always aware of that and just trying to be great all the time, really. I always do the right thing and share special moments with them and not join a fourth band. So I'm gone even more.

Jeff:
Oh man. Well that's good. That's awesome. And that's inspiring too because I love to hear from especially musicians and creatives who are constantly, like you said at the best, like you guys, you all feel in Mastodon that you're still ascending that mountain. You never want to hit that peak. There's never a peak, like I said, the end game, that finish line is death. You don't get there until you die. So you just got to keep pushing up there. And you guys are, and it's awesome.

Troy Sanders:
We've gotten this question a lot when you've got nine or 10 albums in 20 years of, of, of longevity as the same four guys, a lot of people are like, "How long do you think you can still do it?" And it's an easy answer. As long as all four of us are super dedicated and healthy enough to do it, I imagine that we'll keep going. Again, because it's not like... I don't even... In theory if we were given an option like, "Hey guys, why don't you guys take five years off?" I don't want that. I don't-

Jeff:
Right. Can't even fathom that.

Troy Sanders:
Yeah. I'll be onto a whole nother stage of life if that were to happen. So it's like-

Jeff:
You get nine more bands.

Troy Sanders:
Yeah.

Jeff:
Oh man.

Troy Sanders:
And also striking while the iron is hot, that cliche, but there's truth to it. Our last show was last year of August or something. We all took a couple of months of well-deserved time to kind of recoup, and then we're all back in it and trying to create again because it's like, "Awesome. Let's do it again. Let's just kick ass."

Jeff:
That's so incredible.

Troy Sanders:
Last few years have been fantastic, we've met amazing people, we've had great shows. We're still doing it, everyone's healthy, we're all focused. No, please don't slow down. And thankfully we're all unified on that front and we're super excited to get back and create something else. So while you're sharing that motivation with one another and aspiring to continue and just better ourselves as people and band mates and husbands and all that stuff, it's keep it going the same.

Jeff:
Yes, exactly. Exactly. So I got to ask, as a musician, do you have a favorite part? Is it the writing? Is it the recording? Is it the performance? Or is it all encompassing? You just love every aspect of being a musician.

Troy Sanders:
Yeah, I think I realize how important all of them are. Right now with Mastodon, my biggest contribution to the band is writing lyrics and vocals. That's my biggest role in the band or my most important, I guess you'd say. So right now with all these songs, I'm really spending more time and more energy with finding different vocal patterns, different vocal stylings and trying to come up with the best lyrical subject matter for the part within the song within the whole, not just slapping my first idea together and being like, "That's good enough."

Troy Sanders:
But I really embrace that challenge, because if you're doing your first record, I don't want to say it doesn't matter, but it's not as important because you've got no discography that you're building upon. But right now we've got this longevity that we recognize is really special. So right now, to answer your question, my favorite part is embracing the vocal challenge in the lyric. It might be easy for some people, but to me writing lyrics and finding a solid vocal pattern is hard, but I enjoy it.

Jeff:
Well I'm glad you enjoy it, because you're a hell of a lyricist. And I have to ask too, from a musician standpoint, being someone who performs live, playing an instrument and also singing, also singing lyrics that you've written, that is incredibly hard. And I mean, you all look like you're having the best time on stage, even though some of your songs are very intricate, you guys crush it every time I've ever seen you play. For you though specifically, is there a song from the catalog of Mastodon that is the most tricky for you to perform that you get tripped up on? Because I know having to deal with all of those things at once, your brain is only one brain.

Troy Sanders:
Yeah, there's a few songs that the rhythm of playing the bass and the vocal pattern, it's truly the rubbing your belly and patting your head, and it's really, really hard. So I do one of two things. I either practice my ass off and then with repetition gets comfortable or I'll just fake it. And I feel like I've become a good actor over the years on those parts [inaudible 00:32:30].

Troy Sanders:
There's a few songs that are extra challenging, but I'm human and I just realized I'm just going to try my best. So yeah, there's more than a few parts like that.

Jeff:
Well, you never notice. You guys crush it every single time.

Troy Sanders:
I think in the live environment, if you're at a show, you're not pinpointing and picking out mistakes and like, Oh, that is off pitch there, and that was the note." But it's much easier to do that. Like watching a YouTube footage of last night's concert and like, "Oh dude, he doesn't sound very good." And that might be true, but when I leave the stage, I leave it out there. I'm like, "Hey, I tried my best." And I know I'm not an amazing singer and an amazing bass player, but you put those two together with passion and intensity and that's why we're there, is to share that energy with you in the crowd's response back to us is what creates that circle of beautiful rock and roll magic. So I'm okay with the parts that, that I might not pull off.

Jeff:
Good. And like I said, you guys look like you're having fun up there regardless, and that's the whole thing. And I'm so glad that you decided to pick up the instrument. I actually talked to your brother Kyle on this very show. I got that story how you went into his room and started playing on his base. I didn't ask him this though, was he mad about it? Was he mad about it when you started playing?

Troy Sanders:
I don't recall any anger but he's a lefty, so I had to flip his lefty over and try to [inaudible 00:33:58] righty. And I just took it real simply like learning a kiss lick, which is basically the [inaudible 00:34:07] But yeah, I kind of mimicked everything that Kyle did for many, many years and just followed his footsteps and thankfully it worked out pretty well for all of us involved.

Jeff:
All you all. All you all.

Troy Sanders:
[inaudible 00:34:19] Follow your idols. [inaudible 00:34:21] .

Jeff:
Damn straight. Damn straight. I can't thank you enough for taking time to talk to me. I'm really excited to see new stuff coming from Mastodon, from everything Gone Is Gone, Killer be Killed, everything that's coming out from you, I just can't wait. Especially when you're talking about 2020 with Mastodon, maybe some theme or hitch here, that concept album, [inaudible 00:34:46] who knows?

Troy Sanders:
the last concept was pretty damn heavy with all the cancer that was blasting our personal worlds. So I don't know if this is going to be a little more lighthearted or if it'll continue an extension of that. It's all happening right now. It's nice to let the emotion lead the way, and not set out like, "Nope, we're not doing that because it needs to be this." It's like, let's just let it happen naturally, and we follow that.

Jeff:
Excellent. That's not only great advice for writing a record, but that's great advice for life too, for sure. Yeah, Troy thank you so much and I hope that you stay healthy and I hope you stay caffeinated.

Troy Sanders:
Thanks man. I'm good on both those fronts, so thank you.

Jeff:
Excellent. Excellent.