North Carolina metal band Corrosion of Conformity announced on Tuesday (Jan. 28) that drummer Reed Mullin has passed away at age 53.
“It’s with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to a friend, a brother and pioneer. Reed you are loved and always will be. Lets all take a moment…” they wrote in a tweet announcing the news.
A spokesperson for the group could not be reached for additional comment or details of Mullin’s cause of death at press time.
The band posted a lengthier tribute to their former “badass drummer” on Wednesday (Jan. 29), writing, “Reed could play all of the metal stuff, cymbal grabs, proto blast beats with only one bass pedal. He could cop one hundred different styles and reference them in his own way. Everything from Earl Hudson and Clive Burr to Neil Peart (RIP) to Mitch Mitchell and Bill Ward. From John Bonham to Phil Taylor and Nicko McBrain. All the while he was creating his own thing, odd times and polyrhythms played nonchalantly, powerful, simple, deliberate sections, all of the possibilities were in fact possible but utilized thoughtfully, in the proper place, for the proper effect, as the song demanded. Musically speaking, what more could you ask for?”
Mullin co-founded the group as a hardcore punk trio in 1982 with bassist Mike Dean, guitarist Woody Weatherman and singer Benji Shelton when he was still a teenager, holding down the kit until 2001, then rejoining them in 2010. He played on eight of the group’s albums, including their 1994 Columbia Records debut, Deliverance and its follow-up, Wiseblood, which featured vocals from on-and-off member singer/guitarist Pepper Keenan. He was part of the band’s 2018 album, No Cross No Crown and appeared with then sporadically in the years following.
CoC’s A&R representative at Nuclear Blast Records, Monte Conner, praised Mullin in a statement to Billboard. “I first met Reed outside of CBGBs in 1986 when Corrosion of Conformity was touring in support of their groundbreaking crossover album Animosity. We stayed in touch over the years and it was Reed who initiated the talks that resulted in the two of us finally working together when the band joined the Nuclear Blast family in 2015. As anyone who knew Reed will tell you, he was simply the sweetest guy you could ever meet, not to mention an awesome drummer with a totally unique style. The metal world, and the world in general, lost one of the good guys. On behalf of everyone at Nuclear Blast, I would like to offer our sincerest condolences to Reed’s bandmates, family, and friends.”
In 2016, the band announced that Mullin had suffered a seizure just as the group was about to take the stage in Edmonton which Dean said at the time was preceded by “prolonged, extreme and unhealthy levels of alcohol consumption.” At that time Mullin was suspended from the band for several days, but rejoined them on the tour several days later.
Check out the tributes to Mullin below.
It’s with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to a friend, a brother and pioneer. Reed you are loved and always will be. Lets all take a moment… pic.twitter.com/33HKp9tU7v
— C.O.C. (@coccabal) January 28, 2020
Reed.. Thank you for the crazy good times we had together. Thank you for always having the biggest smile on your face. And thank you for the fuckin grooves and that pocket that was all your own…making Corrosion Of Conformity swing like nothing else! Rest In Peace brother.
I’m so saddened to hear about #reedmullin . I think back to the days of meeting him and getting to know this person that had a glow around him . I’ll never forget the time he lost one of his shoes in the pit at one of our shows. He came backstage with one shoe on like it was nothing, he just rolled with it. I always loved his style of drumming too, just listen to Loss for word off of Animosity, great drummer. He will be missed –@coccabal
R.I.P. Reed Mullin from Corrosion Of Conformity!!!!!!! We got to do a few tours opening up for them and he was always ultra cool to us!!!!! That 1997 tour we did with them, they were sooo heavy live!!! Even back in day seeing them in 1984 they were unreal!!! Those COC / BL’AST! Live shows they would play together in 1986 / 87 were some of the heaviest music I’ve ever heard!!!!@coccabal #fumanchu #fumanchuband
R.I.P. to Reed Mullin, an old friend… pic.twitter.com/TWTmumg1Je
— Faith No More (@FaithNoMore) January 28, 2020
Heart breaking. My condolences. ??—- https://t.co/7biIJuDWJ7
— Jamey Jasta (@jameyjasta) January 28, 2020
— David Ellefson (@ellefsondavid) January 28, 2020
I met Reed Mullin only once when COC cruised through Toronto in 1990. Even that brief meeting was memorable & I got a pretty sweet story out of it (that has to do with this exact photo). Always thought COC were the coolest band on the scene and Reed the coolest. RIP Reed Mullin pic.twitter.com/O7ZgGb8T5d
— Danko Jones (@dankojones) January 28, 2020