Interview - Corrosion Of Conformity
Sam: What do you like about working with John
Reed: "A long time ago...I think it really cemented his relationship with us on the Blind album, it was the first album he ever did. And it was the first serious album we ever did, we had done one in a studio before which was 'Animosity', but we'd never worked in a serious studio with serious equipment and all that other kind of stuff, and it was his first time and we took a chance on him, big time. But he's just so good, and he understood us so well, all the different parts of us, that he adds this kinda like, depending on how many people are in the band at time, at that time there was 5 so he would've been the 6th member, but... now he'd be like the 5th member. He just gets us, he understands us. Before I was talking about the idiosyncratic nature of us, or anybody being on the road, people's quirks and stuff, he gets that about us, our strengths, things that need to be propped up a little bit, he gets us more than anybody. I can't imagine doing, particularly an album with Pepper singing, anything without John Custer. Yeah he knows how to dial it in. Without being a dick he knows how to get the best out of us."
Sam: Do you come up with some of the riffs, or does Pepper sort of rule that throne?
Reed: "All of us do, and lyrics too. I came up with the lyrics for 'Albatross', stuff like that, and we all contribute in different ways."
Sam: Sort of a real band democracy going on?
Reed: "Yeah, yeah of course, that's the way it's always been. Woody writes some killer riffs, Mike Dean writes killer riffs, obviously Pepper does"
Sam: Do you guys come up with brand new riffs or are there piles of tapes laying around somewhere?
Reed: "At soundchecks we've been rocking a couple of Pepper's ideas, nothin' more than that. But as soon as we're done with the headlining thing I think we're going to get down, probably after Christmas. We'll get down to brass tacks, we wanna get it going soon, you know what I mean? No use sitting around, we want to prove to folks that thins is more than just a nostalgia thing, we've still got it, you know what I mean? I think people can see that live, but we want to prove it to them for real...with documentation. Henry Rollins from Black Flag used to say 'playing live, that's the get-off' like the most visceral, arghh. Recording he liked, but it was more or less the documentation of the get-off."
Sam: I wish the tour had been going on longer so I could ask how it's going...
Reed: "Oh phenomenal, Clutch did one of their first shows ever opening for us in '89 or'90, opening up for the Blind lineup, so we've known those guys since they were kids, and they're good pals with us. Alot of bands, like Tool did their first tour with us, it's great."
Sam: Have you guys been switching up the setlist?
Reed: "We've been switching it up a little bit. We have 3 setlists...in the past we had just one. We've got 50 minutes and they start looking at you real squirrely if you go over, so the set we have been rocking on the past 2 shows has been perfect."