[buzzsprout episode="18550" player="true"]
You all want to hear a band that is not fucking around? Consider Warbeast (formerly Texas Metal Alliance), who have recently released their vicious debut album on Philip Anselmo’s Housecore Records. Entitled Krush The Enemy, it does just that. And what is the enemy you ask? Well, I would like to say ‘listen to the interview and find out’, only that never came up.
We talk the origins of Warbeast and switching names, working with Phil as a producer, the current state of the reunited Rigor Mortis, and lookalike comparisons that range from Warrel Dane (mine) to Devin Townsend to Marty Feldman! This was a good’un… one of those naturally-flowing discussions that went in some interesting directions and ran longer than planned.
For the record, I say the enemies they krush are convention and expectation. Determined to wave the DFW thrash banner high and proud, Warbeast is a formidable new player on the battlefield.
Bruce Corbitt: Hey Matt, what’s up? This is Bruce from Rigo…I mean, Warbeast. Sorry.
Mind Over Metal: We will get into that, don’t worry. I’ve got a couple of Rigor Mortis questions, a couple of Warbeast questions. It is great to be talking with you. I appreciate you calling.
Bruce Corbitt: No problem. I appreciate it all too.
Mind Over Metal: Cool. I am going to get right into it here. This is Matt Longo from Mind Over Metal and WRUV FM Burlington. Today I am joined by Bruce Corbitt, the vocalist for Warbeast, or like he was just saying, Rigor Mortis. Thanks for joining us at Mind Over Metal, Bruce.
Bruce Corbitt: No problem, I appreciate you asking man. I am glad to be here.
Mind Over Metal: Yeah, so you guys adopted the name Warbeast last year but have been known as the Texas Metal Alliance ever since you first teamed up for the benefit for Hammerwitch bassist Wayne Abney. Why and when did you decide to do the switch?
Bruce Corbitt: Well it was something we talked about from the day we decided to make this a permanent band. It was so hard to make that decision because we knew we had to go formally through the Texas Metal Alliance for a while there and the fact that we couldn’t agree on a name, you know what I mean?
Mind Over Metal: Yeah, how did you guys settle on Warbeast?
Bruce Corbitt: Our guitarist Rick Perry came up with the name one day and we were surprised to find out there wasn’t a band out there that already had the name. There were a few using it but they weren’t signed.
Mind Over Metal: Yeah, yeah.
Bruce Corbitt: So it became a deal where it was like a vote thing. I walked in one day to practice and they had it up on the chart. Four of them had already voted for it, so I always kind of joke that I felt like I was on Survivor or something.
Mind Over Metal: A little bit of pressure there.
Bruce Corbitt: I had already lost. No, I like the name and I think it fits with trying to make everyone aware that we were a serious band and not just a band doing benefits and stuff anymore.
Mind Over Metal: Who did that sweet logo by the way? I really like how all the letters are different in their own way?
Bruce Corbitt: Actually it was a good friend of ours that does a lot to support us. His nickname is Carcass John Fossum—a good artist. Originally he was trying to come up with some cool flyers and logos for t-shirts and everything. We ended up liking it so much that it became the cover. We are happy with it.
Mind Over Metal: You were talking about the transition from Texas Metal Alliance. Has it been difficult? I noticed your MySpace page still says Texas Metal Alliance and all that.
Bruce Corbitt: It wasn’t as bad as I thought. Now I don’t think there is any confusion out there. We just left that up there just in case for some reason there are people out there that haven’t had a chance to find out and they might be searching for us somewhere. You know.
Mind Over Metal: I think it is a hell of a good transition too. It is a hell of a lot easier to remember Warbeast. It is punchier, you know.
Bruce Corbitt: I agree. TMA is what everyone started calling us. That could stand for many things. It was a good thing.
Mind Over Metal: Well man, your new album is called Krush the Enemy and it is on Housecore Records, which is Phil Anselmo’s label. How did you all meet and when did you decide to collaborate?
Bruce Corbitt: We have known Philip forever, since when he moved here to join Pantera in the 80s. Then I think it was late 2006, I got a message on MySpace about wanting to do a tour with his band Arson Anthem so Rigor Mortis went out for a few days with them and got reacquainted with Phillip and my new band. So, I wasn’t trying to get signed or anything at the time. I just wanted him to know. He seemed really interested in hearing because he was familiar with Rick Perry and Scott Shelby from Gamicide.
