So far, 2020 has been a cruel mistress as the reaper has claimed several giants of the drumming world. One that hits us particularly hard is the sudden death of Wiliam “Reed” Mullin of Corrosion of Conformity, at the young age of 53. Reed was not only a stellar drummer and musician, but he was also almost universally loved by the Hardcore Punk, Thrash Metal, Doom and Stoner Rock community, which is both amazing and insane. It just goes to show the talent Reed had and the breadth of different styles he helped encompass with C.O.C. Equal to his impact on record and behind the drumkit and the microphone, Mullin impacted a ton of people in the scene with his kindness and sense of humor. Continue reading
We have sad news to report at this hour as Corrosion of Conformity co-founder and legend Reed Mullin has died after an illness. He was just 53 years old. News starting hitting social media earlier today as tributes from his friends and peers, followed by his band started to trend. We are saddened by this loss to the music world and will bring you more news as it develops. We’re sending our sympathies at this hour to Reed, family, band, friends, and fans. Continue reading
The news of returning vocalist and guitarist Pepper Keenan to Corrosion of Conformity made waves across the heavy music world over a year ago. Keenan spent his time playing guitar in Down, while guitarist Woodroe “Woody” Weatherman and bassist Mike Dean reunited with drummer Reed Mullin in 2010 (the Animosity lineup) to record 2012’s Corrosion of Conformity and 2014’s II, and the 2012 free EP Megalodon via Scion AV.
This version found themselves touring and reacquainting with longtime fans, which took them through Knotfest. Following this appearance, the band is feeling good and gave longtime Southern California fans their first look at this lineup since their hiatus in 2006.
“That was totally Slipknot who that hooked us up on this. It came straight from the fucking band,” said Keenan, talking about getting onto the festival.
“They wanted COC, and which was an awesome thing. I’ve known those guys and the fact that they asked us weirdo rednecks to do this…it’s great. That carries a lot of weight. We’ve had a lot of friends support this thing. It’s been awesome.”
Having Keenan on stage with them did bring back old memories from the Deliverance and Wiseblood eras, and helped stimulate the energy on stage. Longtime fans were reunited with songs from that time period that were not played for some time.
“I think people are stoked to hear those songs they need to hear. I fucking love playing them. All of those classic tunes, from the Blind album and Deliverance all the way up,” said Weatherman.
“We’re in a weird situation because we haven’t played together in so long. What band gets that opportunity to get back out there and get so much help from fans and other bands hooking us up. So it’s really fucking cool. The songs still work. They work fucking great.”
“We’re on tour with Clutch right now. We’re using this time to get our heads together and [figure out] where do we go from here,” added Keenan.
Were there any songs from that era that they rediscovered from that era that they hadn’t performed as much? “I’ve got all the demos. There’s a song off from the Deliverance era that’s pretty strong. We probably won’t do them but the energy is there. It’s a good thing. You have to progress a little bit. I don’t go backwards,” said Keenan.
“We don’t go backwards but we still have riffs around. Shit we’ve had for a long time like ‘fuck! Why didn’t we use that? I don’t know…’,” added Weatherman.
Keenan said the four members were in touch during the time apart, even though each were doing their own respective things. “Yeah. It was a long time coming. We kept it on a lo-key thing and waited until the moment was right. We went to Europe this summer, not knowing what to expect. We went back a few times.”
So did the time apart make their bond stronger? “I think the one locking element was the songs. Playing the songs, done them, and do them again the next day. It’s all good. We’re having a good time.”
Since his time in Down, Keenan had not sang a note with a band in some time. Getting reacquainted with that role, he talked about how he worked himself back into that position.
“I hadn’t sang in 15 years. Literally. I had to fall back into it. Remember the words and write them down and then go from there.”
“Double up the Coors Light!,” joked Weatherman, with a huge laugh.
Plus with Dean handling vocals for the trio version of COC, would they somehow work the two members in to both doing vocals on future material?
“It’s possible,” said Keenan.
