July 19, 2024

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Legendary American metal band CORROSION OF CONFORMITY was formed in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1982 by bassist Mike Dean and guitarist Woody Weatherman. COC has seen many lineup changes over the years – but the one thing that remains a constant is the love they have for making great music. At their height in the 90’s and early 2000’s the band was fronted by Pepper Keenan, who at the same time formed DOWN with ex-PANTERA legend Philip H. Anselmo. Keenan has not performed on a COC album since 2005’s classic “In The Arms Of God”, and it’s still never been made clear what his future with the band will be. In 2012, COC released a self-titled album that featured Dean on both bass and lead vocals. Now in 2014, the three piece COC – Dean, Weatherman, and Mullin – are ready to unleash more rocking tunes with a brand new album that is sure to keep the longtime diehards happy and earn them more fans all across the world.

The Metal Den’s Randy “Rocket” Cody has conducted an EXCLUSIVE interview with bassist/vocalist Mike Dean of CORROSION OF CONFORMITY for TMD’s loyal following of DEN HEADZ!

Rocket Rules!
Rocket ROCKS!!

ROCKET: Where were you born and raised?

MIKE: Missouri. I lived all over. Then when I was about three years old my parents asked me if I liked cowboys… and I said, “Sure, I do…” and they said, “Well, we’re gonna move out west to Nebraska and there’s gonna be cowboys. And then when I got there… there wasn’t no damn cowboys. (Laughs) When I was a teenager I moved to North Carolina and that’s pretty much where I’ve lived since.

ROCKET: Did you grow up in a musical family?

MIKE: I grew up where there was a lot of music being played. My brother played guitar. You know, I had older siblings with record collections.

ROCKET: Do you recall your first rock concert?

MIKE: It was Blue Öyster Cult. You know, it was like, I told my mom, “Hey, mom, I’m gonna be hanging out at the neighbors house.” Told her I might be a little late. (Laughs) Pulled it off!


ROCKET: When did you first start playing bass?

MIKE: I first tried to play guitar. I was not very focused, you know, didn’t have the attention span. I didn’t pick up the bass until I was a teenager. I listened to the bass on albums, I was clued into it.. but I never thought to play it until later on I met some people that wanted to make a band and they told me that I should play bass. I thought about John Paul Jones and Geezer Butler.. and how bad ass they were. I thought I could try that.

You know I met some guys in the music store when I was buying a bass cabinet and they were like “Well, why don’t you come jam with us, dude.” They were these black dudes. I was like “I don’t play very well.” And they said “No, you should come and jam with us!” And you know, they found out I was right. (Laughs) They were into all this wild stuff like James “Blood” Ulmer, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Funkadelic. They were these crazy ‘unclassifiable’ dudes. Then they were like “Hey, do you want this bass head?” I said “That belongs to your bass player..”. And they said, “No, he’s locked up.” So they gave me this custom bass head with this bright blue light and now I had my rig complete.. so they kinda hooked up COC! A little while after that I hooked up with some guys I met in Charlotte. We came here down to Raleigh, NC where we’d always see punk rock shows, bands like Black Flag and Bad Brains.

We would end up getting put on big shows with Suicidal Tendencies, you know when Louiche Mayorga was in the band, Rocky, those guys… that was quite an eye opening experience.


ROCKET: Now you also took over the lead vocal duties for COC after Pepper Keenan vacated the spot by remaining with DOWN, I loved the job you did on COC’s self-titled album from 2012. If Pepper wanted to return to COC in the future would that be something you guys would be open to or is that door pretty much closed at this point?

MIKE: No, it’s totally open. It’s something we have been trying to make happen.. but it’s difficult now with schedules… with (Pepper) doing the big DOWN juggarnaut thing… but yeah, hopefully we can get something together. We are open to whatever comes.


ROCKET: Switching gears, COC will release a new album on July 1st. What is the title of the record and how many songs?

MIKE: The title of the record is “IX” because it is our 9th studio album. There are apparently eleven tracks on it. One of them is an instrumental piece.

ROCKET: Who produced it and where was it recorded?

MIKE: We have John Custer on, for quality control. He’s a good idea guy, in terms of a certain level of ‘ear candy’.. there are compositions. But you know sometimes he offers a perspective that helps. He kinda eggs our performances on. And we did it all here in Raleigh.

ROCKET: What record label is putting it out?

MIKE: Candlelight Records. Yeah, they came back for some more. So we obliged.


ROCKET: COC shot a music video for the new track “On Your Way” on June 10th. When does it officially release and what can fans expect?

MIKE: I know that we have quite a bit of work to do on it. There’s an arty part that involved band peformance and then there’s some completely insane conceptual stuff that we came up with the director who claims he’s gonna ‘try’ and do it.. which I’ve never had happen before because I was always told doing that kind of thing cost too much. “Oh, it’ll cost twenty million dollars…” And this guy is like “Okay, cool!” It’s being done by the same director of DOWN’s videos. It should be out when the album releases.

ROCKET: Hey, it’s the 20th anniversary of PANTERA’s Far Beyond Driven album… coming up this December will mark 10 years since DIMEBAG was shot and killed on the stage by a mentally ill ex-Marine.
Now how many times did COC tour with PANTERA?

MIKE: I think we only been on tour with PANTERA one time. It was the last time we were in Australia, New Zealand… where we are about to go in a few weeks. Umm, we did some one offs with them. You now that was an unusual institution. Never equaled before or since. It’s just one of those things that came out of nowhere. Just confused all the experts and the music industry, you know what I mean?

ROCKET: I sure do, Mike! Thanks very much for rocking this out with me. It’s an honor! Best of luck with your music! Any final words for the fans?

MIKE: Thanks for all the support over the years! See you out at a COC show!!