One Time Corrosion Of Conformity Vocalist Passes Away
We are saddened to learn of the passing of one time Corrosion Of Conformity vocalist Eric Eycke, whose broad musical knowledge shaped the band’s early identity and whose 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 shitty van,blowing up stages together, trying to live up to the likes of The Bad Brains and Black Flag.
The news was confirmed by the band late Friday night (Sept. 22).
The cause of death is unknown, but it was recently reported that he was in hospice care “with various maladies.”
From all of us at Planetmosh, we extend our heartfelt condolences to the Eycke family, to all his Corrosion of Conformity bandmates, his friends and anyone who knew Erick personally.
R.I.P. Erick Eycke
Corrosion of Conformity (C.O.C.) was formed in Raleigh, North Carolina by bassist and vocalist Mike Dean, guitarist Woody Weatherman and drummer Reed Mullin in the early ’80s. They were influenced by heavy metal bands like Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Scorpions and Judas Priest, as well as by hardcore groups like Black Flag, Bad Brains, Circle Jerks, Minor Threat and Germs. Their hardcore punk-oriented 20-track debut Eye for an Eye – was the only album featuring the vocalist Eric Eycke.
Corrosion Of Conformity bassist Mike Dean told IndyWeek in a 2012 interview that Eric Eycke “was the kind of singer that people would be into hearing at that point. He was a hardcore kind of tough dude. Never could hear him; he would usually be running around and miss the microphone.”
Eycke, who has been described as the most agitated, energetic vocalist C.O.C. ever had, said about his approach to the band’s early live performances: “In Richmond, we opened up for Husker Du. Then we opened up for Dead Kennedys down at the Pier, and I had already heard about the Dead Kennedys so I was kind of in awe. I was, like, “Damn, Jello’s here. “I remember we finished our set, and I walked off and he just looked at me and he was, like, ‘Goddamn, blown off the stage again.’ That always stuck with me. If that’s what it takes, then yeah, I can do that.”
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 shit. 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 during Dean’s stint as frontman.
Eycke was a member of the Raleigh, North Carolina group from 1983 – 1984 and as well as Eye For An Eye he also performed on the Why Are We Here? 1983 split, Demo ’84 and the Mad World EP which was released in 1992 but was comprised of Eye for an Eye era demos.