Prior to CORROSION OF CONFORMITY's performance at the recent Psycho Vegas festival in Las Vegas, bassist Mike Dean spoke with Shawn SixX of the Boston radio station WAAF. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether he's "surprised" at C.O.C.'s longevity:
Mike: "Kind of. Yes and no. Incrementally, I'm not surprised at all, but if you want to pick a point in the past, I think it would be a surprise to me to still be doing this. I think it would just be, like, at the point were we were out playing hardcore gigs when we were 19 years old, it would be inconceivable to even be alive in 20 years. You're not equipped to make that computation — you just can't even conceive of being that old."
On whether bands nowadays take a longer-term view:
Mike: "I think there's newer bands, younger bands, that do, just like there's always been artists — artists is a strong word — who just have an appeal to a certain segment of the population that's really strong, but it might not be the most enduring thing for any number of reasons... I think it's eternal and universal – there's some who know what a work ethic is, some who learn and some who never know and who will never learn."
On talent and creativity:
Mike: "I'm not 100 percent sold that it's an ability that you're born with. I feel like it's out there, and some people can access it easier, and that's called God-given natural talent. But it's all out there, and if you work at it, you can do it. For me, nothing's really come that easy. Playing instruments and such, I had the ability to want to do it, but that didn't mean I was good at it. I feel like if there's anything that I'm lacking, it's just the time invested in improving enough to where it's something you want to put in front of other people. The only thing came easy was that it was something I wanted to do, and the whole hardcore thing, there was a slightly relaxed standard of admission to do that. That was a good place to work on it, but I don't feel like I [had] anything that special to start with. I know people who are super savants, and they might be on the spectrum to some degree — like, lack certain social norms of socializing, or they might be so insecure that they lack the ability to be kind to all people in all circumstances. They might have some kind of burning insecurity, and part of that might be what drives them to take the chances and put themselves out there and discover that they're good at it. But I don't really have any experience with being some kind of savant. [laughs]"
On his recent comments about drummer Reed Mullin, who is currently on hiatus from the group:
Mike: "People are counting on you, so to keep yourself in the role, you've got to deliver what you say you'll deliver for starters... I know several people that have reached that point. You wish the best for them, but there's just a point where you've got to right the ship."
On C.O.C.'s future:
Mike: "We're going to be touring on into the spring, and [then] I think it's time to get to work on another record. There could be a left turn, because we haven't really gotten to that intersection yet. We do a little bit of jamming live, so we want to incorporate some of those places that we've come up with through improvisation and started solidifying a little bit within the jam. Maybe there's subtle ways that we'll be playing older songs where we get an idea about where we're going — particularly if we use John Green to play drums. Should that happen, there's definitely a few ideas developing. It just depends... there's people squirreling some riffs right now, squirreling some lyrics. I don't see any real drastic departures. Maybe a few surprises... It's about generating some content and taking a little step back and seeing what stuff you're going to work on, being a little critical but not trying to prescribe ahead of time what the agenda is, other than we want to make some music that expresses where we're at right now, and we want to make sure it's good [and] that we want to listen to it... If somebody has a real strong Roger Waters-like agenda, that would be cool — we could try that and follow that where it goes — but I think it's really more about, 'Okay, we have this song and that song and that song. How can we make them the best they can be and string them together in a way that reminds you of an album that you heard when you were a kid, when the concept of an album being a unified thing was more prevalent that it is today?'"
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY's latest album, "No Cross No Crown", came out in January of 2018 via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. The LP — recorded in North Carolina with longtime producer John Custer — was the group's first studio effort with guitarist/vocalist Pepper Keenan in more than a decade.