Show Yourself

Album: Emperor Of Sand (2017)
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Songfacts®:

  • This is one of several Emperor of Sand tracks that were borne out of a collection of riffs rhythm guitarist Bill Kelliher laid down while Mastodon was on tour. Mastodon drummer Brann Dailor then handled lead vocals on the catchy track. As Dailor told Rolling Stone, he was at first reticent about adding his vocals to the tune.

    "When I first heard that riff, I wasn't 100 percent on it," he said. "I felt like it was too easy to like or something - which is stupid, but I want to avoid 'easy.' I was wrong about that one."
  • Emperor of Sand is a concept album that tells the story of a desert wanderer who has been handed a death sentence. Themes of mortality are woven into the song's lyrics and are also reflected in the Roboshobo-directed video, which follows a grim reaper that is not very good at his job. "Emperor of Sand is like the grim reaper," said Dailor. "Sand represents time. If you or anyone you know has ever received a terminal diagnosis, the first thought is about time. Invariably, you ask, 'How much time is left?'"

    Comedian Brian Posehn has a cameo role in the clip.
  • The comment was made during an Artist Direct interview with Bill Kelliher that this song is "more pop-driven than the band's usual direction." He responded:

    "When I first wrote the riff, I didn't hear it as a poppy riff at all. I felt more like a kind of Kvelertak kind of feel to me. I felt more of a driving evil, like what those guys do. That's kind of what I channeled, was like Kvelertak because we just toured with them and I kind of had like their beat in my head and was just playing along to it in the back of the tour bus in Europe one day, and I should it to Brann, and he was like, 'Yeah that's cool.'"

    "I recorded it and we revisited it years later when we were doing this record, and Brann was like, 'I still don't feel it.' I wrote probably 20 riffs for that song and we just chopped it down to just four riffs that are in it now, but not until Brann started singing on it did it come alive. And then it kind of turned to me into more of a pop sounding song because you never know what it's going to be. If you didn't hear the lyrics or the vocals, you probably wouldn't say, 'Oh it's a poppy song,' but the second you hear the vocals, you're like that's a pop song."

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