Sludge/stoner-metal band High On Fire hired Coady Willis of Big Business for their first show since their founding drummer Des Kensel left the group. High On Fire stated that it will just be their “first show” with Willis on drums, indicating that they plan to keep him behind the kit.
Willis is still a member of Big Business, a similar stoner-metal band that he co-founded in 2003. He had gotten his start in a punk band called The Murder City Devils in the late ‘90s and also spent some time drumming for Melvins from 2006-2015.
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“It felt so good to get back on stage again, and to experience the exchange of energy that only happens between a band and a live audience,” High On Fire said of their first show since lockdown began. “Thank you to all who attended! This was also our first show with the mighty @coadyscottwillis on drums – thank you Coady for bringing the thunder! We look forward to doing a lot more of this in the near future!”
High On Fire’s set opened with “Blood From Zion,” one of the tracks off of their debut album The Art of Self Defense, which was recently reissued for its 20th anniversary. The performance can be seen below, recorded at Texas’ Austin Motorcross Park on June 19.
Their last album was 2018’s Electric Messiah, although they also released a three-track EP in 2019 called Bat Salad. Various members of the band have been appearing on Two Minutes to Late Night’s quarantined covers over the past year, including versions of Thin Lizzy’s “Emerald,” Bruce Springsteen’s “Candy’s Room,” several Van Halen songs, Guns N’ Roses’ “Rocket Queen” and Steely Dan’s “Reelin’ in the Years.”
Frontman Matt Pike, who is also a founding member of Sleep, announced plans for a collaboration with Brent Hinds of Mastodon last year. More recently, he announced that he was in the studio recording his debut solo album as well. However, no further information about either upcoming release has been revealed at this time.
Photo credit: Raymond Flotat