“When we did it in the past, it was on Deliverance – the title track on that. We all join in. We fill in where we can,” added Weatherman.
Even Mullin, where he shared his vocal skills on the Teenage Time Killers album, may make an appearance behind the mic. “He sings every night a little bit,” said Weatherman.
Speaking of Mullin, the appearance also marked his return, and had not performed with this incarnation since 2001. Having him back in the fold also added a spark that fans often missed throughout that era. Weatherman shared his thoughts on him.
“Yeah this is really…Pepper’s talking 15 years – that’s how long it’s been since all four of us – this four piece has been since ’01 or 2000-whatever it was because Reed split for a while. So it’s nice. It’s the real deal and we’re back up.”
Weatherman talked about how doing the trio brought out the punk rock side of COC, and finding a side of their sound that was overshadowed by their melodic riff driven sounds of the recent years.
“We knew all along that sooner or later we’d be back with [Pepper] Keenan doing his shit. So we’re doing a little punk rock here and there and playing some old shit,” he said.
“I’ll be honest…I want to combine some of those elements now because we’re there, where playing wise we’re going into manic crazy shit or whatever. I like the energy of whatever they did and the last album, In The Arms of God was a pretty strong record. That’s a catalyst for us,” added Keenan, praising the energy created by the trio during his time away, and possibly hinting where the new material could head towards.
As for a new record, the band has signed a new recording deal with Nuclear Blast and talks about a new album began to surface. Keenan gave their status on this and how far along they were on when such a thing would see the light of day.
“The main thing is gelling and playing together. It’s a different situation and now the riffs will start to come out. We’ll start to get organized. It’s a tall order there. It ain’t gonna be no half assed bullshit.”
By Rei Nishimoto
Portland riff rockers Red Fang have been powering through on the road and continuing to push their latest album Whales and Leeches. Their latest venture took them through Knotfest in Devore, CA where they were greeted with a swarm of fans for their early set time.
Being that it is a bit over two years since the release of their current album, they have stretched the lifespan of the release beyond where they had thought it could possible reach.
“It was October of 2013 when it came out so it’s about two years. This is the last tour we’re doing on it. We’re trying to play some smaller cities and cities we haven’t played in a long time. We wanted to get out with some of our favorite bands Whores and Wild Throne and take those guys out. We’ve been writing some new songs and we wanted to try some of those songs out on the tour. We didn’t play them today (Knotfest) because it was a shorter set, but on the rest of the tour we’re doing three to four new songs,” said bassist Aaron Beam, talking about where they stand today.
He talked playing Knotfest and how different it is playing an American festival versus the numbers of European festivals Red Fang had participated on over the years.
“Most of the people at Knotfest speak English! They speak English at most of the festivals in Europe too. I feel more comfortable speaking to the audience here and feeling like they understand me. Besides that, generally festivals are festivals and they’re pretty similar,” he said.
During their 2011 release Murder The Mountains, Red Fang took part on the Rockstar Mayhem Festival tour across North America and played in front of crowds largely geared towards the younger, modern metalcore oriented audiences. Now fast forward to 2015, Beam talked about how playing Knotfest differs from back then.
“I think the lineup today was a bit more varied than Mayhem was the year that we did it. I know Mayhem changes up but the year we did it there was lots and lots of metalcore and more thrash bands. We were the only band that was a rock band. Today was good. It seemed like people were more locked in.”
He also talked about public awareness growing over the years and fans becoming much more saavy with the Fang helped sway them in their favor.
“That’s it too. More people know about us now. Almost any time you go to see a band cold and you’ve never heard of them before, you’re not going to be thrashing around. You’re going to be paying attention and listening, especially when it’s something so different from everything else during the day.”
Recently, Red Fang has released a new seven inch single on Volcom Recordings with two covers – an Elvis Presley and the theme song for the popular 1980s television series Fraggle Rock, reinterpreted by the band.
