CORROSION OF CONFORMITY has confirmed the return of drummer Stanton Moore for its upcoming album. The "brutal-sounding" follow-up to 2018's "No Cross No Crown" is tentatively due in 2024.
In an interview with Eonmusic ahead of the kick-off of CORROSION OF CONFORMITY's European tour in Dublin, bassist Mike Dean and guitarist Woody Weatherman spoke about the loss of drummer Reed Mullin, who passed away in January 2020.
"It's a shock when you really realize [that he's gone for good]", said Dean. "Yeah, it was kind of a shock, yeah. Such an important musical contributor. Definitely an innovator. You can't replace him, for sure."
Added Weatherman: "Nobody really plays like Reed. But it's all part of moving forward. We miss him."
On the decision to bring back Moore, who played on 2005's "In The Arms Of God", the pair were enthusiastic.
"We've been down to New Orleans and had a little writing session," Dean said. "We got together and picked it up pretty much where we left off." Weatherman added: "We turned the embers over a couple of times, rebuilding the fire."
On what Moore is bringing to proceedings, Mike said: "He's amped to do it, and he's got his indomitable style, so that's a good way to follow up the last one, for sure."
On how the drummer came to be involved once again, Woody said: "He kind of spearheaded it, if recollection is clear, because him and Pepper [Keenan, guitar/vocals], they both live in New Orleans. He expressed his interest, and we were, like, 'Yes, that would be awesome, if, you know, if you got the time.' I mean, we'll make up time and we'll do it."
As for the sound of the album so far, Mike offered: "It's hard to say. I think you'll hear some new ideas, but I think you'll hear a little bit of the 'In The Arms Of God' vibe because that's where we're picking up with, in terms of jamming with Stanton. And he'll have his Stantonisms."
Weatherman added: "It's pretty brutal sounding. We're jamming a couple up that show promise. I mean, you never know what will happen."
Read the entire interview at Eonmusic.
When Dean first confirmed to MetalSucks last November that Moore would appear on the upcoming effort, he said: "History repeats itself all these years later. Stanton played on 'In The Arms Of God', and I think he's going to be working with us again for the next record. Having him aboard, I think you need to get a little nerdy to describe it because Stanton has got his own particular way that he wants to play. He wants to play kick drums in his jazzy way and likes to have the drums heads up front, so it's more of a traditional-sounding thing. And all of Stanton's fills are very second-line sounding, and he has these little phrases that are unique to him."
When asked if Stanton will join CORROSION OF CONFORMITY as a permanent replacement for Reed Mullin, Dean said: "Stanton is a different animal than Reed — we learned that back when we did 'In The Arms Of God' — and he brings an entirely new dynamic to the band. Stanton will take these straight, New Orleans-influenced, second-line things and throw them into a metal song; there's no stopping it. If you've seen Stanton Moore with GALACTIC, you'll know what I'm talking about. He's got his take, man. He's a character. But this isn't like Stanton joining the band per se, and I'm not sure that he would come out on the road and play with us because he's busy. It's more that Stanton is a good friend of ours, and we love working with him when we can when our schedules all sync up. Plus, Pepper and Stanton have known each other since they were little. It felt right to do another album with him because we loved what he did on 'In The Arms Of God', and we wanted to make this first record after Reed passed special. So, stay tuned, and we'll see how it all comes out."
Last October, Keenan told Guitar World that he still loves "No Cross No Crown". "It was a really fun experience to do and the last thing we did with Reed, unfortunately. So, it holds a special place in my heart. We're very happy with it."
Mullin died in January 2020 at the age of 53. The drummer, who co-founded CORROSION OF CONFORMITY in 1982 as a hardcore punk act alongside guitarist Woody Weatherman and Dean, had missed a number of shows in the preceding four years due to a variety of health issues, including an alcohol-related seizure he suffered back in June 2016.
Asked how Reed's passing affected him and the rest of CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, Pepper told Guitar World: "We lost our left arm. It was very hard to find a drummer. We have John Green [on tour with us], who is fantastic, but you just can't replace people like that. Other people have gone through it, too — but it's not easy. You spend decades with a person writing, and you don't even have to look at them; it just comes out. This was the first time we had to regroup in a long time and try to do it with a different drummer. We've got that figured out, so now we're getting ready to focus on that."
In 2014, after nearly a straight decade traversing the globe as a guitarist with New Orleans supergroup DOWN, Pepper reconnected with the core CORROSION OF CONFORMITY trio of Weatherman, Dean and Mullin to hit the road hard. "Reed called me and mentioned maybe playing a couple shows," Keenan recalled back in 2017. "I said, 'Let's just go to Europe and see if it works.' So we went to Europe and then ended up going back four times in one year... We toured for a year and then started tracking."
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY recorded "No Cross No Crown" in about forty days over the course of a year at a North Carolina studio with longtime producer John Custer.