High On Fire Announce New Drummer Coady Willis (Big Business, ex-Melvins)

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In 2019, stoner thrashers High On Fire said goodbye to founding drummer Des Kensel, who quit the band after twenty years and one Grammy. Now, Matt Pike and Co. have revealed their new percussionist: Coady Willis, whose credits include Big Business and a stint with West Coast sludgelords Melvins.

High On Fire played their first show since the pandemic this past Saturday at The Lodge at River Oaks in Del Valle, TX. Coady sat in on the drums, and shortly afterwards, the band took to social media to both thank the audience and give the drummer a proper welcome into the fold.

“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. 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!”


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Willis himself posted the following message: “Well, today is the day. My first show with @highonfireband !! Had a blast the past couple of weeks learning this set with  @jeffmatz_music and @mattpike1972 . Thanks for asking me to do this dudes!”


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While neither party has specifically written the phrase, “Coady Willis is now the drummer for High On Fire,” both seem to be using language that suggests that the partnership will continue for some time. Congrats to Coady on getting the gig, and congrats to High On Fire for finding a new drummer to play with!

Check out footage of the show below:

Coady certainly has a sterling legacy to live up to. High On Fire have written some of the best metal albums in recent memory; their 2o12 record De Vermis Mysteriis landed at slot #16 on The Pit’s list of the 21 best metal albums since the turn of the millennium.

“The last twenty years are littered with absolutely incredible High On Fire albums, but De Vermis Mysteriis is the record which rises to the top,” claimed The Pit staff writer Chris Krovatin. “Packed with a perfect mixture of High On Fire’s hard-hitting stoner-thrash numbers and their melancholy hesher-doom brooders, the album gives listeners everything they want, all the time. And while later releases would win earn the band countless accolades and eventually win Grammys, it was this battle cry from inside Matt Pike’s bruised shell that still rings through the previous two decades most intimidatingly. Behold the raging maniac in all his glory.”