“There’s two covers on the Volcom seven inch. There’s the Elvis cover which is only the lyrics are the same. The song is an old couple of riffs that we’ve never figured out how to turn it into a song before. Then there’s also a cover of a song from that TV show Fraggle Rock, which is similarly lyrics and an old song that I wrote from before Red Fang even existed that we modified and turned it into a track that worked with that vocal melody,” he explained.
Beam himself took part on the Teenage Time Killers’ record Teenage Time Killers: Greatest Hits Vol. 1 on a song titled “Your Empty Soul,” which he also involved Corrosion of Conformity drummer Reed Mullin. He talked about how he got involved in this project.
“It was actually through this guy Sean Cox, who’s a tech for the Foo Fighters. Several of the Foo Fighters crew live up in Portland. So Sean was helping us out with some guitar problems and we were just hanging out and he asked me if I would mind if he put me in touch with Lou, who engineered the thing. I was like ‘yeah…’ “
“Reed was originally thinking of having Pepper [Keenan] sing on that track but something happened and Pepper couldn’t do it. So it was like ‘you know what would be cool is if we got that guy Aaron from Red Fang.’ I think it was like Reed mentioned it and then Lou talked to Sean, and then Sean talked to me and that’s how it came together.”
While he enjoyed working on the song, he missed his one chance at performing it live at a recent one time show in Los Angeles.
“No I’ve never played it. That was my chance I guess with the concert that they did (Teenage Time Killers at Henry Fonda Theater) in LA but there was no way for me to make it down. Juggling kids and being on tour was real hard. That was a weekend I wasn’t available. Hopefully they’ll do another one and I can do it. I love the idea and I want to actually perform the song once.”
While Beam and the Red Fang guys experienced a lot during this album cycle, he shared some of the highlights he experienced throughout the past few years.
“This last tour with Whores and Wild Throne was big. That was one of the funnest US tours we’ve done. I also loved that tour we’d done with Big Business and American Sharks earlier, and we did a tour right in the beginning with Helms Alee, Wild Throne and a band before them called Gaytheist. Those were all super fun US tours.”
“The highlight of show for me was…and we’ve played a lot of really good shows. But the one that really was the most memorable from this album was Hellfest in France. It was the third time we’ve played it and we’ve got a pretty decent main stage slot. I would say conservatively there were 25,000 people watching us play, and they were not just standing there. It was packed and people were rocking out all the way to the back of the crowd. It was amazing. It was so fun.”
“Lots of times there’s something about the energy of an intimate club you can’t capture on a big huge festival stage like that. But with that many people it was awesome. Maybe we’ll never get to do that again but that’s really memorable.”
They met a lot of high profile names along the way, and many were not necessarily from the heavy music world. One person they met was David Letterman, where they had a rare opportunity to perform on his television show – Late Night With David Letterman – before he retired earlier in the year.
“That was on this album cycle! It seems like so long ago,” said Beam, suddenly remembering this moment. “That was an amazing experience. It was one of those things where I didn’t feel nervous until they started taping the episode. Once they tape it there’s no stopping. It feels like when you’re climbing to the top of a huge waterslide or you’re about to skydive. You know you’re committed. There’s nothing you can do – you have to do it. You’re terrified when you do it and as soon as you do it, you want to do it again. It was exactly like that. It was awesome.”
They also got to work with actor and musician Fred Armisen, who appeared in their music video for ‘Blood Like Cream.’ “He played in a band called Trenchmouth in the 90s that my kids’ mom they used to play shows together, like way back when. She knows him from the music world before he was on TV at all. Pretty interesting.”
Lastly, Beam talked about a new Red Fang also in the work, following the conclusion of their touring cycle.
“Yeah for sure. We’ve already got three songs that are totally done, and we’ve got pieces of…I don’t know…30 more songs worth of material. We’ve got to start as soon as we get back from this tour we’re gonna lock in and start bashing out the songs and turning them into finishing them. We have studio time tentatively booked for end of February or beginning of March.”
“We’re really buckling down now. These tour things come up and A) you’ve got to make money and B) we wanted to try out these songs on the road as well and dial them in a little bit better and see how they’re working. That really helped a lot.”
