Reed Mullin, Corrosion of Conformity Drummer, Dead at 53 | Revolver

Reed Mullin, Corrosion of Conformity Drummer, Dead at 53

The founding band member, hardcore crossover pioneer has passed

This month hasn't been kind to rock and metal drummers. Earlier this January, Rush's Neil Peart passed away. Then, this weekend, former Death and Cynic drummer Sean Reinert died. Now, another game-changing drummer has been lost: Corrosion of Conformity's Reed Mullin. He was 53 years old.

The band confirmed his death last night (January 27th) via social media. "Reed, It's with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to a friend, a brother and pioneer," COC said in a statement. "Love and condolences to the family, friends and fans who will miss you and thanks for the music."

Mullin co-founded Corrosion of Conformity with guitarist Woody Weatherman and bassist Mike Dean and in 1982. Mullin played a significant role across metal's subgenres— as the group started out as a hardcore-punk outfit before evolving, across numerous different lineups, into a more sludge-metal leaning sound. COC's latest album, 2018's acclaimed No Cross No Crown, marked the band's first studio offering with singer-guitarist and Down band member Pepper Keenan in more than 10 years.

As the news of his tragic passing has spread, many musicians, friends and fans remembered the proficient, skilled drummer. Among the outpouring include Metallica's Lars Ulrich, Lamb of God's Randy Blythe and Anthrax's Charlie Benante (which you can read below).

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Fly on, Reed... :broken_heart: Long Live The Mule

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I got the sad news last night that my friend Reed Mullin passed away. Reed was the drummer for one of my all-time favorite bands, Corrosion of Conformity, & he is also one of the reasons I am a singer in a band today. Back in 1985, C.O.C. put out their ground-breaking hardcore crossover record, “Animosity” & from the first time I heard it I loved it- I wore that freaking tape out. My favorite track on that album is one Reed sang, “Hungry Child.” One day I was going skateboarding with some older dudes in Wilmington, NC (I was around 15 years old at the time) & we were in a car driving to the spot- someone threw “Animosity” into the cassette deck. When “Hungry Child” came on, I started singing along. The driver turned around & said “Damn, kid- you can actually sing like that. You should be in a band one day.” That was the first time anyone had ever told me that, I never forgot it, & I never will. If you listen to the way I scream at times, & you listen to “Hungry Child” you’ll hear Reed in my delivery. I told Reed that story many years later, after we had become friends, & he was super stoked. Reed was an O.G. punk rocker from the American South, a place where it wasn’t easy to be different in back in the day. He booked shows for other bands who came through Raleigh, NC, & was super important to the development of the hardcore scene in general. I met him for the first time in an airport when he came up to me & said “Nice shirt!” (I was wearing a C.O.C. one)- we became friends, I got to interview him for my radio show, & I even sang in his super group, Teenage Time Killers. Once in the 80’s my brother & I went to go see C.O.C.- my brother didn’t have enough money to buy a t-shirt, so Reed (who was selling merch after the gig) traded him one for the Black Flag t-shirt he was wearing- that’s the kinda dude he was. Reed also played at the hands-down greatest gig I ever saw- Bad Brains, C.O.C., & Leeway in VA Beach in the 80’s. I took this photo when my band took out C.O.C. on tour- we played freaking Red Rocks on that run- not too shabby for two dirt bag punk rockers from the South. Rest In Peace, Reed- you’re a legend & an influence & I’ll miss ya, bro.

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