Mike Dean - Corrosion Of Conformity

May 20, 2005

You guys started out in 1982 and you guys have gone through a lot of vocalists. Is there some reason for that?

Yeah, there's a reason in each case. The first one who you may not have heard of just became a little disenchanted with ourselves. Eric Eycke, the guy who sang on a record called Eye For An Eye that was hastily thrown together, a real hardcore album. We were just looking for something a little more musical. Then it got thrown down to me for a while and I don't know. It wasn't anymore musical.

I think it's interesting because with a lot of bands, when they go through a vocalist change, it tends to hurt the band. With you guys, it didn't seem to have hurt you as much.

Yeah, it works like a charm. We've got four releases here with the same vocalist at any rate. About the same lineup but we're down a drummer.

You had a special guest drummer, Stanton Moore, on the In The Arms Of God album. Are you looking for a permanent drummer?

At the moment we have this guy, Jason Patterson, who used to play in a band called Cry Of Love. He's going out on the road with us. Stanton is probably going to go play in Europe with us. He's come out to play a couple of shows. We're just playing it by ear to see what develops. When it comes down to record again, we'll probably see what's up then. Right now it's pretty fun playing with Jason and it's challenging material. A lot of Reed Mullinisms and some Stantonisms. Really challenging material.

You guys have blended different styles of music and that seems to work well. How did you guys decide on what kind of a sound you wanted to have?

Early on we were motivated on one hand by a type of hardcore punk we enjoyed coming out of Washington, D.C. and Great Britain and California. Bands like Discharge and Black Flag and Bad Brains. On the other hand the crap that was on the radio was a motivator. Once under way, it just became more organic as far as what came to mind. Just trying out a whole bunch of influences and just getting together and jamming to see what we came up with.

You guys just released In The Arms Of God. It's been five years between releases. Why was there such a long time between releases?

Our singer played in a little band called Down so there was a Down record and that begat a Down tour and that begat a lot of downtime for myself in terms of COC. Then once we finally got working on it, it took a while. We'd get together and jam and Pepper had moved back to New Orleans. He'd come up here and we'd jam and most of the songs we had, we'd go "nah, we're not really ready." Eventually we started to come up with some stuff that we were excited about and that's when it started to take off. Then right at that moment we hooked up with Stanton and that's when it really took off. It was ripe for the right moment I guess.

I liked the CD. Two of my favorite songs on it are "Stone Breaker" and "So Much Left Behind". What kind of thought processes were going on when you were writing the record?

Certainly the main process was we have to hurry up and get this done because we're supposed to be out on the road with Motorhead in a couple of weeks and counting. I don't know. Just trying to come up with something a little bit different than what's out there and just stick out an original niche in the world of rock music.

I was listening to some of the songs like "Infinite War" and "World On Fire". Were you guys thinking about the shit that's going on in the world?

Yeah, very much so.

How long did it take you guys to do the album?

About five or six months. About four of those months were focused on just working. Then we took a little bit of time off. Considering we did it in two cities in about four studios.

Was that intentional?

Part of it was just before we could get Stanton recorded, we had to go down to New Orleans and fit into his schedule before Galactic went on tour. We talked to him on the phone about perhaps doing it. We were just working with another drummer up here and it wasn't really working too well. We talked to him on the phone and about four days later we were on our way to New Orleans. We got our basic tracks there and then we took it back to our place and basically the recording of it was a collaboration between myself and this guy named Mike Nepalosano who is an engineer down in New Orleans. We worked on a lot of stuff and then John Custer, a guy who's produced a lot of our records, came into the picture and we started to get a little more sophisticated as we were tracking vocals and doing what I call finesse guitars. The guy recorded the meat and potatoes sounds. Drums and whatnot. It was very, very hands on for us this time. It was a learning experience. Hopefully not to the detriment of the recording.

You guys had a little more control over what was going on.

Yeah, I hadn't really been at a point where I thought we didn't as far as the content. Even on a major label like Sony, the worst that ever happened was we'd go ahead and do just what we wanted and then the reaction after the fact would be "well, we're not really going to promote this because it's not going to be as big as Celine Dion" or whatever. We never experienced anything where people flat out told us that what we were doing wasn't going to be released or anything like that. I've known people that have had that experience but we never encountered that even on Sony. We were definitely more hands on, on this one.

I think it came out really good.

Thanks.

You guys went out on a tour with Motorhead. How did that go?

It went really well. I thought it was good to get a chance to see Motorhead a few times. It was a good thing for us to do after not playing out for about four years. I think we're going to do it again in Europe in a couple of months.

I can't believe these guys have been around for 30 years.

Yeah, that's crazy. Thirtieth anniversary tour. Absolutely. That's what it was. I guess I've been aware of them since the beginning and it's kind of crazy.

Hopefully you guys will be out for another 20 or 30 years.

Hopefully not like that.

What are your touring plans for the future?

For the near future, in about two weeks we're going to headline in North America with Crowbar opening and a couple of other bands. Alabama Thunder Pussy and a band called Weedeater out of North Carolina and Fu Manchu in a couple of places. We're all going to hit the road this summer. Then we're going to go hopefully open for Motorhead in Europe and make it over to Brazil for the first time hopefully.

Bringing metal to Brazil.

They have plenty of it.

Yeah, they have a pretty good metal scene over there.

They have a lot of Sepultura inspired bands that mix a lot of Brazilian music and drumming and stuff like that with it. Taking the whole concept of the Roots album by Sepultura and pushing it a little further and making it a little less polished. The only reason I know this is because one of the guys that was mastering our recording works on some of that music. He masters recordings like that. He told us to check it out and put on some stuff from Brazil. I said that reminds me of Sepultura's Roots and he said no, it was brand new stuff. It's a whole scene along those lines. In fact on Motorhead's crew, there are about three or four people from Brazil that were on that tour that used to work for Sepultura.

Corrosion Of Conformity