Corrosion of Conformity is back in action with a stellar new album called ‘No Cross No Crown’ which will be released on January 12th. It is the first record with Pepper Keenan since 2005’s ‘In the Arms of God’ and first record with Woody Weatherman, Reed Mullin, Pepper Keenan, and Mike Dean since ‘American Volume Dealer’ in 2000. The new record fits in seamlessly with these prior albums and finds the band continuing to explore new paths within their music. We had the golden opportunity to talk with Woody and ask him if it was difficult to rekindle the musical kinship within the band.
Woody mentioned that there was no problem at all. The band has been jamming together for so many years that it was natural. Bringing John Custer (who produced such COC’s classic ‘Blind’ and as well as the stellar ‘Brother’ album by Cry Of Love) back into the mix, it was like “butter”. It also helped that they had been together for nearly 2 years doing shows prior to recording the new album.
We talked a bit about song writing process. Woody mentioned that it is rare for someone in the band to come with a full fleshed out song. Instead, the songs grow organically in the studio. Basically, the band jams on riff ideas to spawn songs. John Custer then helps them to pull out the best for the record.
One of the great aspects of COC is the harmonies and lead trades between Woody and Pepper. The song “Wolf Named Crow” from the new album has a pant load of bad ass harmonies and a great lead break. The flow between the guitars sounds effortless. We wanted to know if Woody and Pepper have to work at nailing that timing and synchronicity or if that was a natural evolution of playing together. Woody indicated it was a bit of both and again the work of John Custer. Much of the time they are building those harmonies in the studio and then when it is done you “learn it later”.
Some of our favorite cuts on ‘No Cross No Crown’ are “The Luddite” for its balls out power and the old school metal feel of “Forgive Me”. We asked Woody what his favorite cuts are and why. He laughed and was happy we said the “Luddite” as he feels that is going to be very fun to play live and he is looking forward to it.
When COC re-grouped with Pepper, there was a palpable air of excitement to have the four of them back together. It seems that COC gets stronger with age. We asked Woody what he felt attributed to the resilience of COC? He thought it was part luck and part having a fantastic fan base. He also said that it was a lot of hard work and not giving the fans any bullshit.
Corrosion of Conformity will be back on the road with Black Label Society starting on December 27th hitting a bunch of cities in the U.S. We queried Woody if each morning of the tour would start out with a bunch of Death Wish coffee and weight lifting with Zakk? He laughed and said he loves his morning coffee too. Perhaps there will be some pictures of them lifting and chugging coffee with Zakk.
Finally, we wanted to know if there were any plans to re-tool some of the music from the three-piece version of COC and play those live with Pepper. Woody didn’t think there would be on this round given that they already have so much music to choose that is hard enough to pull together a setlist.
Our deepest thanks to Woody Weatherman for taking time to talk with us. Corrosion of Conformity is an outstanding live band. We hope you all will be out there to rock out with the band and enjoy the new music from ‘No Cross No Crown’.