Crushing the status quo of heavy music, Corrosion of Conformity was one of the first punk/metal bands to defy dimensions put on their music and go for quality over loyalty to a genre. Though their sound is consistently metal they are never afraid to explore. It's unwise to predict where they will go next, but judging by the newest effort In the Arms of God, one can be assured new innovations will only improve C.O.C.'s brutal sound. I recently talked to front man, Pepper Keenan, about the influences, and new directions of this savagely metal band.
LP: WHAT DO WANT TO WANT TO TELL ME ABOUT YOUR NEW ALBUM?
Pepper: It rips. It's killer.
LP: IN THE CURRENT STATE OF METAL WHO DO YOU THINK IS DOING IT JUSTICE?
Pepper: My friends in Mastodon, and Matt Pike and High on Fire and COC are the ones I'm into.
LP: FROM OTHER INTERVIEWS I'VE READ I'VE GOTTEN THE IMPRESSION THAT YOU THINK THOSE ARTISTS SHOULD SPEND LESS TIME ON THEIR IMAGE AND MORE TIME ON THEIR ART. HAS ANYONE IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY EVER TRIED TO MAKE YOU CONFORM TO AN IMAGE?
Pepper: No, I've pretty much been what I am since I was fifteen. Which I guess is an image in itself, you know?
LP: SURE, AND THEY'RE LUCKY THEY DIDN'T TRY. THE NEW ALBUM INCORPORATES A LOT OF IDEAS, SUCH AS THE USE OF A HAMMOND ORGAN, WHAT LEAD YOU IN THESE NEW DIRECTIONS?
Pepper: We do whatever seems necessary for the songs. We don't try to control these things. If it sounds
cool with a damn Hammond organ, fuck it it's going to have a damn Hammond organ. That's how
musicians are, to a degree.
LP: I'VE HEARD YOU OWN A BAR IN NEW ORLEANS, WHAT IS THAT LIKE?
Pepper: It's cool man. It's a classic old New Orleans joint. I spend a lot of time trying to keep real New
Orleans bands booked. You can count these kinds of bars on one hand; they're disappearing pretty
quickly. We're keeping it real, and not a lot of heavy stuff is there, but a lot of classic New Orleans old
LP: HAVING GROWN UP IN NEW ORLEANS WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT THE TOWN?
Pepper: That it's allowed me to be who I am today. It's a pretty wide-open place. It'll get ya though.
LP: CORROSION OF CONFORMITY HAS ALWAYS BEEN VASTLY MULTI-LAYERED. HOW DO YOU AVOID BEING ONE DIMENSIONAL LIKE SO MANY METAL BANDS?
Pepper: I think it's because we explore so many types of music. I listen to anything from fucking blue grass to the Dead Kenney's and everything in between. That's one thing about growing up in a town like New Orleans you're surrounded by a lot of different styles of music, consistently. It's not necessarily that we play all those kinds of music, but we have an open ear. That broadens your horizons, and we've always thought outside the box. We use that to our advantage.
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY
5/31/2005 - Interview by Alex