He gave a preview of the new material that is in the process of becoming the new Red Fang album. “You’ll probably be able to find some YouTube videos of some of the new songs. We’ve played them on this whole tour. One of them is called ‘The Shadows’ and it’s actually on this seven inch we’ve already put out. We’ll do an updated version of it.”
“There’s a new song that I’m super excited about that we’re playing on this last tour that’s kind of a slower, a little dirtier songs but it has this more Russian Circles kind of thing that happens half way through it. It’s got some surprises.”
“We’re still experimenting and branching out and trying new things always. It’s clearly going to be a Red Fang record but with some stuff you haven’t heard before.”
Since the release of his book Dark Days: A Memoir and his band Lamb of God’s latest album VII: Sturm und Drang, frontman Randy Blythe has spoken about many subjects pertaining to his life. One area that he has spoken about is his connection to the punk rock world and how the music often helped him through tough time periods throughout his life.
He explains how he became connected to the punk rock world:
“Some of that was from teenage angst. Some of that was that I was different. I didn’t really fit in with the standard cliques in high school with the jocks or the popular people. When I was really young I tried to get along with everyone but it was always too weird. At a young age of 12, I discovered the Sex Pistols. Then from there, it moved onward.”
“Punk rock music as an older person and music in general now has done so much to help me deal with life, emotionally and mentally. At times it helps me process things.”
Within his book, Blythe often referenced various songs, where the lyrical content guided him through the tough periods when he was imprisoned at Pankrac in the Czech Republic. Much like how his fans often share how his lyrics and music help them, he also got to share what his heroes’ music meant to him.
“There’s three bands that really had songs stuck in my head when I was in prison – one was ‘London Dungeon’ and the other was ‘Attitude’ by Bad Brains. The other was ‘Rise Above’ by Black Flag. Henry Rollins I got to tell, [Glenn] Danzig I got to tell, Darryl Jenifer I got to tell them how much their songs meant to me in prison. That’s a pretty special thing because I knew those guys. I know some of the guys in Black Flag. I’m friends with Darryl and it’s pretty awesome to look at someone and go ‘your music helped me get through a tough time.’
“As a musician, I get that a lot from fans. Naturally it would be a compliment I could give to them, now that the book is out. I’ve had several people tell me ‘your book is really helping me put things in perspective.’ I think it’s valuable for people to try and it’s impossible to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes unless you do it. You consider someone else’s perspective and their experience and then look at it in relation to your own. You learn from that. It can make things not so bad.“
“The whole punk thing, I think it enabled me to survive, like I said until I discovered it and the people who hung out in that scene who marched to the beat of the people that bought into marching for themselves. I just felt really around. The music felt more like a community and always faithful for it.“
On a positive note, his love of punk rock was reciprocated to where he took part as one of the many vocalists on the Teenage Time Killers album, Teenage Time Killers: Greatest Hits Vol. 1, where he got to perform at their one time show in Los Angeles back in September 2015 as well. Even though he spoke about this prior to it happening, he was genuinely excited about it.
“The Teenage Time Killers show I’m really stoked on. That’s me becoming friends with guys playing in bands when I was in high school. That’s Reed [Mullin] from COC (Corrosion of Conformity) and Animosity was a hugely important record for me growing up. Reed and Mike Dean’s vocals were a big influence on me.”
“It’s an honor to be asked to sing on that record and to be treated as a peer by some guys who made some good music that shaped me into what I am. I’m super excited because the show is shortly after tour. I was debating not doing it because I needed a break. I’ve been out for months at that point. I talked to my wife and was like ‘are you crazy? Mike Dean is going to be there. You should go do it.’ So I’m gonna go do that.”
