Corrosion of Conformity. Coming To Australia.
A summer storm has just unleashed itself across Woody Weatherman’s Virginia farm, “I'm just up in my barn and a giant thunderstorm just rolled up and the rain is pounding outside. I don’t know what the hell happened? It's coming down like cats and dogs out there - well, at least its cooling it down a little bit.”
Larger than life over the phone line, Weatherman is warm spirited, enthusiastic, and everything you wish someone to be who wrote the riffs you grew up dedicated to. Saying that, nothing illustrates a person more than the home in which they choose to reside, “I’ve got a little farm here, I keep a few animals, cows and horses and what not.” Not expecting to have something such as a shared equine interest in common, further investigation is required as Weatherman confirms, "We have a few Saddlebreds, I'm not so much for the riding, I just like looking at 'em."
A place that has heard more than a few Corrosion of Conformity rehearsals and some earlier 3 piece recordings is about 2 hours drive from the usual work space, “We do some rehearsing up here [at the barn] from time to time, we have done some recording here but we have a studio in Raleigh, I hop in the truck and I’m there in about an hour or 2.”
“It was all set up, we had it all rigged, we get an email saying the promoter has gone out of business and they’ve cancelled all their tours, and we were like, well, that sucks.”
Back To The Album IX
In the past Corrosion have tried different recording styles. For the incredible sounding IX album they have chosen a more organic tack, “We tried a different approach this time,” outlines Weatherman, “On the self-titled album that came out a couple of years ago, we flew out to LA and I didn't have any gear with me, I took my guitar but I didn’t have any amps or anything.” Adding a rougher edge he continues, “This time around with IX, we had our own gear that we use live, we said ‘Let's set it up like it’s a fucking live show’ and that’s what we did…I think it adds a little rawness to it that the last album didn't quite capture y’know.” His preference clear, “I’d like to keep doing it like that man, using my own amps and all my own stuff, it’s pretty cool.”
So, when do you decide it’s time to record? “When we get done with a record and sit around on our butts for a month or 2 and then we start saying 'Well, boys, lets get to work' - you can't sit around for too long.”
Riffs come easy, “Everyone has riffs man, we’ve got riffs piled up, the hard part of it is turning those riffs into songs.” With enough material to kick off recording so soon after the release of the new album, Weatherman reveals, “We’ve got enough now that we could start working on another record here pretty shortly, I’m not sure how quickly we will do that but the material is there.”
“Since we've got cranked back up, we’ve been on a bit of a roll, we enjoy staying busy, we’re either on the road, recording or rehearsing.”
It’s well known that Weatherman plays his custom made ESPs that were made for him 20 years ago, "They made me 3 of those ESPs back in the early 90s but Gibson got a little gander at them and said y’know, you can’t make any more of those, they look too much like an SG.”
But which of the 3 is his guitar of choice? “I pretty much use the white one that’s all kinda beat up looking.” Laughing he tells us the order, “That’s my favourite, I usually bring the other 2 along with me, for this Australian/New Zealand tour I’ll bring one other but man, it seems like the white one, I always reach for that, it feels the best.”
“Eventually that will happen, we talk to Pep all the time man, we’re just waiting for the right time to do that sort of stuff.”
13 Years and Counting
You cringeworthy people that saw COC support the almighty Pantera back in the very early 2000s, consider this a jealous salute, you lucky bastards. Weatherman recalls the time fondly, “I do remember it very well, it was approximately 13 years ago.” The conditions as they should be, “We were treated so well, there were so many friendly people y’know, good food, good beer...” Chuckling in amazement he’s slightly dumbfounded, “I can’t believe it’s taken us this long to figure out we gotta come back but we are finally doing it.”
An idea of the set please sir? “We’re going to do some of the stuff off the last couple of releases, if you've got a new album out, you’ve got to do a couple of songs." In particular, "We've been jamming out 'Brand New Sleep’ which is a lot of fun."
Any older material? “There’s gonna be some older 3 piece stuff, we’re the old guys [laughs], they’ll be a little ‘Animosity’ thrown in, a little fast stuff, a little doom stuff y’know. We try to mix it up across the ‘periods’ of the band.”
Anything from the 4 piece era? “We play the title track to ‘Deliverance’ pretty much all the time, Mikey does the vocals on that one.” Happy to chat about a reunion, Weatherman ignites some extreme excitement with these words, “As fas as the 'big hits' we’re reserving that for whenever we get back and start doing some 4 piece stuff.” Try to breathe, “Eventually that will happen, we talk to Pep all the time man, we’re just waiting for the right time to do that sort of stuff.”
It was pretty unnerving when the news of the cancellation of the COC tour rippled across the internet, what happened? “The only thing we knew is that we were super bummed.” Weatherman explains, “It was all set up, we had it all rigged, we get an email saying the promoter has gone out of business and they’ve cancelled all their tours, and we were like, well, that sucks.”
Touring and Crew
“Back in the day, we’d hit the road and stay gone for 3 or 4 months, pretty much now, we do 2 or 3 weeks at a time, and then we’ll go home for at least a week.” Some bands not handling even the basics, “A lot of bands give up the ghost, they can’t handle going out on the road and doing a really long tour, it’s pretty brutal.”
How much say do you have? “We put a hand in planning tours, we like to toss up ideas on where we want to go and how we want to do it, what kind of routing.” He insists, “We don’t want to play a show and jump in a van and drive for 8 hours to the next gig, we don’t do that shit anymore! [laughs] That shit’s for the birds.”
Days off are rare but who’s grumbling? “You’re moving the whole time, you can’t complain though because you get to travel and get to see shit and it’s kinda like work but not really.” And you’re getting paid? “Yeah, [laughs] sometimes.”
What does the COC crew look like? “The guys that are with us we have worked with for years, if we find somebody good and we get along, we keep on hanging out.” Including John Hopkins, their long standing sound tech, “We don’t have a big crew, we have John, he is always with us and one other crew guy and that’s it for this tour, that’s all we need, we’re not high maintenance.”
And when you get a break? "Mike (Reed, bass) was doing Vista Chino, he's also been working on Teenage Time Killer, going back and forth from Grohl's joint." Choosing to spend time at home Weatherman takes a step back, "Whenever COC’s on break I’m just here on the farm, it's a great balance."
Corrosion of Conformity kick off their Australian Tour on 24 July in Brisbane, details and tickets below. You don't want to miss this.
Corrosion Of Conformity Australian Tour Dates
Thursday, 24th July 2014
Tix: Via Oztix
Friday, 25th July 2014
The Factory Floor, Sydney
Tix: Via Factory Theatre
Saturday, 26th July 2014
Reverence Hotel, Melbourne
Tix: Via Oztix
Sunday, 27th July 2014
Enigma Bar, Adelaide
Tix: Via Moshtix