Corrosion Of Conformity

Interview - Mike Dean


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After 3 long years, another interview with C.O.C.

Sam: So you had like a Spinal Tap thing goin' on with the door eh?
Mike: "yeah, yeah about five minutes before we were supposed to play this like, little sliding door woundn't open for the umteenth time, so I had to dismantle it with the bottle opener and then open it with the toenail trimmer."
Sam: (laughing) So it was a course in lock picking for the day...
Mike: "It was improvisational, and uh it worked pretty good, worked pretty well, got in there. It's hard to be just a 100 yards from where you're supposed to be, it's the 11th hour, and you can't get through a little door."
Sam: So you guys are coming back this way in January, is it going to be with the same opening bands?
Mike: "Well definately we're playing with Clutch and hopefully Clearlight will be playing with us, and uhh I guess Sixty Watt Shaman will be playing with us."
Dan: You guys got 2 more shows on this leg of the tour left?
Mike: "Only one, only Philadelphia."
Dan: Really? cool, so you'll be home for Christmas?
Mike: "Yes, already missed solstace man..."
Sam: (having a sudden revalation)...Oh yeah
Dan: Is that true what Pepper said (onstage) when he said that in this part of America you sell more C.O.C. albums than in any other part?
Mike: "I have no idea, I just play bass..."
Dan: Ok, works for me...
Mike: "I'm not much on the commerce end of things really."
Sam: I guess the most obvious question is, where have you guys been for the past 3 years?
Mike: "We were making alot of demos for our old record company that they didn't like, and they were just like 'make some more demos'. So we made some more demos, just kickin out, writtin' songs then making demos ourselves, recording ourselves in our basement. And uh, then having them say 'well, give us something else', so that process went on for awhile. It was like we're supposed to make a record, supposed to make a record, not making a record, pretty soon I'm like going out and getting a construction job...heh heh..."
Sam: Oh man...
Mike: "Eventually we did some stuff with Dante Ross, this producer that did a bunch of stuff with Everlast, he does alot of kinda hip hop stuff, and we did like three songs, it was incredibly expensive and they (the record company) didn't like that either. So then they let us go, which is good, they could've tied us up in limbo, so then we were free to persue other possibilities and we just went immediately and signed with Sanctuary. We got this rolling and that's been very interesting because they actually hurried us through the process which is kinda cool 'cause normally, you know you spend alot of time fine tuning it, then they take their time putting it out. You know like Sony had other priorities like Celine Dion..."
Dan: ugh, yikes
Mike: "and whatever their priorites were, so it's been a good situation for us"
Sam: I heard Sony/Columbia dropped all of their metal bands
Mike: "They have their eyes on extremely huge sales and 3-400,000 might seem like alot to me but, that's nothing to them, it's like a joke to them. To me it seems like an opportunity to make a living certainly, to make some money. What do I know? I just play bass."
Sam: So are any of those other songs you recorded ever going to surface somewhere?
Mike: "Yeah, some of them will 'cause we had alot of tunes and obviously they didn't all fit on one cd. There was a version of "Stare To Long", and a version of "Take What You Want", and a version of this other song called "Soup Line". I did't think we really got our money's worth with those producers anyway, they were doing like 5 or 6 things at once. They were doing the Getaway People and they were doing an Everlast remix. They had all these things going, they're like in New York recording your record and they're like on the phone talking to...the last record that they are still having to finnish and the next two that they are trying to set up. We got kinda spoiled working with Custer because he sort of focuses on us and takes time to take attention to detail, and gets things happenin'. These guys were kinda like 'so that's what you've got? ok'. They didn't make suggestions, they just kinda have ideas that they wanna ram down your throat, and the rest is kinda up to you. I don't think that stuff will come out, I didn't really care for those versions, it was a learning expirience."
Dan: Overall what do you think about the new album? Just basic reaction to it, sales or your own personal feelings about it.
Mike: "I think we're getting some good response to it, getting a little radio which is good, haven't really peeked at sales yet but it must be doing something because they want to do another single. Getting a better response from people than I thought, I thought alot of people would be kinda of alienated by the fact that there's like alot of different kinda stuff on there and it might not be what they expected exactly.
Sam: Freaked me out a little at first, but I'm getting used to it. The weird thing is, even though you have the same producer, the production on it sounds different from any other album you guys have done, there's less edge to it.
Mike: "2 reasons for that, one might be how fast we put it together, and also..."
