Atlanta hard rock band Mastodon has announced a co-headlining tour with a real-life version of Dethklok, the cartoon band in Adult Swim's animated series "Metalocalypse" on Cartoon Network. The 36-city trek will begin on Oct. 2 at the Roseland Theater in Portland, Ore. and end at the Palladium in Los Angeles on Nov. 19.
Mastodon is currently touring Europe and the UK with Metallica in support of album "Crack the Skye," released in March. As drummer Brann Dailor told Billboard earlier this year, the concept album is about "a crippled young man who experiments with astral travel" and whose spirit inhabits the body of Rasputin to save him from murder. The complex story is "all metaphors for personal shit," added Dailor.
Billboard is giving away a pair of Mastodon Vans to the reader who can tweet the best story about "astral travel" in 140 characters or less.
Fitting with the cosmic and fantastic themes of the album, Mastodon's current fare, while still with plenty of edge, is less aggressive and more ethereal than their previous work. "Back when we first started and we were angry young guys, the music we were playing was super-aggressive," guitarist Bill Kelliher told Billboard. "That had its place and time, with the raw vocal screaming. But this record has done a 180 from those days, in a positive way."
The band also reported that it hoped to make a short film from the songs on "Crack the Skye," a la Pink Floyd's "The Wall;" the video for "Oblivion" won "Best Video" at the Kerrang! Magazine Awards in London on Monday.
Dethklok - otherwise known as Nathan Explosion, William Murderface, Skwisgaar Swigelf, Toki Wartooth and Pickles --will be brought to life by series co-creator and composer Brendon Small, along with a band including drummer Gene Hoglan (Dark Angel, Strapping Young Lad), bassist Bryan Beller (Dweezil Zappa) and guitarist Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa). Small was also the creator of cult hit animated series "Home Movies," which ran from 1999-2004. Dethklok's second album, "Dethklok: The Dethalbum II," will be released on Sept. 29.
As Small told Billboard before the release of the first "Dethalbum," Dethklok is "the most brutal band on the planet" who wrote the jingle for the Duncan Hills Coffee Co.
Here are Mastodon and Dethklok's tour dates:
Oct. 2 Portland, Ore. (Roseland Theater)
Oct. 3 Seattle, Wash. (WaMu Theater)
Oct. 4 Vancouver, BC (Orpheum Theatre)
Oct. 6 Calgary, AB (Big Four Building)
Oct. 7 Edmonton, AB (Shaw Conference Centre)
Oct. 9 Salt Lake City, Utah (Great Saltair)
Oct. 10 Denver, Colo. (Fillmore Auditorium)
Oct. 12 Kansas City, MO (Uptown Theater)
Oct. 13 St. Louis, MO (The Pageant)
Oct. 14 Des Moines, Iowa (Val Air Ballroom)
Oct. 16 St. Paul, Minn. (Myth)
Oct. 17 Chicago, Ill. (Aragon Ballroom)
Oct. 18 Milwaukee, Wis. (Eagle's Auditorium)
Oct. 20 Columbus, Ohio (LC Pavilion)
Oct. 21 Detroit, Mich. (The Fillmore Detroit)
Oct. 23 Toronto, Ont. (Sound Academy)
Oct. 24 Buffalo, NY (The Fairgrounds)
Oct. 25 Albany, NY (Armory)
Oct. 27 Boston, Mass. (House of Blues)
Oct. 30 New York, NY (Hammerstein Ballroom)
Oct. 31 Washington, DC (Patriot Center)
Nov. 1 Philadelphia, Penn. (Electric Factory)
Nov. 5 Atlanta, GA (Tabernacle)
Nov. 6 Myrtle Beach, SC (House of Blues)
Nov. 7 Orlando, Fla. (Hard Rock Live)
Nov. 8 Pompano Beach, Fla. (Pompano Beach Amphitheater)
Nov. 11 Dallas, TX (House of Blues)
Nov. 12 Houston, TX (Verizon Wireless Theater)
Nov. 13 Austin, TX (Austin City Music Hall)
Nov. 14 Tulsa, Okla. (Brady Theater)
Nov. 16 Las Cruces, NM (Pan American Center)
Nov. 17 Mesa, Ariz. (Mesa Amphitheater)
Nov. 18 Las Vegas, Nev. (House of Blues)
Nov. 19 Los Angeles, Calif. (Palladium)