Corrosion Of Conformity Returns As A Quartet, Delivers Your Ultimate 2018 Rawk ‘N’ Roller With No Cross No Crown


Pepper Keenan, Mike Dean, Woody Weatherman, and Reed Mullin. The “classic” Corrosion Of Conformity line up is back with their first album of new material as a quartet in almost 13 years and it’s as if they never left. It’d be unfair to compare any of No Cross No Crown to anything that’s come before because, not only does the album immediately stand on its’ own within the storied discography of COC but it’s inevitably going to sound like bits from your favorite Deliverance, Wiseblood, etc. tracks because of the shared musical DNA. Also, this foursome is just really, really good at what they do. [Read more…]

Woody Weatherman: A Rock And Roll Fables Conversation


Alright kiddies! We have good news and bad news for you. The good news is that a new Corrosion Of Conformity featuring the Deliverance-era of Pepper Keenan, Woody Weatherman, Mike Dean, and Reed Mullin is definitely coming out through Nuclear Blast Entertainment. The bad news? You’re probably going to have to wait until 2017 to hear it. [Read more…]

“You never forget your first time…” (It’s our 1st anniversary! 11/6/14)


A year already? Almost 6,000 page views (Where you at Facebook and Twitter?!?!?) and 150 posts mostly done by my lonesome from a site born out of creative frustration based off the opening line from Streets Of Fire. I’d say that’s an accomplishment, wouldn’t you? In that time we’ve started some semi-regular columns (“Jokes!”, “Untitled Metal Column”, “What’s In A Name?”), reviewed quite a bunch of records and talked to some fantastic artists. [Read more…]

John Garcia: A Rock And Roll Fables Conversation

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“I was just kind of tired of saying yes to everybody else and saying no to these songs so here I am, and let me tell you, it feels really good to be where I’m at.”

So says the man of the hour, the legendary John Garcia, via phone in late July just before the release of his debut solo album (Which is out now through Napalm Records). With the Vista Chino record barely a year old, a John Garcia solo record seems to come from out of left field until Garcia expands on why a solo record was exactly what needed to happen now:

“I’ll give you the straight to the point answer: I was exhausted. Exhausted of looking at this collection of songs that I’ve had for so many years. I felt bad for ’em. I had a personal relationship with these songs. These songs were not B-sides or leftovers from any of the other projects. These songs were plucked from my career and I kept them in a dusty old cardboard box and every morning I’d look at ’em. And I actually felt bad. I was, like, ‘Don’t worry. I’ll get to you. Hold tight!’ But I was committed to other projects. I’ve always wanted to do this. I’ve always wanted to do a solo record. Ever since I was 18. Before I was even started playing in a band I’ve thought about it and that’s when the collecting started. I collected 44 songs throughout 20 years that were special and very personal to me.”

As if finally putting some of those songs to tape wasn’t already a career highlight for Garcia, the studio brought a few more surprises in the form of an appearance by the on and only Robby Krieger of The Doors:

“When selecting the songs for the record it became very apparent that “Her Bullets Energy” was gonna be one of the songs [used]. Harper Hug, my producer, said to me ‘Hey man, I’m hearing a Spanish Flamenco guitar on this. What do you think?’ And I thought it was a great idea: ‘Who do you know that plays Spanish guitar?’ And he says ‘Well, I know Robby Krieger.’ After falling over off my chair and picking myself back up again I said ‘Well, do you think he would do it?’ We got him the track. The next piece was if he liked it. He liked it. The third and most important piece was us asking him if he would play flamenco guitar on it and he obliged us. Next thing you know I’m in the studio with Robby Krieger at Horse Latitudes, his brand new recording studio in Glendale, and he was throwing some swipes down to it. It made the song better not to mention the entire record better. Talk about a monumental moment. Being in a room with a legend is a moment I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.”

With any recognizable vocalist branching out into the world of solo albums, though, the question becomes: What sets this apart from any of your other bands? In Garcia’s case, that’s an illustrious career that’s included stints in Kyuss, Unida, Slo-Burn, and Vista Chino to name a few but he’s quick to point out the biggest difference now:

“This is another direct result of me being explorative and exploratory in my career. I mean, anybody  who knows anything about my career knows that I don’t like to stay in one place for very long. This is a direct result of that. Nobody goes in the studio with an intent to suck. You wanna go in there, and you know, you have passion! You want to omit your feelings and open up and expose yourself (Your gut, your heart). You put them down on tape or a hard drive or wherever that may be…it’s feeling, it’s passion, it’s emotion. It’s all those things. This one, for me, I wouldn’t say is a little more emotional for me. It’s A LOT more emotional.”

