CORROSION OF CONFORMITY guitarist/vocalist Pepper Keenan and producer John Custer, who are at a Raleigh studio working on the band's new album, spoke to The News & Observer about the death of DAMAGEPLAN/ex-PANTERA guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, a longtime friend of COC.

"It's tragic, a shame," Keenan said Thursday. "I've known Darrell for years and years. He was a big fan of COC, we toured Australia together with PANTERA. It's just a shame."

"He was one of the defining guitarists of his generation," Custer said. "He was like Eddie Van Halen or Randy Rhoads or Stevie Ray Vaughan, about seven cuts above everybody else. Anybody who puts in the amount of time and devotion to get that good is not ... out there just to mess around with music for a little while before going on to something else. He was a devoted musician and one of the most influential guitarists to come out of that whole decade. And he made records that helped people get through their year. He'll be remembered as one of the best."

Thursday afternoon, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY was gathering at the studio again. But Custer did not think they'd get much work done right away.

"It's hard to get excited about cutting guitar tracks right now," Custer said. "There will definitely be a shroud over things for a while." This is just awful."


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