Interview with Corrosion Of Conformity's Woody Weatherman by Susan Wright 3/4/05

Maximum Metal: It's been awhile! You guys have had, what... a four year vacation?

Woody Weatherman: I know... what's up with that shit? [laughs]

MM: A four year vacation... are ya'll ready for this tour?

WW: Yeah! Ya dang right!

MM: How did you get hooked up with Motorhead? Of all the bands that are out there touring now, that's not one that I would have first thought of putting ya'll with.

WW: Is that right? Well, I'm gonna tell ya what... that was something that me and Pepper had talked about way before we got done with this record, so we told our dude at the label to hook us up with this Motorhead thing! This was long before they were going on tour, long before we were done with the record. We were like, 'well, let's try and get together with Motorhead,' and lo and behold, we weren't even done with the record and their guy calls us up and says, 'We're gonna be doing this tour. Can ya'll do it?' Right off the bat, we told them that we couldnt, because we werent even done with the record and we didnt think we could be ready and all that shit, but about a week and a half, two weeks later, they called us back up and said, 'Are you guys sure?' and we said, 'Well, alright' 'cuz hell, we were the ones that asked to do it, in the first place! I think it's kind of a good pairing, though. It's Motorhead, ya know.

MM: Well, Motorhead are ABSOLUTELY killer! It'll be a cool show! I HATE that you're not coming to NC with that show!

WW: Well, I know, but we'll do the South, whether it's on our own or whatever we can throw together, ya know... bring somebody that we like. It is unusual. They're not doing any Texas or any NC or Georgia or anything, ya know, it's like, well, you can see the dates, but I mean, hell, it ends, our last show is going to be in Toronto.

MM: Ya'll have only got, like, 45 minutes for the opener?

WW: Yeah, we'll do about 45 minutes and then Zeke is playing with us on most of the shows. I think they'll probably do about 35 or 40... I dont know, exactly. I'll tell you one thing, we're doing a few shows on this tour headlining! There's about, I dont know, about 6 or 7 shows scattered around in the tour that we're going to be doing headlining dates, so we're going to be playing a full set then and hell, I think we're going to do about 5 or 6 songs off the new record.

MM: Well, that leads me to my next question. I was going to ask you what the setlist is going to look like for this, since there's limited time. You've got the old stuff that people want to hear, then you've got the new stuff that people are excited about, so what kind of setlist are you looking at for the openers?

WW: You know how it is with us... it's kind of a dilemma. I mean, hell, we've got all these damn records and everybody wants to play a song or two off of each one, but you just have to pick and choose and we just learn a few extras and that way we can flip the set around a little bit if we need to. We're really concentrating on the new record this go around, 'cuz hell, we think it's pretty damn good, so we're just gonna pump it! [laughs] We're gonna play the hell out of it 'cuz we like all the songs. Every song on this record, almost, we can come out and play live and it's no trouble.

MM: Everything I've read so far from the people who've gotten their hands on it is positive. I havent heard all of it. I was in the Wig Shoppe with Mike Dean a couple of years ago and he was good enough to let me hear some rough demos there. The whole vibe, from what I've heard is that it's a lot more 'raw,' heavier and gritty. That's quite a flip over from the last one, which was excellent, but was more of a 'rock' type thing and what I'm hearing now is 'metal!' It's still got that element, but it's just heavier stuff. Why that brake and back-up, grabbing that heavy?

WW: Well, I'll tell ya... you know us, girl... we just switch up, you know. We do our thing and whatevers happening at that moment it all falls together on the record and that's what comes out. It's not always a super-intentional thing, although, I will admit, on this album our goal, we all talked about we're just gonna make this stupid, damn, ultra-album, you know, but it really didnt go as far in the direction as we thought it would, because we started writing the songs and they just turned into such big songs compared to what we thought they were going to be, right off the bat. We were trying to write these simple, ultra-brutal kind of things, but in true COC fashion they always wind up turning into something bigger than they thought they were going to be [laughs]!

MM: My first review for Maximum Metal was the 'High Volume' compilation album and it has the one tune, 'It Is That Way' and I'm hearing there's something 'different' about it?

WW: Oh, it's a total different version, yeah. It's the same song, but it's re-done, with Stanton playing and all that. It's a Mike Dean song, if that tells you anything. I mean, hell, he's crazy, so he writes these heavy riffs.

MM: Are there any of these songs that have been around for awhile and are now seeing new light with this album... maybe a new incarnation of something you've had around?

