Reed Mullin, drummer and cofounder of long-running North Carolina hard rock outfit Corrosion of Conformity, has died, according to a social media posts from the band, fellow musicians and many of the friends he had made in the music world over the years. He was 53.
The cause of death was not announced, but Mullin had struggled with alcohol abuse, among other health problems, in recent years, which caused him to miss multiple shows and essentially take a leave of absence from the band over the past four years.
Mullin cofounded C.O.C. in 1982 bassist Mike Dean and guitarist Woody Weatherman. The group was originally a hardcore punk outfit — releasing the albums “Eye for an Eye” and “Animosity” in 1984 and ’85 — but over the following years slowed down and turned into a more hard rock/metal-leaning band. The group’s sound expanded when singer Karl Agell joined in 1989, and their 1991 outing “Blind” launched the band’s most commercially and critically acclaimed era. They signed with Columbia Records and released a series of albums through the ‘90s (Agell left in ’93), the most commercially successful being 1994’s “Deliverance”; the band toured opening for Metallica two years later. C.O.C. left Columbia but retained a solid core audience into the 2000s, splitting in 2006 but reforming four years later.
They continued to tour and record, but Mullin’s alcohol problems grew worse and he was basically placed on leave from the band after many missed shows and an alcohol-related seizure in 2016. He worked with them sporadically over the following years, but his health declined.