Photos by JJ Koczan
Interview with C.O.C. Guitarist Woody Weatherman
So a new 8th studio album, Corrosion of Conformity, is slated for
release Feb. 28th with the original Animosity era lineup. Was it
good getting back to the original three?
COC: Yeah, it really is, especially getting Reed (Mullin) our drummer
back. He had some stuff going on with other bands and he was sorely
missed. I mean, we had some really great guys come in and fill in
on drums while he was away but Reed…it’s just awesome
to have him back. It really really is.
WW: I haven’t heard the album yet. How would you describe
COC: Haha! It’s good! I think it’s great! Go check it
out! It didn’t really turn out the way we initially thought
it might, but that’s good. I like it. If you took all the
different time periods of C.O.C. and threw it in a blender, this
is what came out. We’re pretty happy with it.
Why the lengthy stretch between this album and the last album?
COC: That’s a good question. The thing that happened was we
were out on the road for the In the Arms of God album and we kind
of got sidetracked with the hurricane in New Orleans and all that.
We wound up having to cancel a bunch of dates we had and just never
got back to it, you know? Then Pepper got busy with the Down stuff
and those guys down in New Orleans. They were geographically set up
to get busy and we were up in Raliegh. Mike and I were working on
tunes and whatnot but, you know, you blink your eyes a couple of times
and three or four years have gone by. Then you’re like, whoa!!!
We’ve got to get busy here!
WW: Is Pepper still in C.O.C.? And just taking a hiatus?
COC: It’s definitely on the table and the door is always open.
We’re good buddies with him and talk pretty often and whatnot.
I think that in time, once we get this tour cycle out of the way and
he gets done with his Down recording…you know they’re
working on new material right now. But the door’s open, we’re
all good friends, and I think it could happen at some point…do
some more four piece stuff. We like both. We like it all. As long
as we can play music we’re down with it.
WW: Although originally starting out as a punk-thrash band, you guys
have transcended that genre into metal and even southern rock. Was
this a natural progression?
COC: Well from Day 1, we probably had all the same influences then
that we carry with us to this day. It’s just a matter of how
we interpreted it at that given time. There’s always a bunch
of different monikers and labels thrown on the music we do, like crossover.
But you got to remember that at that time, the division between punk
and metal was pretty decisive. They didn’t really come together
at too many shows. Metalheads weren’t really welcome at punk
rock shows and vice versa.
WW: Yeah, you guys are often credited with being like the founding
fathers of the crossover between punk and metal.
COC: Well we just kind of bridged that gap. We’d find ourselves
getting thrown on a bill with all these metal bands and we were not
metal. We love metal, but we kind of stuck out like a sore thumb.
Or at least at the time we seemed to. We didn’t have the garb
on and we didn’t wear leather. But somehow we kind of bridged
that gap a little bit. But it didn’t take long for people to
realize that it doesn’t really matter if people call it punk
rock or speed metal or whatever…as long as it rocks.
WW: Who or what first inspired you to pick up a guitar and start playing?
COC: Well, for me personally, well my Dad’s a musician so he
turned me on at a pretty early age. I kind of caught the bug from
him. He plays everything from guitar to wood instruments to woodwinds.
So he’s got instruments of all types lying around the house:
violins, fiddles, trumpets…he’s got it all! I grew up
with it. He bought me a guitar at a pretty early age and I just kind
of stuck with it.
WW: How do you spend your time when you’re not on the road?
COC: I keep a farm up here and live kind of in the foothills in Virginia.
I raise a lot of cows and other animals, donkeys and whatnot. I have
a three year old son so that keeps me busy. There’s no shortage
of stuff to do here on the farm, man.
WW: What do you think makes North Carolina such a hotbed for musicians?
COC: Well, there are a lot of bands from here, and from down South
in general. When you get right down to it you could say that about
so many places though. I don’t know. I think especially in this
part of the country, Appalachia and whatnot, musical roots go way
back. Back to bluegrass and mountain music and back to when the Irish
came over with the fiddle tunes 2 and 3 hundred years ago. I think
it just kind of stuck as part of the culture down South.
WW: You guys have had a number of label and member changes. What do
you think is vital to a band’s longevity?
COC: The ability to hang onto the fans. That’s what enables
you to go on a tour and tour successfully. We’ve taken a number
of 3, 4, 5 year breaks and we’re lucky that after taking a break
that long that we still have people that will come out and see us,
and have a successful tour. That and us learning how to deal with
each other. Hitting the road ruins bands a lot of times. They might
get along great at home and have a good time writing albums and stuff,
but they hit the road and have to be around each other for a month
or two and things can change. We learned a long time ago how to do
WW: You guys will be hitting the road in support of the new album
with Valient Thorr, Torche, and A Storm of Light in early March. I
think the lineup is a really good match for you. Are you looking forward
COC: I really am. What’s cool about this is that the four bands
are really diverse. Anyone that comes to see the show and watches
all four bands definitely won’t hear the same thing four times
in a row, but it still goes together well…which is cool. C.O.C.
has always enjoyed creating those kind of bills where we go on the
road with a pretty diverse group yet it all seems to mesh.
WW: What would you like audiences to leave a COC show with?
COC: A t-shirt! The new album! Haha! Nah, just the feeling that they
had a good time and we put on a good show. We want to put on a good
show and want fans to have a good time so they come see us again the
WW: Final words of wisdom to your die-hard fans?
COC: Thank ya’ll so much for hanging in there and sticking with
us through all the years and all the styles we like to experiment
with. We really appreciate everybody still being there. It’s
really important to us.
WW: Well I guess I’ll be seeing you guys during SXSW.
COC: Great! We’re going to be there! I’ll see you there
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