Interview: Pepper Keenan Reveals ‘Blind’ Recording Difficulties, Down’s Upcoming Plans

Posted by on December 4, 2015

Corrosion of Conformity has had an ever-evolving lineup since their formation in 1982. As for Pepper Keenan, the vocalist/guitarist joined in 1989 and continued with the group for five studio albums before leaving to dedicate his time to the Down supergroup. More recently, Pepper rejoined CoC to tour and record the band’s overall tenth album. Metal Insider spoke to Mr. Keenan about past albums, Down, and upcoming plans.


I think one of my all time favorite albums from you guys would be 1991’s Blind. Looking back to that album, can you discuss what the writing process was like as it was the first album with the addition of yourself?

I was like twenty years old, we were fucking kids. We were just riffing and writing all of this crazy shit. It was the first time we used John Custer as a producer. A lot of people don’t know this, but I did the entire record from a wheelchair. I broke my bone the day we were supposed to go into the studio. I had surgery on my femur bone and I had to do the entire record literally with the guitar on my other leg. If you look at the picture, you can see I have a crutch in the background. It was a very torturous record for me.


It seems that Corrosion of Conformity is back in the spotlight since your rejoined the band. Care to briefly describe the events that led up to you guys getting back together and how it is like now?

We had just been discussing for a long time since Reed [Mullin] came back into the picture and they were playing as a three-piece. Basically, I’ve just been waiting for the right time while I’ve been on tour with Down. We decided to go to Europe to do some shows and test it out and it worked out great. It opened up a whole new can of worms and then we got a record deal with Nuclear Blast.


You guys are currently working on your tenth album. Can you discuss what fans can expect from this release?

The last album that I was involved in was In the Arms of God, which I think is a strong record and my favorite record. So, we’re just going to use that as a catalyst. The standards and expectations are pretty high from us. We just got to get in there and start writing, organizing all these riffs, and putting our nose to the grind.


And you’re looking at a 2016 release date, yes?

I would hope so. I think that sounds somewhat realistic.


What is the current status of Down as far as you are concerned?

Down is down. Everybody loves doing different things here and there, but we’re going to start working on the third EP, which is on the list of things to do as soon as I get home. We got some shows coming up too.


What new bands or recent releases are you enjoying this year?

I think Mothership is a great band. They’re opening up for us right now on tour and they’re from Dallas, Texas.


Any upcoming plans for Corrosion of Conformity?

We have a couple more shows and then we’ll get right to working on the record. Just keep an eye out for us in 2016. We’ll be in the studio to work on something special.

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