Considering the progressive nature of Atlanta genre dodgers Mastodon, the only real surprise regarding the band’s choice to record an eighty-eight minute double album is that it’s taken them this long to do it in the first place.
Covers are a funny thing in music. Nowhere else in art is this level of flattery both respected and derided. Copies or recreations of painting or sculpture are often labeled as “influenced by” or worse, a forgery. All the remakes Hollywood keeps ramming our eyeholes with are mostly flaming hot garbage at summertime in New York City. With cover songs, the best ones are often not a note for note recreation of the original, unless it is an underrated artist or a little known song. From ‘Yesterday” to ‘Cum On Feel The Noise’, Covers have earned a place in our musical culture not only as a novelty. Others can take a well-known song and take it to new heights. Mastodon has done some stellar covers (‘The Bit’ from Melvins, ‘Emerald’ by, Thin Lizzy) and has now added all-time classic rock anthem ‘Stairway to Heaven’ by Led Zeppelin to the mix. Done in tribute to their late manager Nick John on the Stairway To Nick (Reprise Records) 10″ single for Record Store Day 2019, since Nick was a massive Zep fan. Tragically he passed away after a bout with pancreatic cancer in 2018. Mastodon will donate the proceeds from this release to research for that very disease. You can actually say they did it “because Nick John would have wanted it that way”. And you’d be right. He’d be touched. Continue reading
Mastodon released their tribute EP to their late band manager Nick John, a cover of Led Zeppelin classic ‘Stairway To Heaven’. John, who also managed Gojira, passed away last September from pancreatic cancer. The limited-edition 10-inch vinyl features the Studio Version on Side A and a Live Version on Side B. It was made available in participating independent retailers on Saturday, April 13. All proceeds from the single will be donated to pancreatic cancer research. Lighters out and crack it up! Continue reading
Nick John who’s reputation as a brilliant band manager in the heavy music world was surpassed only his reputation as a person, has passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer. John worked for The Rick Sales Entertainment Group, known for their long association with acts like Slayer, Mastodon, and Gojira. Nick helped bring both the latter bands to a higher level of success in the last decade. Mastodon’s Brent Hinds posted a remembrance on his Instagram account, and many other artists and Nick’s colleagues in the business followed suit. We send our sympathies to Nick’s family, friends, and the many lives he touched at this time. Continue reading