Mind Over Metal: Yup.
Bruce Corbitt: When we got back and we kept the phone conversations going after that tour. He finally said I have a demo for you and we sent it him. A week later he called me up and he was so into it. He told us he wanted the first chance at signing the band.
Mind Over Metal: Nice.
Bruce Corbitt: We didn’t even go look anywhere else after that.
Mind Over Metal: Yeah, and it is nice to be working with friends too you know.
Bruce Corbitt: Yeah, that’s what we thought. He knows us well, and we are friends. You couldn’t ask for a better working and business relationship – with someone you are tight and friends with.
Mind Over Metal: Cool. You are the first Housecore band I have had on the show and I read Phil was behind some of the production, but I would like to know how much he involved himself in the process, because I have to tell you the album sounds excellent.
Bruce Corbitt: He was involved totally. He became like another member of Warbeast. He was involved in every way you could think of. He had suggestions for the drum parts and guitar parts, bass parts. He worked exclusively with me on the vocal parts. He wasn’t in the studio for every minute of the recordings. He would give notes and ideas and suggestions to the other guys before they went in. In most cases they liked his ideas. With me he was there for everything, he was in my corner helping me out. On the mixing process he was there for all of that too. We give Phil a lot of credit for making what we thought was a good album. It was way better than we could have imagined it would’ve turned out.
Mind Over Metal: Absolutely man. I have to ask, I didn’t see the credit but I could have sworn I heard his voice on the title track. Is he in there at all?
Bruce Corbitt: Actually, he is in the title track. It is only in that slow breakdown. He is doing that “aaah” [demonstrates] He is doing an effect with his voice.
Mind Over Metal: So there are no actual vocal parts?
Bruce Corbitt: Well, at the end of “Unleashed” you can hear him doing the deep “unleashed” part. I think that is it. He did a couple of effect things, and a deep voice here and there. Nah, now that I think about it I should’ve -
Mind Over Metal: Nah! It’s fine! Dude you’ve got a great voice. I am just saying I could’ve sworn I heard him.
Bruce Corbitt: I think some people think that. We are going to use him on the next one and I’ve already got plans to see if I can get him to do some vocals with me on there.
Mind Over Metal: Right on. I saw a photo of you guys with Philip in a Housecore robe – so a two part question – is that how he usually came into the recording sessions? Where can I get me one of those by the way? I was at the apparel section of housecorerecords.com. I didn’t see it on there.
Bruce Corbitt: I will have to ask to see if he can get one of those for you. Honestly, we got to stay at his house when we were there to record the album. That was one night before everyone was ready to crash out, and Phillip had gotten out of the shower -
Mind Over Metal: He looks freshly washed. I was going to say.
Bruce Corbitt: He was about to head to his bedroom, but we were still up hanging out. We decided to take a few pictures. It was kind of funny.
Mind Over Metal: Funny, man. So I’ve got to say Bruce, admittedly, Rigor Mortis and Gammacide were not on my radar until Warbeast came out and I have been going back and visiting the back catalogs. Was there ever a band that did that for you? I am loathe to use the word “supergroup” [to describe you guys] because it seems almost trite and it gets tossed around a lot. It is easy shorthand, you know. Was there ever a band that did that for you?
Bruce Corbitt: That is a tough question. I probably can’t come up with an answer before we finish this interview. I will have to think on that one. It is cool. I know that is the case. Not everyone knew of Rigor and Gammacide before this. But, sorry I can’t help you with that one. I am sure there is but it is slipping my mind.
Mind Over Metal: That is cool if anything comes up in the next few minutes just pop in with it. But what is the state of Rigor Mortis? So many of its members in other projects, is there is a time for that band?
Bruce Corbitt: We had reunited in 2005 with the intentions of doing a new album, that was what everyone was hoping for. It still hasn’t happened and surprisingly I was wondering if that show we did in Germany last year at the festival was going to be our last show.
Mind Over Metal: Really?
Bruce Corbitt: Then in the last two days I have heard from Mike Scaccia from Ministry and Casey Orr (Beefcake) from Gwar [both members of Rigor Mortis]. There is a time in September when we are actually going to get together and do a couple of shows.
Mind Over Metal: Nice.
