Already scheduled to hit the road this fall for a triple-bill tour that will also feature Alice In Chains and Mastodon, alt-rockers Deftones have rolled out plans for a summer headlining trek of their own. Even though rockers Mastodon have toured feverishly since releasing their latest album--last year's "Crack the Skye"--the group is hoping fans will turn out again for the band's latest headlining run. Following its in-progress European tour, prog-metal outfit Mastodon will return to the States for a Volcom-sponsored spring trek behind last year's "Crack the Skye." You've probably never heard of Ramon Sampson, but chances are this won't be the last time you'll see his name. The 19-year-old Cordova, TN, native out-drummed a national list of contestants--including the four other finalists, Troy Molsberry (Carlsbad, CA), Eugine McBride (Flint, MI), Stanley Jamal Hampton (Smithtown, NY) and Michael McGrath (Henderson, NV)--to win the title of Guitar Center's Drum-Off Champion. Perfect weather added to the perfect storm of festival cheer on Day Two (8/29) of the 2009 Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Mastodon will team up with Dethklok, the animated death-metal stars of Adult Swim's "Metalocalypse," for a fall/winter tour of North America.
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I distinctly recall my excitement as a jean-jacket-clad, 12-year-old metal poseur, unwrapping my cassette copy of Iron Maiden's "Powerslave" and discovering that the last track was almost 15 minutes long. Metal and prog have always been intriguing bedfellows, and Mastodon--who, with their 2006 breakthrough record, "Blood Mountain," seemed primed to take their commercial viability to the next level--have gloriously defied that expectation with "Crack the Skye." Mastodon will rumble through select US and Canadian cities this spring as the heavy-metal band looks to support its latest studio effort, "Crack the Skye."