Vocalist/bassist Mike Dean of CORROSION OF CONFORMITY was interviewed on last weekend’s (November 18-20) edition of Full Metal Jackie‘s nationally syndicated radio show. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below. A few excerpts from the question-and-answer session follow.
Full Metal Jackie: Tell us about what prompted [the “Animosity” lineup of CORROSION OF CONFORMITY] to get back together again?
Mike: Well, I’m gonna tell you what we were tryin’ to do some stuff with [longtime CORROSION OF CONFORMITY guitarist/vocalist] Pepper [Keenan] and get that “Deliverance” lineup back together, which seemed like a good idea, but DOWN is a very busy, busy, busy sort of group of individuals, so that wasn’t happening, and you know, we wanted to make some rock, so we thought we’d get out there and play some shows, and if we were gonna get out there and play some shows, it would be lame to now have new material because then you’ll just be like some old nostalgia act.
Full Metal Jackie: Mike, in terms of what makes C.O.C. special, what are the differences in the three- and four-person lineups?
Mike: I think, originally, with three people, we started that at a very young age in high school and we kinda learned to play music together, and so we go way back and I think we have kind of our own type of musical communication. We didn’t have formal musical training, so we communicated in drum language and we kind of ripped off this BLACK FLAG thing, this hardcore band BLACK FLAG from way back, where they would anticipate a stop or starting a part just for dramatic effect and we started rippin’ that off a lot and that’s become one of our little signature communication things, messin’ with the time. Then, you know, the four-piece that evolved into more of a rock band, you know, in a good way.
Full Metal Jackie: CORROSION OF CONFORMITY recently opened up some DANZIG dates. What was that like?
Mike: That was interesting, ’cause they weren’t just DANZIG shows; they performed MISFITS songs, which people were excited about, and I was excited about, and that was pretty crazy. I never thought I’d see that stuff live when I missed it so many years ago, so it was entertaining. We did it in New York, which was in the midst of an early blizzard, a Nor’easter — somehow the show went on and somehow we flew in there — and also beautiful Universal Amphitheater, excuse me Gibson Amphitheater [in California].
Full Metal Jackie: It’s been a long time since you were the singer, Mike. What did you have to do to get back in the groove of singing?
Mike: Well, not suck. Yeah, it took a little bit of practice, a little bit of dusting that off. The approach I had on “Animosity” was a little fatiguing in terms of being able to perform every night, so I had to approach it in a new way, and if you have something to say on some level, it comes pretty naturally.
Full Metal Jackie: Is there an exact release date yet [for the new album]? I know it’s coming out early 2012.
Mike: I think we’re lookin’ at February 27, 28; somewhere near the end of February.
Full Metal Jackie: How does it feel, in terms of where you guys are at with the record?
Mike: We’re still finishing up the mixes. We have a couple days left in the studio and we’re listening to things in the rented mini van and saying, “No, the guitar must be louder, everything must be louder than everything else,” and, you know, just making a few adjustments, and we’re pretty pleased with the results.
Full Metal Jackie: What’s the plans for a full-on CORROSION OF CONFORMITY tour for next year?
Mike: Oh yeah, that’s mandatory. I think we’re gonna get started in the United States, do some festivals in Europe during the spring and summer, and yeah, just make a year of it, at least.
Full Metal Jackie: What can we expect in terms of changes in the band’s sound?
Mike: It’s always evolving a little bit. When we started this out, we were looking to use “Animosity” as a starting point since that’s really the last time we were a three-piece band, and it quickly evolved from that, even though we were doing some pretty quick tempos and some aggressive stuff. It really became a group of songs that reflected every era of the band’s career, kind of cast in a new light, where we’re comin’ from now, basically. It’s heavy.
Full Metal Jackie: So it’s heavier.
Mike: Yeah, it’s got some ugliness juxtaposed against a little melody, and yeah, it’s heavy, it’s fun.
Full Metal Jackie: You had mentioned that there had been conversations with Pepper prior to the three of you guys getting together to play these shows and even record. Had he not been doing everything he was doing with DOWN, do you think he would’ve been part of it this time around?
Mike: Yeah. We were really lookin’ to get Pepper and Reed [Mullin, drums] together for the first time in at least 10 years to play some shows together, and I think the natural thing would’ve been to do a record. It probably will happen at some point. It’s a good story to sit here and tell you about the three P’s or whatever, but I think in a year or two, or 18 months from now, it might be good to sit here and tell you about doing a record with Pepper Keenan, if he ain’t too busy.