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Mastodon Guitarist Brent Hinds on West End Motel and His Head Tattoo

Dirk Behlau

Musicians who achieve success with a particular sound often indulge other passions and creative urges that are quite different from the ones that made them famous in the first place. For Mastodon guitarist Brent Hinds, who sports a massive head tattoo, his acoustic guitar and piano-driven West End Motel project allows him to tap into his affinity for good ol’ country music. Of course, we’re not talking about modern country that you hear on your local radio station.

“With West End Motel, it’s because I love country and classic country and The Pogues and Tom Waits and Nick Cave, and that creepy vaudeville vibe,” Hinds told Noisecreep. “I want to express my love for it. I want to ‘get my love on’ in the recordings.”

As for his striking head tattoo, Hinds says that it doesn’t throw people off like one might assume it would. “Some people say things, mostly ladies at convenience stores, saying, ‘That’s cool! Look at that! Where did you get that? Did that hurt?’ I always tell people that I woke up drunk with it.” So what’s the real story behind the head ink? “I wanted to get a headdress, Polynesian head dress, in New Zealand,” Hinds says. “I grew up with tattooed face dudes. My mom likes it, so that’s okay.”

West End Motel’s debut, ‘Don’t Shiver, You’re a Winner’ is due out this summer.

Meanwhile, Hinds also remains hard at work on the new Mastodon album, which will follows up ‘Crack the Skye.’ He is also promoting his other side effort, Fiend Without a Face.

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