WW: Yeah, there are a couple. 'Rise, River Rise' is one that has been around for a little while that has gone through a little transformation. We know 'It Is That Way' has been hanging around for a little bit. You know, they just always transform when the time comes to put them down for real. Things change. A couple of lyrics might change, here and there... toss on a different kind of guitar solos and stuff like that. And hell... from this mess here, there are 4 more songs that didnt get on to the record.

MM: So ya'll actually have something tucked away, huh?

WW: Yeah, we've got a couple tucked away and they're bad, too! They're just as good as these songs. We just ran out of space, you know, and really kind of ran out of time, as far as mixing and stuff goes. We kind of got under the gun because of the Motorhead tour and everything else, but there are even more songs... It's actually all the fast songs that we did that didn't make it onto the record [laughs]!

MM: How do you make that decision? What gets on and what gets to wait?

WW: It's tough... it's tough. It's just more like whatever has gotten done first is what gets on the record [laughs]!

MM: Well, at least with something tucked away maybe it wont be another four years before we see you out there again, right?

WW: These songs are done. They're not gonna be rerecorded. They're done. They're recorded. We're just gonna have to put them out on an EP or something. I dont know what the hell we're gonna do with them, but, they're bad! We'll stick them somewhere!

MM: On the last album you had Warren Haynes show up and do a little slide for you. Are there any little surprises like that on this one?

WW: It's just us guys... of course, Stanton is the only big deal, but he's not really much of a surprise, anymore. We didnt have anybody much show up on this thing. Just us guys, but then, there really wasnt much call for anybody like a Warren Haynes to come. There are a couple of slide things on there, but nothing that extreme.

MM: You mentioned Stanton... how did you get him? I know he's from Galactic. I dont know a lot about them, but who thought of bringing him in?

WW: He's really an old buddy of Pepper's and me and Mike know him as well, for the last few years, because we're kind of Galactic fans. If you're into kind of off-the-wall, good, free-form almost music, they're really all good musicians. They're pretty agressive, I mean, Stanton's a very aggressive drummer, even though most people would consider him a jazz drummer, really. He took to this like a fish to water. He jumped right in, he had NO trouble figuring our music out. He took a couple of listens and was like, 'Alright, I've got this!' Me and Mike or Pepper had never jammed any of these songs with him before and we just showed up in New Orleans and immediately started recording. We just showed him the songs, and as a matter of fact, I think this song, 'Never Turns to More,' which is one of the songs on the album, the version you hear on the album is the first take. We turned on the machine and one take and it was done! I mean, that's pretty rare! That doesnt happen often.

MM: Is this it? Would you say he's the permanent drummer? Is he 'the' guy, or is he just for recording purposes?

WW: I wouldnt say that, but we'd really love to jam with him again. I'm sure we will. He may even join us for some live dates whenever we can get together on a schedule. He stays pretty busy with his stuff. As a matter of fact, day before yesterday, I just got back from New Orleans. Me and Mike flew down and did a video and he did the video, too. He'll show up when he can. We're trying to work out a European trip with him coming along with us, so we'll see what happens with that, but 'ol Jason is gonna help us out. I dont know if you know Jason Patterson or not...

MM: Cry of Love?

WW: Yeah... we just keep on lucking into all this drummer talent! They just kind of show up and we jam with them and it's kinda fun jamming with different people like that!

MM: It's good to have a pool of talent to choose from.

WW: We just holler at 'em and say, 'Hey, you wanna go do some jamming and they say yeah...'

"We're really concentrating on the new record this go around, 'cuz hell, we think it's pretty damn good..."
MM: You mentioned being down in New Orleans and doing the video. What song is the video for?

WW: It's for the song 'Stonebreaker.'

MM: Can you give me any idea what the concept of the video is going to be like?

WW: [laughs] Yeah... it's going to be crazy! It's not going to be a regular video. We're not all standing in a practice room or something. It's gonna be pretty crazy.

MM: Ok... no fire and all the main staples of videos kinda thing?

WW: Well, you never know... I'm not gonna say there's not going to be any fire [laughs]. There might be some fire. You've got to have a little fire in a heavy metal video [laughs]!

MM: If it's good enough for Priest it should be good enough for the rest of us!

WW: There might be a little lava in it... who knows?

MM: Since we're on the topic of Nawlins, I understand Pep packed up shop and moved back to Nawlins. How is that working out, as far as recording and all that, with him there and the rest of you in Raleighwood?

