Basic Background Info
Drummer Brann Dailor is best known for his work with progressive metal band Mastodon. The Rochester, New York, native grew up listening to Yes, King Crimson, Genesis, and Frank Zappa with his parents. On his own, Brann Dailor developed an affinity for Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Slayer.
Before joining Mastodon, Brann Dailor played in Lethargy, a Rochester based band, with future Mastodon band mate Bill Kelliher. Brann and Bill also played together with Today is the Day on their album In the Eyes of God, before relocating to Atlanta, Georgia, and creating Mastodon.
Brann Dailor brings elements of jazz and progressive rock to Mastodon. Led by Brann Dailor’s crushing rhythms, the band collectively blasts booming riffs, killer vocals, and progressive direction. Together, Mastodon is forging new musical territory.
One of Brann Dailor’s strengths is his ability to sense when a song as a whole requires him to back off the drums a little bit: “…I realized if I could go further, I would have. That said, I wouldn't let my ego interfere with a song being great. A lot of them needed more time to breathe and needed me to play straight, solid beats.”
Brann Dailor wrote a good deal of the material on 2004’s Leviathan, and developed the album’s concept which revolved around Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. “We were like sailors as we drove around and played basements and clubs for years. We were on a quest for something that might not even be there, and we were sacrificing a lot by leaving our families and friends behind. It was a mixture of Ahab's craziness and Ishmael's lust for life and adventure.” Mastodon recorded the entire album in one and a half days, although Brann admitted he struggled with the drum track for Iron Tusk.
Brann Dailor’s drum influences include Mikkey Dee, Dave Lombardo, Nicko McBrain, Elvin Jones, Tony Williams, Billy Cobham, Phil Collins, Bill Bruford, John Bonham, and Stevie Wonder. Brann Dailor called Jean-Paul Gaster of Clutch “a new John Bonham.” In terms of modern drummers, he also likes Dave Witte, Chris Pennie, Sean Reinert, Danny Carey, Damon Che, and his own wife Susanne Gibboney (the drummer of Cat Fight). Brann Dailor’s wide-ranging inspirations contribute to his tactic of “stealing bits and pieces from different drummers. I've done things like throw in a Neil Peart fill that I mixed with a Billy Cobham lick and then ended it with a Phil Collins roll. It's pretty funny.”
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