Pepper Keenan
Musician Info
BornMay 8, 1967
Oxford, Mississippi, USA
GenreHeavy metal, sludge metal, crossover thrash, hardcore punk
Notable InstrumentsGuitar, vocals, bass
Associated actsCorrosion of Conformity, Down, Metallica, Graveyard Rodeo

Pepper J. Keenan (born May 8, 1967), is an American guitarist and vocalist, best known for his work with heavy metal bands Corrosion of Conformity and Down. He joined Corrosion of Conformity in 1989,[1] but did not become the lead singer until the recording of Deliverance in 1994. In 1991 he formed Down with Phil Anselmo of Pantera, Jimmy Bower of Eyehategod, and Kirk Windstein and Todd Strange of Crowbar.

Personal lifeEdit

Keenan was born in Oxford, Mississippi but now lives in New Orleans, where he owns a bar named "Le Bon Temps Roule." His father, a former musician, is a local real estate appraiser in New Orleans. While developing his playing style in New Orleans, Pepper served as a member of local band Graveyard Rodeo, and met and became friends with Corrosion of Conformity during their frequent shows at the infamous Franklin Avenue VFW Hall in New Orleans. Keenan became the father of a daughter named Flannery Rose Keenan, with his longtime girlfriend Anna Hrnjak on January 5, 2010.

Corrosion of ConformityEdit

Keenan joined Corrosion of Conformity in 1989. Corrosion of Conformity released their third album called Blind with Keenan on rhythm guitar. After Karl Agell and Phil Swisher left the band (Swisher being replaced by original bassist Mike Dean), Keenan took over on vocals and guitar. Corrosion of Conformity have since released the albums Deliverance, Wiseblood, America's Volume Dealer, and In the Arms of God, as well as the live release, Live Volume . From 2006 to 2010, Corrosion of Conformity had been on hiatus. The band has since reunited and recorded an album without Keenan.[2] However, a possibility of Keenan re-joining C.O.C. remains, according to a message dated May 15, 2010, on the official C.O.C. website.


Main article: Down

Keenan formed Down in 1991 with Phil Anselmo of Pantera, Jimmy Bower of Eyehategod, Kirk Windstein and Todd Strange of Crowbar. In 1995, Down released their debut album, NOLA. Down went on hiatus in 1996 but returned three years later with Pantera bassist Rex Brown replacing Todd Strange. In 2002, Down released their second album Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow. Following a second hiatus, Down released their third album entitled Down III: Over the Under in 2007. Down released their fourth album Down IV Part I - The Purple EP in September 2012 and Down IV – Part II of a confirmed 4 part series of EP's.


Keenan plays guitar and sings a part of the second verse on Metallica's cover of the Lynyrd Skynyrd song "Tuesday's Gone". He also recorded a number of other songs in the same session, but this was the only one given a general release (on the album Garage Inc.), the others only being available as bootlegs. Keenan is good friends with lead singer and guitarist James Hetfield. Hetfield provided backing vocals on "Man or Ash" from Corrosion of Conformity's Wiseblood album. Keenan auditioned for Metallica's vacant bass player position following Jason Newsted's departure from the band but lost out to former Suicidal Tendencies/Ozzy Osbourne bassist Robert Trujillo. Keenan's audition is shown in the Metallica documentary Some Kind of Monster. In addition to his contribution to the song "Tuesday's Gone" Pepper also appeared with Metallica onstage at the Download Festival in Donington, England in 2006 along with Matt Heafy of Trivium to provide additional vocals on the song "Die, Die My Darling" (a Misfits cover). This song was played at the end of Metallica's headlining set.



  • ESP Custom Shop Vipers
  • ESP Custom Shop Baritone Viper
  • Gibson ES-335
  • Gibson Firebird Custom (Download Festival 2009)
  • Gibson SG Deluxe model
  • Gibson Flying V (used in Stone Breaker music video)
  • Gibson Les Paul Gold Top (2008 Down Tour)
  • Fender Stratocaster Custom Shop
  • Fender Telecaster (used in Stone The Crow Music Video)


  • Sony wireless system
  • Electro Harmonix POG
  • Electro Harmonix Big Muff
  • Electro Harmonix Holy Grail
  • Electro Harmonix Small Stone
  • Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer
  • Custom Audio Electronics RS-10
  • CAE midi Controller
  • Rocktron Intellifex Multieffect
  • MXR Phase 90
  • MXR Stereo Flanger
  • MXR 10 band Equalizer
  • T-Rex Delay
  • Boss OD-1
  • Korg Tuner Pedal
  • Dunlop Crybaby
  • Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2


  • Mesa Boogie 50 Caliber Heads
  • Mesa Boogie 4x12 Cabinets
  • Marshall JCM800 2203 Heads
  • Marshall 4x12 Cabinets
  • Orange thunderverb 50


Corrosion of Conformity albumsEdit

Date of release Title Label Chart positions
January 17, 1991 Blind Relativity Records
November 27, 1994 Deliverance Columbia Records 155
October 12, 1996 Wiseblood 104
October 10, 2000 America's Volume Dealer (Available as Dualdisc) Sanctuary Records
August 7, 2001 Live Volume CD, DVD and DVDA
April 5, 2005 In the Arms of God 108

Down albumsEdit

Date of release Title Label US Billboard peak
September 19, 1995 NOLA Elektra 57
March 26, 2002 Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow 44
September 25, 2007 Down III: Over the Under Warner Bros. Records 26
September 18, 2012 Down IV Part I - The Purple EP 35
May 13, 2014 Down IV – Part II 23


External linksEdit

Corrosion of Conformity
Woody WeathermanMike DeanReed Mullin
Pepper Keenan • Karl Agell • Phil SwisherSimon Bob Sinister • Eric Eycke • Benji Shelton • Robert Stewart • Jason Patterson
Corrosion of Conformity Discography
Albums: Eye for an EyeAnimosityBlindWisebloodAmerica's Volume DealerIn the Arms of GodCorrosion of ConformityIX
EPs: TechnocracySix Songs With Mike SingingMegalodon
Live albums: Live Volume
Singles: "Vote with a Bullet" • "Dance of the Dead" • "Albatross" • "Clean My Wounds" • "Drowning in a Daydream" • "Congratulations Song"' • "In the Arms of God" • "Stonebreaker" • "Your Tomorrow (Parts 1 and 2)" • "The Doom"
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