WW: Well, you know, Hell, we did half the mess down there in New Orleans, anyway. Which we've done before whenever we record. We did half of 'Wiseblood' in New Orleans and this time, we did the all the basic tracks and stuff down there at the Galactic studio, which was real cool. It really dont make much difference. Keenan's always kept a house down in New Orleans, anyway.

MM: Getting back to the tour, when you're done with them, I'm sure you're going to take some downtime to recoup. How soon after the Motorhead tour do you think you'll get into doing your own thing?

WW: Well, it ain't going to take us too long. We ain't got too much downtime. I believe our last show on this show is on the 26th of April and Pepper's going back down to New Orleans for at least a couple weeks. We havent gotten started on the next leg of the tour, yet. We dont know whether we're going to do another leg in the US before we go to Europe or whether we're going to Europe, first. There might be a little 2 or 3 week break between the Motorhead thing and the next part of the tour. We can't say for sure, yet.

MM: Have you got any ideas for who you might like to take out there with you?

WW: We've tossed a couple things around. We had talked about doing some dates in Europe with Eyehategod but I dont know if that's going to happen or not, but I wouldn't mind it. I'd kinda like to go out with High on Fire. I like that new High on Fire record. We'll just see. I dont know. We haven't asked nobody and nobody's asked us, so, Hell, I dont know.

MM: You know who's out there now, making his rounds that I always thought would be a killer show with ya'll... that's Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society.

WW: Well, yeah. That's another thing... cuz see, they're doing this European thing and I know he and Pepper had talked about it, maybe us going and doing some Europe stuff together and maybe come back to the States, but Hell, they're going to be busy with that Ozzfest thing, too, so I don't know if that's going to wind up panning out, but Zakk Wylde would be fun as hell!

MM: What are some of the bands you're listening to now that are catching your ear?

WW: Well, let's see... Hell, I don't know. There ain't much, to be honest with ya. It just depends. Not much new stuff. Every once in awhile something pops up. I jammed on Mastadon a little bit. The new High on Fire is pretty bad. Half the time I'll just stick on an old Melvins album and jam out to it.

MM: You also mentioned Ozzfest. There's been some chatter on the new COC board [www.coc.com], the possibility of COC doing something like Ozzfest. What do you think about that?

WW: About doing Ozzfest? Nah, I dont think so, I mean, you know, I doubt it. Nah [laughs].

MM: You doubt it would happen or you doubt you'd want to?

WW: Well, maybe just a little of both. I mean, if they did holler up and say 'Hey, ya'll wanna do this?' I mean, it just seems it's a little corporate.

MM: A little?

WW: I dont want to shatter anybody's... whatever. I, mean, Hell, I've been to a couple Ozzfests.

MM: I've been to a couple, but the last few... not worth the price of admission to go through what you have to go through. There are 3 or 4 good bands and the rest is the same Mtv/radio/same...

WW: I always call them 'Hot Topic metal.'

MM: That term comes up a lot! 'Mall metal'! [laughter]

MM: I guess the last thing I want to get to is: What do you want to say? What's on your mind? [laughter]

WW: That's always the toughest one [laughs]! Right now, just guzzling beer [laughter]...

MM: I was gonna say... 'besides that?'

WW: I don't know, man, just getting everything together for this tour and making sure it's gonna be a good show. Pepper's showing up tomorrow night...

MM: Yeah, he's been in Europe, hasnt he?

WW: He did go to Europe. He went over there for about a week and did all that shit, then the day after he got back, me and Mike flew down to New Orleans and did the video, and now he's coming up here, so he hasn't had any time. It's been kind of a whirlwind the last couple of weeks because we just got done with the record, getting it finished up, mastering and rehearsing. It's been kind of crazy, but we're getting all settled in now, so it'll be alright. Man, 'ol Jason has been kicking it! Last night, me and him and Mike jammed and he was on it, big time! Some of the old stuff... we've got a couple of oldies but goodies in the set. A little 'Seven Days' and 'Senor Limpio,' bullshit like that.

MM: Well, so far, everything I've heard about the new one has been positive.

WW: That's unusual [laughs]!

MM: Well, I'm gonna let you go finish your beers...

WW: Yeah, I'm gonna get back in here and drink 1 or 2 more...

MM: 1 or 2?

WW: Yeah... why not [laughs]?

Woody WeathermanSusan Wright3/8/2005

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