Bruce Corbitt: Unfortunately there is still no talk of writing this new album. Still, I am happy any time I can just get together and do some shows with these guys.
Mind Over Metal: Right on. So speaking of playing shows, Warbeast — you guys are playing around Texas a bit, but when does the rest of the country get to see you?
Bruce Corbitt: We are in the process of trying to get with a booking agency. I just thought at first we should wait and let the CD be out for a while. We could give people a chance to get to know our music. You know what I mean. We are working on that right now. I am hoping by the end of the summer or fall or something that some tours start being setup. We are anxious to get out of there to be honest. We just gotta plan …
Mind Over Metal: Bruce, a lot of you guys lived through the first wave of Thrash, which fell by the wayside until a few years back and now there is a huge Thrash resurgency. Now it feels like we are getting inundated again. As veterans of the old school with a fresh new band, what does Warbeast do that so many upstarts forget?
Bruce Corbitt: Well, it comes natural for us, you know?
Mind Over Metal: It is ingrained in you guys now.
Bruce Corbitt: Yeah, it is just who we are. Even if it wasn’t this resurgence of Thrash this is what we would be doing anyway. We aren’t jumping on a bandwagon.
Mind Over Metal: Yeah.
Bruce Corbitt: I think you can hear that we are from that era. You can hear our influences even though nothing is intentional in that way. We go back with the roots of metal. You are going to hear some of our favorite influences mixed in with who we are. I don’t know what we do different other than the fact that we had the advantage of coming from that original time period. That is just who we are.
Mind Over Metal: Who first inspired you to pick up a microphone?
Bruce Corbitt: Shoot. As a kid, I lip synched to Aerosmith and The Beatles you know. It was whoever I was growing up on at the time in the late 60s and 70s. It was when I met Mike Scaccia who would become the guitarist of Rigor Mortis – I met him when he was 16. He was in a little band in my hometown. He was such an incredible talent right then. I was always a music person, you know, but I had never picked up a guitar or played an instrument. I just wanted to be in a band with this guy, my only solution was to say “Hey, I it sing and give it a shot.” It’s funny because I think I was in the band before I even tried to sing. They just said you are cool, you can party with us all night – you have long hair! You are in!
Mind Over Metal: [Laughing]
Bruce Corbitt: If I hadn’t met Mike and realized there was young talent out there – I was always going out to see the big bands, I never took local bands too serious until I met him.
Mind Over Metal: Interesting. What else. What else can we expect from Warbeast in 2010? In lieu of getting a tour going on is there anything else you guys have in mind?
Bruce Corbitt: We are already working on the next album.
Mind Over Metal: Really?
Bruce Corbitt: Yeah. We are taking this serious. We know how it is. Not many bands have it made. We don’t know if we will ever have it made. I am just saying we won’t to be able to get out and do tours. We want to be able to do something with this band. I think it take a second album to prove a band is for real. We don’t want to be a band that waits three years in between albums. We are already writing. Another thing I can tell you is that Philip — has some edge to do some heavier stuff again just by hanging around us.
Mind Over Metal: Nice.
Bruce Corbitt: So he is working on a new project and we are going to do a 7-inch split.
Mind Over Metal: Cool.
Bruce Corbitt: Yeah with Philip and one of his new heavy songs and one of his other bands haarp.
Mind Over Metal: Yeah he has been talking up haarp a whole lot lately.
Bruce Corbitt: Yeah they are great. Everyone knows that is with two as.
Mind Over Metal: Yeah all lower case. haarp.
Bruce Corbitt: We are excited and that is the main thing we are working on right now is taking one of the best songs we can come up with right now, get in and record it and have that ready to go on that seven inch with Phillip’s — new project. We know that will sell more just because he’s honest. We think it will be good exposure for us.
Mind Over Metal: Exactly just get your fucking names out there name, seriously. You guys are really good and definitely worthy of any and all praise that you get and I really hope that Warbeast coalesces for you all.
Bruce Corbitt: Well man I really appreciate hearing that.
Mind Over Metal: Really quick, has anyone told you that you look like Warrel Dane?
Bruce Corbitt: Like who?
Mind Over Metal: Know the band Sanctuary or Nevermore?
Bruce Corbitt: Yeah.
