A film adaptation of Mastodon’s latest album, “Crack the Skye,” is well within the realm of possibility — albeit not in production yet.
Drummer and lyricist Brann Dailor tells Billboard.com that the heavy rocking Atlanta quartet sat down with a film director, who he declines to name, and “wrote out a screenplay that reads from song to song. We didn’t storyboard it, but we wrote a screenplay.” Three different directors, he adds, have expressed interest in taking on the project.
“That’d be killer if it actually happens,” Dailor says. “That’s something that’s cool about making concept records, that opportunity for more to be done, artistically. If you just had an album with a bunch of songs that didn’t have anything to do with each other and there was no common thread, that aspect of the art wouldn’t be there. But with (‘Crack the Skye’), we have that possibility.”
“Crack the Skye’s” seven songs, produced by Brendan O’Brien, weave together a conceptual story involving a quadriplegic, astral travel, Stephen Hawking’s theories on wormholes and the philosophies of Russian mystic Grigori Rasputin. “I think it’s definitely the closest we’ve come to a fully cohesive story from start to finish,” Dailor says.
The primary challenge to turning it into a film, he says, will likely be financing.
“It all comes down to money,” Dailor acknowledges. “We don’t want to half-ass it; we want to make it real and…awesome. But we’re in a time period where labels are doing significantly less, moneywise, or trying to cut back, and making movies isn’t exactly cutting corners. It’s hard for an A&R guy to go to whoever writes the checks and be like, ‘Yeah, this band that sells 150,000 records wants to make a million-dollar movie…’ But we’re not ruling it out yet.”
For the meantime, Mastodon and its fans will have to make do with the group’s live recitations of “Crack the Skye,” which the group is performing in its entirety on its current tour.
“I know it’s kind of a new trend that bands are breaking out their ‘masterpieces’ to play, but we weren’t paying attention to that,” Dailor says. “There wasn’t any conversation like, ‘Oh, we’re only going to play a few songs off the record.’ We don’t feel like there’s a weak link in the record, though I’m sure other people would disagree. It just feels right to play the whole thing, front to back.”