Eric Cobb (Cold Black River)

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This time around we feature the vinyl collection of Eric Cobb, bassist/vocalist in the Madison, Wisconsin based bluesy doom band Cold Black River.

The first record I ever bought with my own money was…

Ozzy Osborne – Bark at the Moon – 1983.

I was ten years old and we had a record store in town called Seventh Heaven. I listened to that record religiously. I found pieces of scrap wood in my dad’s shop to make a guitar with fishing wire strings so I could rock out to “Rock N Roll Rebel” in our basement. Coincidentally, Seventh Heaven was the store I was caught stealing Cirith Ungol’s “King of the Dead” and “One Foot in Hell” just a few years later.

The record that made me want to make music was…

Growing up, I wound up being influenced by a lot of punk and metal. Oddly enough, I was also influenced by a lot of the rock and outlaw country my parents listened to. The Sex Pistols and Ramones taught me I didn’t need to be “good” to play rock and roll and Willy Nelson, Neil Young and Led Zeppelin taught me I could craft really heartfelt, thoughtful, and clever tunes that also had soul.

Though it all, I’d have to say Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s Rust Never Sleeps taught me to just go for it – see what happens.

The record I’ve played more than any other is…

I always go back to Rollins Band’s The End of Silence. That album hit me at a transformational time in my life. I’d split up with my girlfriend, moved into a duplex with two other bands, was working a dead end job, and needed some direction. I had all of this energy with nothing to put it toward. This album came out and blew my mind. It was so heavy, yet articulate, and the lyrics spoke directly to me. It really helped charge the inspiration for our next project called Lunatic Fringe.

When the album came out, I was living in this podunk town where the water tower was stenciled with “Historic Van Buren”. Several of us climbed the one-hundred and twenty foot structure to spray paint “Pre” just before the “Historic”. Needless to say, the authorities didn’t appreciate it. We were hauled in, but due to lack of concrete evidence, were never charged. You can still see the outline underneath where they tried to paint over it.

The record that always make me feel good is…

Once again, End of Silence. It’s my go to if I ever need a push. A close second is Iron Maiden’s double LP Live After Death. That one always gets me singing. I always use the opening lines from Hallowed By Thy Name during sound check. It’s a great soundcheck song.

The record I turn to when I’m feeling down is…

Interpol’s Bright Lights. I love this album and pretty much anything these guys do. Another album hitting me at the right time. Another break-up and dead end job scenario while working on music. It’s terrible when your partner become jealous or dislikes your music. This is also the perfect album to clean the house to, which is what I often do when down.

The record with my favorite cover art is…

Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life. He’s all clean cut and smiling like a Mormon at your front door, but in reality was completely jacked at the time. I love really great album and poster artwork. There are so many that I really love.

The strangest LP I own is…

I love Curtis Mayfield. I have this album double album called Curtis/Live!, and it’s great. What’s strange (awesome) about the album is the back and forth between Curtis and the audience. It’s laid out in a way I’d never heard before and it’s amazing.

The rarest LP I own is…

Probably, Slint – Spiderland. IMO, these guys were a better Nirvana; before Nirvana. This is a completely solid and original album that secretly influenced a ton of music from the aforementioned Nirvana to Promise Ring and Sunny Day Real Estate. So good.

The last LP I bought was…

The Messthetics – self titled. I went to a party in January and heard it on the turntable. I was blown away. It’s all instrumental with the rhythm section from Fugazi (Brendan Canty and Joe Lally) fronted by this dude Anthony Pirog who is out of this world. I got the chance to catch them live at the High Noon recently and they did not disappoint.

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Cold Black River’s latest album, Tales of Death & The Devil , was released on October 31, 2018. You can download a copy at this location.

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