Mind Over Metal: You kind of sort of look like him. When I saw some promo photos I did some double takes actually. Just saying. No I guess would be the answer. No one ever told you that?
Bruce Corbitt: No. I haven’t heard that one yet. Of course you know there have been a couple of other ones over the years.
Mind Over Metal: Like what?
Bruce Corbitt: It is funny, in a recent review. I do some crazy stuff with my eyes.
Mind Over Metal: Yes you do. The back of the album you look like a fucking maniac on the back of Crush the Enemy dude.
Bruce Corbitt: You know I don’t know if this is really compliment, they were saying I am like Marty Feldman.
Mind Over Metal: Marty Feldman?
Bruce Corbitt: But you know they were just doing it because of the eyes. I don’t know.
Mind Over Metal: Well I have to say, look up Warrel Dane. I mean Nevermore is a fucking great band anyway. I wouldn’t go the whole Marty Feldman route, I do love Young Frankenstein though.
Bruce Corbitt: It is funny. I am getting thin up top up there so I saw on blabbermouth someone was saying I got the skullet.
Mind Over Metal: So few people can really rock the skullet. Devin Townsend did it for a while, it is pretty badass if you are going to go that route.
Bruce Corbitt: That’s who they said I was maybe taking his place. But the way I looked at it was you know I was a Tales from the Crypt fan.
Mind Over Metal: [laughing]
Bruce Corbitt: I kind of resemble The Crypt Keeper and I keep telling everyone I am too ugly to shave my hair completely off so they will probably see me up there when I have one strand of hair that is still long just like The Crypt Keeper.
Mind Over Metal: Alright, then “boils and ghouls” that is going to end the show. Dude, I watched Tales from the Crypt all the time when I was a kid. I loved that show. That was one of the reasons why I watched HBO when I was a kid. It was Tales from the Crypt. Fuck yeah. Alright dude, it has been good talking to you; we are wrapping up. I will say for more info on Warbeast you can go to housecorerecords.com and myspace.com/texasmetalalliance. Is there anywhere else that is a good place to go?
Bruce Corbitt: Well actually our official website is one of the better places. We try to update that often. That is http://www.warbeast.org.
Mind Over Metal: Right on. It is good to hear someone else doing the dot org thing. I do that myself with mindovermetal.org.
Bruce Corbitt: Yeah. Yeah.
Mind Over Metal: That is what it feels like. I know the ‘dot com’ and ‘dot net’ is all kind of bullshit now,but ‘dot org’ originally meant “organization” and that is kind of what it feels like in the Metal world. It is all about trying to organize things even if it is not about the money.
Bruce Corbitt: That was exactly what we were thinking when we picked that one.
Mind Over Metal: Really?
Bruce Corbitt: Not to mention that the warbeast guitar and the warbeast Playstation controller might’ve already taken dot com.
Mind Over Metal: Oh yeah! I was going to as you about that! I was diddling around on Google searching for Warbeast and I am like “Guitar Hero guitar”? What the fuck is that? And it is funny because it is like the warbeast guitar is the full-sized guitar so it has the more true experience. You are still playing a video game man.
Bruce Corbitt: I know. At first I thought we might’ve made a mistake with the name when we did a Google search and that was all that came up. Lately it has started to be more of our band stuff coming up, so it’ll work out.
Mind Over Metal: No, you stick with it man. Warbeast is just fine for a metal band. Guitar Hero will fall by the wayside. I am sure.
Bruce Corbitt: We can only hope.
Mind Over Metal: It has been good talking to you man, and I hope to catch you guys on tour at some point.
Bruce Corbitt: Yeah if we are headed that way I will let you know.
Mind Over Metal: Yeah, what is a good way to reach you guys?
Bruce Corbitt: Well, I can give you my cell phone and email if you want to hook up with me later or whatever.
Mind Over Metal: It has been a fucking pleasure man.
Bruce Corbitt: This press is a good thing for Warbeast.
Mind Over Metal: We are absolutely doing that over here. We are loving you guys and spinning the record. Again, I appreciate you talking to us. I hope things work out for you.
Bruce Corbitt: Yeah, and definitely keep in touch because we plan to be on the road someday.
Mind Over Metal: Yeah, I plan on seeing you guys.
Bruce Corbitt: Cool, man.
Mind Over Metal: Take care of yourself.
Bruce Corbitt: Take care, brother.