Eric Eycke, Former Corrosion of Conformity Singer, Dies
Eric Eycke, who sang with Corrosion of Conformity on their first record, has died. The cause of death is unknown, but it was recently reported that he was in hospice care "with various maladies."
The group broke the news on its website with the message, "We are saddened to learn of the passing of one time COC vocalist Eric Eycke, who's broad musical knowledge shaped the band's early identity and who's energy is evident on our first hardcore era album, Eye for an Eye. This simply does not seem real. We traveled far and wide in a s---ty van, blowing up stages together, trying to live up to the likes of the Bad Brains and Black Flag."
Eycke joined Corrosion of Conformity in 1983, replacing Robert Stewart, who had only been in the group for about a month and a half after the departure of founding singer Benji Shelton. "He put on a good live show, and that's what mattered," guitarist Woody Weatherman told IndyWeek. "Eric Eycke was the kind of singer that people would be into hearing at that point," Bassist Mike Dean expanded. "He was a hardcore kind of tough dude. Never could hear him; he would usually be running around and miss the microphone."
From the beginning, Eycke was at odds with his band mates over the lyrical direction. "It seemed like I was the only one having fun," he said. "Everybody else was so goddamn serious. I'm not against being political or having a stand or voicing your opinion or whatever, but at the same time, it's like, goddamn, man. I'm not going to give myself an ulcer over this s---. Come on, man, party a little bit."
Eye for an Eye was released a year later, and Eycke took exception to drummer Reed Mullin re-mixing the tracks after the other members had gone home for the day. "That's how we ended up with that product," Eycke added, "and no, I'm not happy about it. But it is what it is. If you like it, you like it."
He was fired shortly thereafter, with Dean briefly taking over on vocals. Eye for an Eye was reissued in 2012, packaged with an EP recorded Dean's stint as frontman.