And emotion is definitely the driving force of this new record and what gets Garcia though it all at the end of the day with a career that’s had its share of ups and downs:

“The biggest challenge of my career is right now. Right here with being a solo artist. For lack of a better word, not hiding behind a band name but exposing yourself a little bit more and it’s a little nerve wracking. This is the biggest move of my career.  To go through some of the bad things of having a record be swept from underneath your feet to having some ex-band members sue you. You’ve gotta detach yourself from that. I try to keep my eye on the ball and what’s important. 

What’s important to me is not two kids sitting on each side of a chain link fence poking a fucking stick at one another and me being caught in the middle. That’s not what’s important to me. 

What’s important to me, and I’ve said this a thousand times, is my family. My 4-year old son, my 11-year old daughter, my amazing wife (my best friend) who allows me to continue to follow my passion. While she’s running Palm Springs Animal Hospital I’m sitting here playing Mr. Mom. This is enjoyable to me to spend time with my two kids. I just got back from a three day camping trip. My manager for Vista Chino, we talk often, says to me: ‘You go camping?’ and I says ‘Yeah!’ and he’s, like, ‘Camping camping?!?!’  and I’m, like, ‘What other type of fucking camping is there?’. 

That to me is important. My family. You have to detach yourself from that other stuff and move on. With this project I’m on a mission and my mission is: Zero drama. And my life is much happier with where I’m at and my career and the route that I’ve taken. I’m in a good place. 

Because I’m selfish and need to ask about some of my other favorites he’s been affiliated with at one time or another, the conversation switches to West Virginia’s own Karma To Burn and the possibility of those fabled recordings he’s done with them over the years seeing the light of day:

“I certainly hope so. Boy, let me tell you they’ve been through a little bit of turmoil. I love Rich (Mullins, bass) and Will (Mecum, guitar). You know Nathan Limbaugh, the original drummer, he co-wrote “Argleben” with me (off the solo record). Karma To Burn is one of my all-time favorite bands. I still listen to those records and the most recent record on Napalm. My song’s on there that I wrote all those years back when I was in my early ’20’s. I often thought about a project where I just take those recordings, I don’t remix them, but I sing on top of those. Just the way they are. I often thought about that. Who knows? Like I said, I don’t like to stay in one place too long but on the flip side I don’t see me deviating from the current position that I’m in any time in the near future.”

As for current bands at the forefront of a scene he helped build, Garcia has a few faves like Steak from the UK with whom he recently recorded vocals for their upcoming Napalm Records debut (“I do like Steak. They’re the real deal. They’re mean. They’re lifers. They came out to Palm Springs and recorded here and they’re into the desert scene.) Other stand outs include Black Mastiff out of Edmonton, Canada (I cover one of their songs on the record, “Rollin Stoned”. Love them.and Black Pussy from Oregon (Black Pussy’s a cool band. I dig them.).

He’s quick to point out, though, about his taste in music:

“Something that has feeling and emotion and brings you someplace. I dig it. I don’t care who it is. I don’t care if it’s Earth, Wind, and Fire or The Ohio Players or whatever. 

But honestly, I listen to a lot of radio. In Southern California I’m pretty spoiled. We love our radio here. I know I certainly do. There’s a station out here, KDES, and a DJ by the name of Art Laboe and he does requests and dedications to all the homies and stuff like that. He plays good tunes. A lot of R&B stuff. Old. School.  I still listen to classic stuff. Zeppelin, Hendrix, The Doors…that’s on regular rotation on my turntable but I’m also a big fan of Terence Trent D’Arby. All of his stuff, his entire catalog. Really dig that guy. Amazing singer. 

Touching on the future of Vista Chino after I mentioned Mike Dean’s gushing comments of his experience with the band during a recent interview with us, Garcia offered this in response:

“Let me tell you something about Mike Dean: What an amazing bass player and an amazing gentleman. The guy is super intelligent. To share a stage with that guy with Brant Bjork and Bruno Fevery: Wow! That’s an experience I’ll never forget for the rest of my life. Great band! Even without me, I could just listen to them just jam. 

I don’t see another Vista Chino record happening anytime in the near future. I’m very happy with where I’m at right now. There’s no bad blood. Nothing happened. I gotta go where my heart and gut tells me to go and I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time and it feels good to be here. But I’ve also learned ‘never say never” so maybe one day but not anytime in the near future.”

As for the “near future”, Garcia has it all mapped out:

“Touring, writing recording. Touring, writing, recording. That’s it! And in that order. My tour starts off here in Palm Desert and starts September 5th at this place called The Hood. Then we head to Australia for a run there. We get back home and continue writing rehearsing and then we’re headed over to Europe for an extensive, heavy, heavy tour for November/December, come back, do some more writing, recording, get the record done, tour Europe again next year for a summer festival run and then start the process all over again.