*A peice of carrot flys across the bus* (Mike is making soup)
Sam: Flying carrots
Mike: "Nuclear cookery"
Mike: "The other reason might be that's the first time we ever recorded to a digital medium, alot of direct recording, alot of recording without a microphone. A couple songs we went strictly that route I guess uh, 'Take What You Want', 'Congradulations', a couple more. We did like a first batch of 3 or 4 like that, then we kinda decided...the next batch of songs, it was sounding a little too digital. So we went to like a cheap 24 track studio and we recorded like the drums and a couple guitar tracks direct to tape just to make it sound nice and hot. Then we transfered it to the computer. It was still a much different method of recording than we're used to that's probably why it sounded like that."
(Disscussion of how much Limp Bizkit sucks etc...)
Dan: I heard there was a ruckus at a show you guys were at...
Mike: "A ruckus?"
Dan: A ruckus involving a band from NJ called E Town Concrete
Mike: "Ah ha! Um, it's a tough thing to say something about that, it's kinda like as far as E Town or whatever they are called, it's kinda the same thing as the Bush presidency...if I ignore it, maybe it like won't lend any credence to the existence of something so evil..."
(Dan and Sam laughing their asses off)
Mike: "Or moronic, or just comically ridiculous."
Dan: You need to do that Sam...
Sam: You mean the president that's going into the white house that the majority of people didn't really vote for?
Mike: "yeah, yeah, the commander in thief...that E-Town band um, ok, we played a speedway, we played the Costal Plains Speedway in NC, right? So these guys...basically there were bands like Hatebreed and E-Town originally were supposed to be like playing on the bill, maybe headlining, somthing like that. Then they got us to play, and we're like 'this is a big show, there's alot of bands, frankly you're not like a very experienced promotor and we have to fly to Orlando in the morning to play, so we want to play at 9, we don't to play last, because these things run out of time and then we'll only have like 10 minutes to play or something will go wrong, so as long as we can be guaranteed that'. So the guy says ok, but then he never had the balls to tell the other acts concerned what was going on, so when it came time for that to happen they felt like it was us capriciously acting like rock stars at the last minute and changing everything because we could. And it was nothing like that...and so they became agitated that they had so little time left to play which was exactly what we knew would happen to anyone who was in that slot, that's why we weren't gonna be there. And they denounced us from the stage as rock stars, it was like pretty funny..."
Sam: You guys...(laughing)
Mike: "Then um, someone on the side of the side threw a bottle at the dude, and um, Pepper started sayin' some stuff to the dude, there were words exchanged, a bunch of people standing around looking like they were gonna jump on eachother, and nothing fuckin' happened. All these security people came running from all ends of the place, there was this big tense thing and I was just laughing at it. The guy was all upset because they don't have time to play and he spent the entire pretending like, calling us rock stars and worse things and saying like...they played right after us and saying 'things got pretty low but we're gonna try and bring it back up' and stuff like that. Basically when they left the stage, for some reason all the security people thought that there was going to be this mob of people that were going to kill them, whereas like no one cared. It was him and Pepper having words, nobody else really gave a damn. So they lined the stage with these dudes in orange polo shirts, they were like elbow to elbow down this ramp when E-Town went off the stage, it must've made them feel very important..."
Sam: Ooooooh...(laughing)
Mike: "So then them and their little friends with no life get on the internet and like totally attack our little bulletin board, and get all over the internet talking shit, saying all this childish stuff... it was really ugly and moronic. I was tempted to say something up there but I didn't really want to lend any credence to them, to their existance or anything. What's funny is like, it's pretty much just the singer that was a jerk, I mean the rest of the band were like fairly competent at what they did, and they were fairly mellow, and he was just like the loudmouth that you put up front in your band that was a moron. He was looking for something to harp on, to have a reason to exsist because I don't think their songs are really about anything. To have something to be outraged about then you can like imitate Rage Against The Machine even though you don't have 1/200,000,000th the pollitical consciousness of Rage Against The Machine, you know what I mean? It was like laughable. Nobody tackled nobody, but when that guy said stuff though Pepper walked up there, walked up there and said 'what, you got somethin' to say to me?'. A couple fuckin' alpha males you know? Whatever, I was just chillin out laughin' at 'um. Although you know what? when he did started sayin' that stuff you do have like the instinctive reflex that you wanna go reach down and pick something up..."