MASTODON‘s Bill Kelliher was the featured guest on BBC‘s “The Rock Show With Johnnie Walker” during the “Rock God” segment. Bill picked RAMONES guitarist Johnny Ramone and stated about his choice (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “When I was a young kid, all my friends and I used to listen to lots of VAN HALEN and the SCORPIONS and ZZ TOP, and we looked up to all those guitarists, but I could never play that stuff. But when I heard Johnny Ramone, I realized that, ‘Wow, this guy is only playing one chord, a power chord.’ And I soon realized that everybody was doing it wrong; everybody was trying to be Eddie Van Halen whereas I said, ‘I wanna be a songwriter. If Johnny Ramone can write two hundred songs with the same three power chords, then I can at least write a couple.’ And that’s exactly what I did. When I was 15, I started my first band. I just started playing with some friends and doing RAMONES covers and easy punk rock stuff and just kind of learned along the way. So Johnny Ramone really taught me that you don’t have to be super proficient at guitar to be an awesome guitar player. The RAMONES were an amazing band. I saw them many times live growing up in upstate New York — they came through a lot. They put on an amazing show. Johnny Ramone‘s guitar playing was just like turning on a buzzsaw and not turning it off. So that’s why I think Johnny Ramone is a rock god.”
Ramone was a founding member of the seminal punk band that broke on to the New York music scene in 1974. Johnny was known for his fast, high-energy guitar playing. His style almost exclusively consisted of rapid down strokes and bar chord shapes. This unique playing style and buzzsaw-like sound of Johnny‘s guitar parts was highly influential on many early punk rock guitarists and keeps him listed on numerous top lists of the greatest guitar players.
On September 15, 2004, Johnny Ramone died in his Los Angeles home at the age of 55 after a five-year battle with prostate cancer.
Last month, MASTODON was announced as one of the “Best Metal Performance” nominees at the 64th annual Grammy Awards, which will be held on January 31, 2022, at the Crypto.com Arena (formerly the Staples Center) in Los Angeles, California. The progressive metallers were nominated for their song “Pushing The Tides”, the first single from their latest album, “Hushed And Grim”, which came out in October.
The follow-up to 2017’s “Emperor Of Sand”, “Hushed And Grim”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.
“Emperor Of Sand” debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200. That LP was nominated for the 2018 Grammy Award for “Best Rock Album,” and its opening track, “Sultan’s Curse”, won the Grammy Award for “Best Metal Performance.”