I’m very pleased with my live band. They’re all local guys. For the first time in many, many years I have local guys and it feels great to be able to call them up and say ‘Hey, I got this riff. Let’s get together for a barbeque and jam out at the rehearsal space down in Palm Springs.’ We had rehearsals last night. Feeling good about playing Kyuss songs. Even songs that Kyuss never played live: “Thong Song”, “Gloria Lewis”, “Tangy Zizzle”, “Catamaran” Stuff like that I’ve injected into the set along with Slo Burn and, of course, my solo stuff so it’s me playing a lot of past and present.”

Getting back to the record at hand, Garcia concludes with this:

“It might not be a monumental moment for rock ‘n’ roll (I wasn’t trying to change the face of rock and roll by any means) but a little bit of a monumental moment for me and that’s something I’m very proud of.”

John Garcia is out now through Napalm Records. You can get your copy here and check out here to find where you can catch Mr. Garcia live in 2014 and beyond.

Mike Dean: A Rock and Roll Fables conversation

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Corrosion of Conformity bassist/vocalist Mike Dean has the perfect answer for those out there looking for a description of his band: “Well, it’s kind of an eclectic long standing heavy band that was originally born out of the American hardcore and crossover metal/punk hybrid era of the mid to late ’80’s. We went through many line up changes and configurations and have sort of landed in this spot where we just dabble in various Black Sabbath-inspired swarms of musical expression. That’s kind of it. It’s just heavy stuff with a little melody and attempt at being timeless.”

On their latest, IX, Dean along with guitarist Woody Weatherman and drummer Reed Mullin are once again in the trio “configuration” and that suits him just fine: “There’s less participants in the creativity but maybe the opinions are stronger. I think there’s a clearer sort of focus. You can play more notes. You can try crazier things harmonically when you don’t have a second guitar (In terms of the bass and the guitar). Things will come across a lot better but if they’re not working it’s really obvious because there’s nowhere to hide basically. Politically, it’s expedient. Financially, 33% is pretty good compared to 25%.  It’s another format. I like the 4-piece band. It’d be awesome to play with Pepper (Keenan, guitars/vocals). I like Thin Lizzy guitar harmonies and things like that so that’d be cool. We’re open to his contribution and kinda logistically just trying to make that happen and it’s something that everybody wants to do but for now, I like this format a lot as well. We’re just gonna roll with the changes or lack thereof and see what happens.”

Speaking of Keenan, Dean says the door is always open for his return but please don’t expect the current band to attempt any Pepper-fronted songs: “At some point we just figured that Down was too busy for us to do something with Pepper. Most of that stuff is just not gonna happen without Pepper. I don’t know, man. It just doesn’t quite feel right to take any of that on. We were supposed to do some shows with him in 2010 and it turned out he couldn’t make ’em and when he heard we were gonna go ahead and tour I think that’s one thing he was really concerned about is we would just take a lot of work that was his and try to ride the gravy train and that’s not something we’re interested in doing, y’know?”

Elaborating more on the song writing process and the songs for the latest record Dean continues: “I think the approach to writing is pretty much the same. It’s not like we’re great troubadours that sit down and we’re moved by seeing this bird with a broken wing singing to her mate and we wanna write a sad song and compose lyrics and music on the spot. We’re basically heshers. We come up with some cool riffs and some ideas, we show ’em to each other and make a basic structure and at that point it’s time to see what sort of vocal and lyrical ideas it compels you to produce. The basic style of writing is the same and some times we do it by committee collaboratively and sometimes we bring compositions that are nearly complete to the group.”

“As far as writing lyrics…since we come from traditional hardcore and at that point we were all 18 years old and we knew everything the songs would be pretty topical, pretty on the nose, taking on weighty issues and things like that. Over time we’ve kind of moved on towards more evocative type of lyric writing. We like to put things that will work to different people at different times in different situations and still resonate. We’re looking for imagery and sometimes there’s an agenda there that’s a little sneaky and a lot of times we’re just starting off with the usual gibberish the universe gives us.  Put that together with some nice turns of phrase and you start to see a coherent pattern merging. There’s a little bit of a stream of conscience element to it.”

“An early favorite was “On Your Way”. We kinda fast tracked that one to do a little music video that’s probably gonna be nice and strange. We were working last night at a very hot warehouse location deep into the morning hours just this morning. Y’know we’ve been playing that one live and it works pretty well. Beyond that, “Trucker” is one of my personal favorites and the riffs that Woody brought for “Brand New Sleep” in the studio just fell together. I really like writing lyrics and coming up with vocal melodies for songs with musical structures I didn’t have anything to do with much and I’m hoping we end up playing that piece for sure.”

