Mastodon artist on striking new sleeve design

The man behind the eye-catching cover art on Mastodon's new album says he wanted to bring back the days when album sleeves spoke to people.

Artist Skinner created the cover art on the band’s upcoming sixth album Once More ‘Round The Sun, based on discussions with drummer Brann Dailor.

The result is a piece of art so distinct, it was the subject of a feature in Metal Hammer magazine and graced the front cover of the mag’s June issue.

Skinner says: “You look at the record…‘this is crazy, this is nuts, what’s this band?’ A long time ago people’s feelings would actually be informed by the art on the album, which is sort of a lost thing. It was an honour because I’ve been a huge nerd Mastodon fan for a long time.”

In the Reprise Records video, Skinner described hearing Brann’s idea for the album name and his vision of the sun as a “beast creature” that represents the spectrum of life and death.

He adds: “I had never had anyone say ‘hey I want you to do this thing, I believe in you. I want you to encompass the universe for my band, for an album.’ I was sort of trying to feed off of the way that Brann, as an artist himself, pushes and changes and moves. He’s very much true to his internal, creative rhythm.”

Once More ‘Round The Sun is released on Monday, June 23.


Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.