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.
“Aha! The upcoming record! The elusive record! The progress is we’ve been meeting down in Raleigh, Pepper’s been flying up from New Orleans. We’re a couple sessions in of the writing of it. There’s rough outlines of 9 or 10 songs or so. Y’know we’re going to jump on the road for a little bit BUT we’re taking a mobile studio with us so we’re going to be working while we’re out traveling. There was talk of trying to get it out this year but I think it’s gonna be early next year for it, actually”
That’s guitarist Woody Weatherman who kindly chatted with us shortly before heading out for COC’s recent headline run. And while the songs are still a work in progress, there’s still some hope that fans might hear something new live real soon:
“There may be a snippet here and there of something new. We’ll see. We plan on working on a couple of things out on the road, maybe some intros to songs and things like that. They may worm their way in but it might be a little too early for the brand new stuff. You never know, man. We try to switch things up every once in a while.”
Since the return of Keenan to the fold in early 2015, COC has been revitalized but after almost a ten year gap between recording with the vocalist/guitarist Weatherman explained that things now are….pretty much the same:
“It’s pretty much the same deal. Sometimes somebody will show up with 80% of a song and we all jump in and sometimes it’ll be that somebody just has a riff and wants to know if you’ve got a riff to go with it (laughs). Pretty much what we’ve got going so far is everybody’s pitching in on every song which is good because everybody has their mark on most all the songs. There’s the rare occasion where somebody has an entire song ready to rock that might get tweaked here and there when we hit the studio. John Custer, our producer, doesn’t really delve into having us change much on songs. Sometimes there may be a note here or there or the amount of time you should do things. He’s more [focused] on the tonal aspect of the records….guitar tones and timing of solos or vocal lines.”
Another recent announcement was that their new record would be released on Nuclear Blast Entertainment, home to everyone from Slayer and Testament to Surgical Meth Machine and Meshuggah:
“Those guys are so on top of their game and as far as labels, they’re one of the best for a band like us. Their roster played a little bit [in our decision] with such a great list of bands. Also, our buddy Monte Conner (Former Roadrunner Records A&R chief, current Nuclear Blast Entertainment president) reached out to us and he’s such a great guy. Him being there was also a big part of it.”
Speaking of diversity, COC has always been a constantly evolving metal chameleon of sorts who’s comfortable in the sweet spot between metal, punk, and hard rock which has made for some interesting tours and tourmates:
“That’s one thing about COC, even from the early days we were able to sort of jump back and forth from punk rock and metal. We’d be out doing some dates with The Ramones then we’d be jumping on a tour with Iron Maiden or something. We’ve just always been able to do it. I guess it’s just because we’re sort of in that middle territory. We’ve touched base on so many different styles and just put our necks out there and we feel comfortable touring with all different types of bands. We’ve just always been lucky like that and we can pull it off.”
Which brought up talk of their current tour opening for Lamb Of God alongside Clutch, the latter of which they recently shared a stage with when diving back into the North American markets last fall:
“Man, through the years we’ve always traded off tours. We go way back with those guys [in Clutch]. This time around the Lamb Of God guys hit us up and just knew that us and Clutch are always a good fit together. We of course said ‘Hell yeah! Well be there!’ and we’ll bring our amps and our guitars and do the best job we can”
As for the crowd reactions to the quartet on the aforementioned Clutch tour and the two headline runs that followed?
“Smoking! Surprisingly so. When we started out early last year with Pepper we were, like, ‘let’s test the waters and see how everybody feels’. We had a good time as the three piece, did a couple records with just me, Reed, and Mike, and we always knew when the time was right we’d get things going back with Pepper. So we did it and we got cranked up about it! It’s cool to see old guys coming out that have been fans for 30 years and brand new fans. Sometimes the old guys are bringing their kids (laughs) and sometimes it’s actual brand new fans. So it’s been very positive.”
And when all’s said and done, Weatherman reflected upon being the one constant of Corrosion Of Conformity and what iteration of the band has been his favorite:
“Obviously we started out just the three of us with Mike and Reed. With the first record we had another singer (Eric Eycke). Through the years people have come and gone but we’ve always remained friends with everybody. I would have to say, though, we’ve always had the most success with the four of us working together now. Hell, Pepper’s been in the band…shit, he came up in ’89! This feels the most comfortable. This feels like home with what we’ve got going on now.”
Corrosion Of Conformity’s tour with Lamb Of God and Clutch is happening now with a stop at Boston’s House Of Blues on Tuesday, May 10th. To find out where you can see them and for information about their upcoming album, head here.