Outside of C.O.C., Dean has reactivated Righteous Fool with Mullin which came about initially during the gap between 2005’s In The Arms Of God and 2012’s S/T album and handled live bass for Vista a Chino: “I would looove to work with them down the road. I went and did a couple tours with them and I felt musically Bruno (Feverey, guitars) and Brant (Bjork, drums) and John (Garcia, vocals) and I were communicating really well. It sounded really good. It felt really good. It felt like they were coming out the other side of a dark period imposed on them by an overly litigious legal action concerning the Kyuss Lives! name. It actually felt like there was some blacklisting type of activity going on that I was witnessing and privy to.”

“All in all it was pretty positive. I just enjoyed playing with them and enjoyed their new material. For awhile, John has been hatching the idea of doing a solo project so he went ahead and did that so Brant kinda did the same thing  so they’ve got these simultaneous solo endeavors which is cool cuz it gives me time to work on C.O.C. and dedicate some time to that. I would anticipate with one record remaining on their contract that certainly within the next year and a half they’ll probably reconvene on some recording. I hope they ask me to take part in that because that’s sort of what we were planning  and to play with Bruno Fevery is an awesome thing. Brant and Bruno and I would jam quite a bit and I thought we could be really comfortable just winging it and come up with a pretty good musical result just about every time so I’m looking forward to continuing that. But, y’know, those guys  have a great musical contribution whether separately or combined or whatever. Whether it’s with me or not, there’s amazing chemistry between Mr. Feverey, Mr. Garcia, and Mr. Bjork.”

Looking back, Dean agrees it’s a completely different world for musicians these days: “I would say the major difference is the landscape for music. Rock music, in particular, is not as big a piece of the cultural landscape and certainly a lot less of the cultural economy simply because there’s so much competition for our attention in terms of entertainment and all types of online time-sucking activities (Or inactivities really). Plus, the collapse of actually being able to sell a musical document to people when they can just figure out the bit torrent situation. That has kind of eaten away at the economy of it and while it’s been a great equalizer in a way it’s sort of taken out some of the meritocracy of the situation because anybody with with a certain amount of money can go and produce their music and, to some extent, distribute it so there’s actually kind of an overload of sort of mediocre to incompetent musical output with very little audience. It’s kind of an unfortunate situation in that regard but I like the egalitarian aspect of it in theory but the actual result of that development is less than ideal as far as there being a lot of music I want to listen to. I mean, there is a lot of music I wanna listen to but you have to dig around to find it.”

Thankfully, you don’t have to dig hard to find Corrosion of Conformity’s latest, IX, which streets on June 24th through Candlelight Records. Our review (With pre-order links) can be read over here.


Corrosion Of Conformity in peak form on IX!

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Do I miss Pepper Keenan? Sure do! My Corrosion of Conformity education began with 1994’s Deliverance but I understand why things are the way they are now. Making it easier to swallow is the fact that Mike Dean, Reed Mullin, and Woody Weatherman are still putting out some of their finest work regardless of Mr. Keenan focusing on that other band for the time being.

Following the release of last year’s free Megaladon EP, IX follows the same design set forth on 2012’s self-titled monster which sees the Animosity-era line up once again delivering some of their finest work with that vitriol firmly intact albeit presented in a more laid back fashion.

It’s that sound developed on Deliverance that’s subtly transformed from plain Southern rawk  into a monstrous force of Black Sabbath-sized riffs and grooves merged with that old school intensity of C.O.C.’s early years. First taste of IX, “The Nectar”, is a perfect example of that as is opener “Brand New Sleep”. Bassist/vocalist Mike Dean is in top form during the infectious “On Your Way” while guitarist Woodroe Weatherman shreds the shit out of his instrument laying riff after earth shattering riff and Reed Mullin follows suit pummeling away on his kit.

If it’s straight up rawk that you’re after then by all means skip on over to “Denmark Vessey”, an old school punk rocker, or “Trucker” which is a blues-infused mega jam that sees the collective “wisebloods” rocking harder than most. Still not enough? Try on “Tarquinias Superbus” which sees the band at their most metal with a Dean-spewed chorus that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. IX eventually culminates with “The Nectar Reprised”. They end with a reprise, people! Who does that these days? Nobody! That’s who. Yet another reason that IX is not to be missed.

There’s silly and there’s stupid. If you’re neglecting C.O.C. these days while holding your breath that Keenan will be back tomorrow then, quite frankly, you fall in the latter category. IX is out through Candlelight Records on June 24th. Pre-order bundles are available over at Indiemerch or get yer digital on over on Itunes.