Mastodon make some of my favorite videos among modern metal bands. Consistently inventive as in the “Sleeping Giant” video, composed with classic cinematic ideas as in “Seabeast”, occasionally provocative like when they hired a bunch of girls to twerk in the “Motherlode” video, and usually highly entertaining as with b-side “Deathbound,” these dudes really don’t shrug off the process of making hilarious videos.
This is particularly notable given Mastodon has been in different record label and budget situations over the years, so they’ve had the chance to make videos with varying amounts of capital to work with.
They have so much variety in their video work, and much of the more concept-driven videos have relied on analog effects, live puppeteering, and creative animation. This is on display in full force in their new video for “Asleep in the Deep,” in which they built elaborate and weird-as-fuck sets for a bunch of cat puppets to dance around in. This video, as with their past forays into animation and puppet-based videos, reminds me of the kind of care that Frank Zappa used to put into the animation in his short films and live videos (done by Bruce Bickford).
As you might imagine, the set of “Asleep in the Deep” looks like it was a hilarious time for the filmmakers and band. You can get a peek at a new behind-the-scenes clip featuring b-roll of the making of the sets and puppets, as well as of how certain shots were actually staged and executed. It’s interesting stuff, so check it out below: