Legendary American heavy 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 vocalist Philip H. Anselmo. Keenan has not performed on a COC album since 2005’s classic “In The Arms Of God”, but has recently rejoined C.O.C. with plans to make new music.
THE METAL DEN’s Randy “Rocket” Cody has conducted a phone interview with guitarist Woody Weatherman Of CORROSION OF CONFORMITY for his loyal Den Headz around the globe.
ROCKET: How’s life been treating you?
WOODY: I’m doing good, man. We’re getting ready to hit the road.
ROCKET: Woody, do you come from a family with a musical background?
WOODY: You know, yeah, dude… my old man is a musician, he’s a guitar player. And he played various other instruments, so yeah I kinda grew about around all that stuff. And the ‘granddads’ played.. so I guess it kinda ran in the family.
ROCKET: Do you recall your first rock concert?
WOODY: Jefferson Starship. (Laughs) I dunno… second was probably Ozzy.
ROCKET: Was that when Ozzy was with Randy Rhoads?
WOODY: I bought tickets for Ozzy when Randy was still alive. And he died before the concert and Brad Gillis was the guitar player on that tour and I was about 16 years old – and yeah… Brad Gillis was the guitar player. And they played pretty much all Sabbath… like half their set.
ROCKET: When did you first start playing the electric guitar?
WOODY: The old man had bought me an acoustic guitar. It was one of several he had.. and I never quite took to it. And so I asked him one day if I could get an electric guitar. I was 15. My first electric guitar was a Gibson S-1 and I still have it but it’s a real hunk of shit. (Laughs) But yeah, I still have that guitar!
ROCKET: I was going to ask you later, but what are you playing currently live and in the studio?
WOODY: I been playing ESP past twenty years. But yeah, I got three guitars. And they are getting kinda old. I hope they don’t ever wear out on me. (Laughs)
ROCKET: It’s hard to get rid of something you are used to.
WOODY: I tell you what… and you know, I got to thinking about what I would do if these guitars got broken or something.. what the hell am I gonna do? I’d have to give up guitar, man! (Laughs)
ROCKET: Do you have any sponsors from equipment companies?
WOODY: No, you know none of us are really big on that. But I gotta give a shout out to Dean Markley strings. They make a solid fucking string!
ROCKET: Let’s talk about CORROSION OF CONFORMITY. How has it been having Pepper back in the lineup?
WOODY: It’s been awesome. For me to get to go back and play some of these songs, you know, from the Deliverance album, Wiseblood, you know.. and a couple tracks off Blind… Volume Dealer, In The Arms Of God, it’s a real pleasure to revisit those… and just play them live. It means a lot!
ROCKET: C.O.C. is now signed to Nuclear Blast Records, correct? How has that relationship been working out so far?
WOODY: Yeah, man we are stoked about that. They really got a team together, man. They got a helluva damn roster. A good stable of bands. Good people to work with. I don’t know.. couldn’t ask for anything else.
ROCKET: What is the songwriting process for the new album?
WOODY: We’re still kinda in the infancy on this. You know we play some new riffs out at sound check. We been out on the road quite a bit. Yeah, we’re just starting to touch base on that stuff. The way we’ve always done it is.. everyone has a riff. We all show up… someone will have a riff, me or Mike or whatever.. show it to somebody and they go “Oh, man, I got this part that will fit right on that thing”, you know? (Laughs) It’s like… a lot of songs happen like that.
ROCKET: How does the recording process work at this point?
WOODY: Whenever we roll in… you know before we would wrangle over guitar tones… you know, move mics.. shit like that. We’re still working with John Custer who has been with us since the Blind record.. and has done everything with us since. We kinda figured out if you roll in and set up, you know what your shit sounds like. If eight minutes later it ain’t happening on tape, you know, you’re doing something wrong.
ROCKET: What is the one piece of advice you’d give someone starting out today in the rock n roll biz?
WOODY: Gig. Get out and play shows. When you get your riffs together, you gotta hit the road!
ROCKET: So what kind of touring do y’all have planned for when the new album drops?
WOODY: Well right now we’re cutting out on this tour next with Brant Bjork from Kyuss and Fu Manchu, he’s coming along with us.. and a great band out of the Bay area called Saviours. And Mothership out of Dallas. So yeah, we’re doing another loop around the United States. And then little bit of time between now and start of new year we will work on material. Do a few festivals and a bunch of other stuff in Europe. We’re doing that Desert Fest in London!
ROCKET: Thanks for rocking this out with me. Best of luck with your music. Any last words for the fans?
WOODY: Appreciate everybody! Thanks to everyone for still hanging in there with us. Hope to see everybody out on the road here shortly.