R.I.P. Reed Mullin of Corrosion of Conformity, 1966-2020

reed mullin (Photo by JJ Koczan)

As Corrosion of Conformity make ready to embark on their first tour of Australia and New Zealand in six years, the North Carolina-based progenitors of Southern-style heavy rock announce the death of erstwhile drummer Reed Mullin. Mullin, 53, had been in and out of C.O.C. over the half-decade since their reunion with guitarist/vocalist Pepper Keenan, but his work proved as essential as ever to the band with 2018’s studio return, No Cross No Crown. A founding member of Corrosion of Conformity alongside bassist/vocalist Mike Dean and guitarist/backing vocalist Woodroe Weatherman in 1982, Mullin played on pivotal records like 1985’s Animosity and 1987’s Technocracy, driving the early sound of the then-trio through its hardcore punk furies, but proved no less adaptable to what became their evolving, signature sound and greatest commercial and critical successes.

With those albums, particularly 1994’s Deliverance and its Grammy-nominated 1996 follow-up, Wiseblood, Mullin anchored the powerful groove on which C.O.C.’s legacy and influence would be built, and even as Keenan emerged as a frontman, the drums behind him built the foundation on which the band resided and fleshed out their memorable songs. Years of reported health problems, etc., have kept him out of the band as they have become a working four-piece unit again, but on 2012’s self-titled LP and 2014’s follow-up, IX, a three-piece incarnation of Corrosion of Conformity with Mullin on drums/vocals, Dean and Weatherman reignited an exploration of their punk roots that still held to a riff-led charge. His work there, as ever, was crucial.

Mullin took part in every Corrosion of Conformity recording aside from 2005’s In the Arms of God, a then-swansong of sorts for the band as a four-piece, and was a creative force behind making C.O.C. who they were, are and will continue to be. The last time I saw him on stage was in 2015, and in presence, voice and style, he was a singular, special figure. He will be much, much missed.

Condolences on behalf of myself and the site to Mullin’s friends, family and associates, as well of course as the band itself, which will never be the same.

Their announcement follows:

corrosion of conformity older pic

Reed, It’s with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to a friend, a brother and pioneer.

Love and condolences to the family, friends and fans who will miss you and thanks for the music.

Reed Mullin vocal recording for IX, 2014

Corrosion of Conformity on Facebook

Corrosion of Conformity website

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4 Responses to “R.I.P. Reed Mullin of Corrosion of Conformity, 1966-2020”

  1. jose humberto says:

    C.O.C. wont be the same anymore and I never will be 100% thrilled again for new albums

  2. Mike M says:

    Nice words JJ, wonderfully written tribute.

  3. I am so sorry to hear this. I’ve always thought highly of You young Men. I always felt a closeness with C.O.C. We have so many fond memories of the years Y’all were tenants of TCB…Once a member of The Carter Building Family, always a member. Recently I started seeing information about C.O.C. on Facebook. I tremendously enjoyed staying up with Y’all…But My Wife Tammie told Me about this. I’m shocked to hear this. To a Man You all were Gentlemen, very talented and of good Character. RIP Reed Mullin.

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