John Custer

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John Custer
Music producer John Custer
Music producer John Custer
Background information
Occupation(s)Record producer, musician
Associated actsCorrosion of Conformity, Cry of Love, DAG, BIG Something

John Custer is an American, Grammy Award-nominated record producer and musician. In 2014, John Custer received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Carolina Music Awards.[1]


Custer's first major project was Corrosion of Conformity's Blind, initially released on Relativity Records in 1991. Blind caught the attention of Columbia Records, and COC was signed. An All Music review praised Blind as "simply one of the most important heavy rock albums of the decade".[2] Since Blind, John Custer has produced multiple COC albums, including Deliverance (1994), Wiseblood (1996), America's Volume Dealer (2000), In the Arms of God (2005) and Corrosion of Conformity (2012),[3] the Megaladon EP in 2012 and the 2014 full length “IX”. The COC track "Drowning In A Daydream" from Wiseblood was nominated for a Grammy Award.

Custer produced the album “Brother” by Cry Of Love. The album spawned two No. 1 and two Top Ten AOR hits, including “Peace Pipe”, named by Billboard as one of the “top 50 AOR songs of all time”.[4] Custer was also recognized by the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for co-writing and producing Gran Torino's “Moments With You”, which won the award for the Best Pop Song Of The Year in 2000.[5][6]

In 2013, BIG Something's self-titled album, produced by John Custer, won three distinct Album of the Year awards from Angelica Music,[7] Endless Boundaries Radio,[8] and the Home Grown Music Network.[9] Their first studio album "Songs From the Middle of Nowhere", released in 2010 and also produced by Custer, also won the Album Of The Year award from the Home Grown Music Network.[10] BIG Something is now touring nationally.

John Custer was featured on the cover of the January 2014 issue of 3 Dot Magazine, which hailed him as “The Indestructible Godfather Of North Carolina Music Industry".[11] He has recorded and produced performance tracks with legendary drummer Roger Hawkins of The Muscle Shoals Swampers on “Righteous” by DAG,[12] Warren Haynes of The Allman Brothers Band and Gov't Mule on COC's track “Stare Too Long”,[13] Metallica's James Hetfield on COC's track “Man Or Ash”,[14][15] drummer Stanton Moore of Galactic on COC's album “In The Arms Of God”,[16] and Jazz trumpeter Jeremy Davenport on “Righteous” by DAG.[17] Custer also recorded COC's Mike Dean's vocal for the track “Access Babylon” on Dave Grohl's PROBOT album.[18]

Most recently, Custer has partnered with Proof Music, based in Raleigh, North Carolina. The label's debut release, "Sucker Punch" by Megan Elise, is now available on all digital music platforms.

Early career[edit]

John Custer graduated from Cary High School in 1981.[19] He spent the early part of his career in New York as a studio session guitarist, providing guitar tracks for national television ads such as VH-1, Ford, Jovan, Mazda, Revlon, and Coca-Cola. At age 25, he began producing and developing original artists. His work as a producer has run the gamut from comedian Rich Hall to punk-metal pioneers Corrosion of Conformity to his own funk-creation, DAG.

Columbia Records projects[edit]

Custer's early development projects, southern rockers Cry of Love and Custer's own funk creation DAG, were both signed to Columbia in the early 1990s.[20]

Cry of Love's first single, "Peace Pipe" went to #1 on Billboard Rock Radio chart. “Peace Pipe” was named by Billboard as one of the “top 50 AOR songs of all time”.[21] "Bad Thing", their second single co-written with Custer, went to #2.

DAG's first release, Righteous was recorded at Muscle Shoals, with Custer producing, writing and co-writing the tracks. True to 1970s funk, Righteous featured guest performances by Roger Hawkins of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and jazz trumpeter Jeremy Davenport. This 1970s-styled album from DAG received terrific reviews. Vibe magazine hailed the album as " of the best funk records since 1978. DAG's debut, Righteous, is definitely some of the most ass-grinding grooves you've heard since back in the day." Featured songs include "Sweet Little Lass", "Righteous (City Pain)" and "Lovely Jane."


John Custer has produced several tracks that appear in major movie soundtracks.


  • "…The legendary and immortal John Custer has once again produced another hardcore masterpiece and seemingly assumes his majestic role as the maestro of the North Carolina music scene." -review of Corrosion Of Conformity's 2012 EP "Megalodon" Written by Rob Grissom for 3dotmag.[22]
  • "It was like getting schooled by a Rock n Roll Jedi master."[23]


  1. ^ "John Custer Accepts Lifetime Achievement Award - Carolina Music Awards". YouTube. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "John Custer - Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  4. ^ Audley Freed
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-03. Retrieved 2015-03-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Righteous (album)
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Wiseblood (Corrosion of Conformity album)
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-03-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ Righteous (album)
  18. ^
  19. ^ Custer, John (23 May 2020). "John Custer". Linkedin.
  20. ^ Eduardo Rivadavia. "Brother - Cry of Love - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  21. ^ Audley Freed
  22. ^ "The Creative Lifestyle…Corrosion of Conformitys New Megalodon EP". The Creative Lifestyle... Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  23. ^ "Featured Artist: Big Something". Archived from the original on 9 March 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2014.

External links[edit]

GO LIVE PLUS 2014 Awards