Corrosion Of Conformity Drummer Reed Mullin Dead At 53

Miikka Skaffari/FilmMagic

Corrosion Of Conformity Drummer Reed Mullin Dead At 53

Miikka Skaffari/FilmMagic

Reed Mullin, longtime drummer for the great North Carolina punk and metal band Corrosion Of Conformity, has died. The band revealed Mullin’s death on social media today. No cause of death has been revealed. Mullin was 53.

Mullin joined together with guitarist Woody Weatherman and bassist/vocalist Mike Dean to form Corrosion Of Conformity in 1982. The band came out of the hardcore movement, but they were also influenced by classic metal bands like Black Sabbath, which wasn’t an especially common thing back then. The first two COC albums, 1984’s Eye For An Eye and 1985’s Animosity, were raw and fast and angry, and they were massively influential, especially in the Southeastern US.

In the late ’80s, the band moved to a crossover thrash sound, absorbing more and more metal influence, especially after Mike Dean left the band and new singer/guitarist Pepper Keenan joined in 1989. By 1994, the year that COC signed with Columbia and released the Deliverance album, they were basically making groovy Southern sludge-metal. Deliverance eventually went gold — pretty amazing considering that COC never really courted any sort of mainstream acceptance even as they switched up their sound.

Reed Mullin left COC in 2001 and played for a few other bands, while COC went on hiatus in 2006. But in 2010, Mullin reunited with the other three original COC members, and they released a self-titled album in 2012. Pepper Keenan rejoined the band in 2015. In 2015, Mullin also took part in Teenage Time Killers, a supergroup side project that featured COC members alongside people like Dave Grohl and Slipknot’s Corey Taylor.

In 2016, as COC were about to go onstage in Edmonton, Mullin reportedly suffered from a seizure brought on by excessive drinking. At the time, his bandmate Mike Dean addressed Mullin’s health in a Facebook statement, announcing that the band could no longer perform with Mullin: “We will not enable Reed to continue killing himself on our watch.” Last night, the band wrote, “It’s with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to a friend, a brother and pioneer.”

Below, watch some videos of Mullin with COC:

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