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Teenage Time Killers, the supergroup put together by Mick Murphy (My Ruin) and Reed Mullen (COC) is putting on a one-off all-star concert in Los Angeles on September 12th. Featuring many of the big names that make up each of the tracks of Greatest Hits Vol 1, (Rise Records) taking the stage with Murphy and Mullen will be Randy Blythe, Corey Taylor, Neil Fallon, Lee Ving, Tommy Victor, Vic Bondi, Phil Rind, Ron Beam, Tony Foresta, Clifford Dinsmore, Tairrie B. Murphy, Jonny Webber, Greg Anderson, Pat “Atom Bomb” Loed, Karl Agell, and Trenton Rogers. Tickets are already on sale at this link:
Have you ever heard an album so good you thought it was made just for you? Like someone reached into the great boombox in your brain and pulled out just what you wanted to hear? Well, Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (Rise Records) by Teenage Time Killers is that album for me. If you have yearned for some new tunes to come along and kick your ass back to 1988, then this music is for you. Masterminded by Mick Murphy (My Ruin, and Reed Mullen (Corrosion of Conformity), the core band is rounded out by the ubiquitous Dave Grohl and chipping in everything except lead vocals and Greg Anderson (Sunn O)))/Goatsnake) and his mighty axe. In addition to a cavalcade of former and current stars from across punk and metal, it’s an ambitious attempt to turn the idea of a supergroup on its head.
Certainly, a lot of hype has gone on about the assembled players, especially the vocalists. If you re thinking of Grohl’s Probot project, you are not far off. That was Grohl paying tribute to his metal heroes. TTK is all about paying tribute to a certain mindset. An era when writing fun, smart songs that hit you where you live was the norm. Mullen has put his distinctive angry yelp on many C.O.C. albums and does a fine job here on the opening track ‘Exploder’ and on ‘The Dead Hand’. ‘Exploder’ is just a classic punk track with all the whoa-oh-ohs you can handle. Second track ‘Crowned by the Light of The Sun’ sounds like an early-era Clutch song and thus Neil Fallon is right at home singing over some stone grooves. The most blistering track here is the thrash/punk ‘Hung Out To Dry’. Randy Blythe (Lamb of God) just slays the track with his parts.
Following these first salvos the rest of the album is a tad uneven in a few places, but on repeated listens the entire thing holds together well. Jello Biafra is predictably pissed off in the too-short ‘Ode to Hannity’. ‘Barrio’ featuring Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio/Blink 182 has the second-best track on the album. It’s another fun old-school sing-a-long that is both fun and political. Mike IX (EyeHateGod), Tommy Victor (Prong/Danzig) and Tairrie B. Murphy (My Ruin) anchor the three of the remaining real standout tracks. While it’s great to have an album in 2015 with Lee Ving (Fear), Karl Agel (COC Blind/King Hitter) and Phil Rind (Sacred Reich) altogether, at times you wish the tracks were a little stronger. Although a little short of total greatness for all the meaningful names, Teenage Time Killers backed up having the stones to call this album Greatest Hits Vol 1.
Tairrie B (My Ruin, The LVRS, Teenage Time Killers) has released her first single from her return to hip-hop after a 20-plus year hiatus. ‘Beware the Crone’ dropped this week, as the first salvo from her new album Vintage Curses, releasing on August 14th. The track is a spooky slice of music, marked with her classic wordplay and deft rhyming skills. You can hear the song and watch the lyric video at this link or below:
The official video for ‘Beware The Crone’ is out on June 15th and was directed by Tairrie B herself. The track was co-produced by The Covenant (Tairrie B, Mick Murphy & Josh Lynch from Weapons of Mass Production) and can be downloaded for FREE www.tairrieb.bandcamp.com or Tairrie’s new website www.houseofcapricorn.com which officially launches on August 15th.
Tairrie was a ground-breaking West Coast rapper, and signed to CompTown/Ruthless Records in the late 80s. As a protegé to NWA’s Eazy-E, she released her critical and commercial smash The Power of A Woman album in 1990. Tairrie helped influence a generation of female artists across several different genres, a feat few artists can claim.
