Mastodon’s Brann Dailor spent his pandemic year embracing an unusual hobby: Drawing illustrations of clowns, in often terrifying settings.
The fruits of that bizarre obsession will soon be shared with the world in the form of 101 Clowns of the Coronavirus, a book that the drummer will publish in partnership with Revolver.
“The clowns kept me from spiraling out during all the uncertainty,” Dailor says. “They kept me from sinking into a deep depression or experiencing crippling anxiety. The clowns were perfect for that — even the dark ones.”
In addition to Dailor’s many, many drawings of clowns — including illustrations inspired by horror films like Jaws and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre — the book also features written commentary by fellow musicians like Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme, Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe, Sean Ono Lennon, Deftones’ Chico Moreno and more.
Many of the illustrations in 101 Clowns of the Coronavirus — available to preorder now in its first run as a hardcover coffee table book, as well as bundled with other t-shirts and screen prints — are also accompanied by Dailor’s own insights about the work.
Dailor, a collector of clown memorabilia — he has a replica of the possessed clown from Poltergeist, as well as three masks from the horror comedy Killer Klowns From Outer Space — drew his first clown on March 24th, 2020, the day his Covid-19 lockdown began in Atlanta. His mission at the time was to draw 14 clowns in the then-mandated 14 days of quarantine, but as the lockdown grew, so did his cache of clown drawings.
“I’d get up every day and have my glass of water, two tangerines and a cup of coffee. Then I’d crack the sketchbook open. In my notes on my phone, I probably had 10 or 15 clown ideas I could pull from if I hadn’t thought of something the night before,” Dailor writes of his routine in the foreword.
“The thing that I came to find out is that anything is clown-able. The clown is such an icon that you can turn anything into a clown.”