Teenage Time Killers will be releasing their long awaited release Greatest Hits Vol 1 on July 31, 2015 via Rise Records. The brainchild of Corrosion of Conformity drummer Reed Mullin, guitarist Mick Murphy (My Ruin, The Birds of Satan) and producer John “Lou” Lousteau, the project has released a track listing along with a breakdown of guest credits. All instrumental tracks on Greatest Hits Vol. 1 were recorded at Dave Grohl‘s 606 Studios in Northridge, California. The album was produced by Lousteau, Mullin and Murphy, engineered and mixed by Lousteau at 606 Studios.
Stream “Barrio” (with Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio) and “Hung Out To Dry” (with Randy Blythe of Lamb Of God) below.
Vocals: Reed Mullin
Featuring Pat Hoed (Bass), London May (Drums)
02. “Crowned By The Light Of The Sun”
Vocals: Neil Fallon
Featuring Jim Rota (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)
03. “Hung Out to Dry”
Vocals: Randy Blythe
Featuring Mike Schaefer (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)
04. “Power Outage”
Vocals: Clifford Dinsmore
Featuring Dave Grohl (Bass)
05. “Ode to Hannity”
Vocals: Jello Biafra
Featuring Mike Dean (Bass)
Vocals: Matt Skiba
Featuring Brian Baker (Guitar)
07. “The Dead Hand”
Vocals: Reed Mullin
Featuring Woody Weatherman (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)
Vocals: Corey Taylor
Featuring Dave Grohl (Bass)
09. “Plank Walk”
Vocals: Pete Stahl
Featuring Greg Anderson (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)
10. “Time To Die”
Vocals: Mike IX Williams
Featuring Greg Anderson (Guitar)
11. “Days Of Degradation”
Vocals: Tommy Victor
Featuring Dave Grohl (Bass)
Vocals: Tairrie B. Murphy
Featuring Dave Grohl (Bass)
13. “Big Money”
Vocals: Lee Ving
Featuring Pat Smear (Guitar & Bass), London May (Drums)
14. “Devil In This House”
Vocals: Karl Agell
Featuring Dave Grohl (Bass)
15. “Say Goodnight To The Acolyte”
Vocals: Phil Rind
Featuring Jason Browning (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)
16. “Ignorant People”
Vocals: Tony Foresta
Featuring Greg Anderson (Guitar), Nick Oliveri (Bass)
17. “Son Of An Immigrant”
Vocals: Johnny Weber
Featuring Brian Baker (Guitar)
18. “Your Empty Soul”
Vocals: Aaron Beam
19. “Bleeding To Death”
Vocals: Vic Bondi
Featuring Dave Grohl (Bass)
20. “Teenage Time Killer”
Vocals: Trenton Rogers
Featuring Greg Anderson (Guitar), Pat Hoed (Bass)
In a series of posts to Facebook, Tairrie B. Murphy, aka Tairrie B has revealed that she is working on her first full-length solo-album of original hip-hop music in over 20 years, titled Vintage Curses, planned for release as a Free Mixtape. No release date or other information is available at this time. Before her long and acclaimed career as a rock and metal artist with bands she has led such as Manhole (later Tura Satana), and My Ruin, Tairrie was a ground-breaking West Coast rapper, and signed to CompTown/Ruthless Records in the late 80s. As a protege to NWA’s Eazy-E, she released her critical and commercial smash The Power of A Woman album in 1990. Tairrie helped influence a generation of female artists across several different genres, a feat few artists can claim. Since shifting gears into heavy music in the early 90s, Tairrie has remained consistent with her album releases and touring since, while staying true to her roots while occasionally releasing rap singles, covers and collaborations, as well as her poetry project with her husband Mick Murphy, The LVRS. Tairrie will also appear on a project with Mick, the all-star Teenage Time Killers (Rise Records). On the future of My Ruin, she remarked:
“My Ruin is not over. As long as we are together, we will always be a band and if or when the time is right to play a show, tour or make another record again, we will. In the meantime, Mick has a few things he is busy working on behind the scenes and I am currently conjuring various elements and images to accompany my upcoming release which is coming soon.”
My Ruin’s last release was The Sacred Mood in 2013, and the band spent time touring Western Europe in 2014 to support that album.