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Bruce Corbitt (Warbeast)

Interview with Bruce Corbitt from Warbeast
by Michael "MettleAngel" Francisco at 05 March 2013, 2:04 PM

Texas Thrash lords WARBEAST will release their new album “Destroy” on April 9th. I saw them perform several new songs while on “The Weed and Speed Tour” with DOWN and VENOMOUS MAXIMUS. MettleAngel took the time to speak with vocalist Bruce Corbitt about the new album, the tour, and his work in the under-appreciated speed horror act RIGOR MORTIS, and working with the late Mike Scaccia who died from fatal heart attack just prior to Christmas while playing a reunion show with his former band mates.

Hey Man, I am so glad to finally meet you. I have been a fan of your work ever since I first heard you on the debut by RIGOR MORTIS.

Yeah, I can see that by looking at your vintage RIGOR MORTIS shirt.

I actually got this from Casey Orr, when he was still with GWAR, a band you will soon be touring with in the coming months. I am not a fan of DOWN, but I was excited at the opportunity to see WARBEAST live.

That is good to hear!

I know the “Krush the Enemy” album fairly well, and the two songs on the “War of the Gargantuas” split with Phil Anselmo and the Illegals. I was surprised to hear that you debuted so many new songs tonight.

Yeah, we are so excited about this new album. Unfortunately, we are losing our new bassist Dre’ Karst who worked hard on the album, but could not handle the rigors of touring.

This is what I hear. So why did you focus mostly on new material. I recognized “Scorched Earth Policy” and the title track, but was unfamiliar with the new songs, although “Egotistical Bastard” sounded quite promising.

Yeah, I guess we played five new cuts including the intro - “Cryogenic Fallout”.

I noticed that you named one song after the band “Warbeast”, that one definitely caught my ear.

The others were “War Of the Worlds”, “Nobody”, and “Nightmare in the Sky”. This tour is called “Weed and Speed” because we want people who are only familiar with DOWN to go crazy when they see us live.

It was cool to see you still had the chain stalk microphone, and that the other guys were all adorned in Metal attire. When I first heard WARBEAST, I was excited to hear that members of RIGOR MORTIS and GAMMACIDE had formed a new band and were working will Phil Anselmo. I dug the debut, and I am stoked for “Destroy”. However, if you do not mind, I would like to discuss your time in RIGOR MORTIS.

That is cool by me!

How did such an unknown band in the mid-'80s get immediately signed to Capitol Records?

We were just in the right time at the right place I guess. Capitol wanted to sign EXODUS, but they were still in litigation with their label. We just worked with the right people. This one rep. Rachel really dug us, and promoted us on the tour with MEGADETH. In some respects, we were the first big successful thrash band out of Texas.

I know, as SOLITUDE AETURNUS and HELSTAR were hot on your heels, but somehow PANTERA reaped all the glory. I am amazed that Capitol did not have issues with your graphic and misogynistic lyrics. Even before CANNIBAL CORPSE rose to fame, RIGOR MORTIS seemed to have had the most shocking lyrics I had ever read, save the debut by DEATH, whose lyrics I later discovered were based on real Italian Horror Flicks.

Yeah, we too were inspired by intense Horror films. We thought it was all a joke, and we never took ourselves that seriously. We were fans of ALICE COOPER, so we wanted to blend the grisly horror epics with our love for music.

I am sure the PMRC had a heyday with you. Tell me what it was like to work with the late Mike Scaccia. When I first heard his guitar style shredding on the RIGOR MORTIS debut or “Psalm 69” by MINISTRY, I had never heard anything like that before, and I was instantly hooked.

Yeah, John Perez from SOLITUDE AETURNUS nicknamed him the “Hummingbird” because he played so fast and furious. I was always a supporter of Mike's work, and I wanted him in my band. At least he died doing what he loved. He was an exceptional guitarist, and he could play any style from Classical to Jazz, Country, or Blues.

He died while playing a RIGOR MORTIS reunion show at the Rail Club in Fort Worth, Texas on December 22nd. I imagine this must have been a horrible shock and tragedy?

It was for us all, and we still dedicate every show we plan to his memory and honor.

I have always argued that Mike Ralph Scaccia was the best guitarist to ever come out of Texas, much to the chagrin of those who idolize “Dimebag”. I never found Darrell to be that innovative, and his breakdowns just annoyed me, but Mike's playing always inspired and intrigued me.

I agree Mike was by far the superior talent, but “Dimebag's” legend lives on, and he was assassinated, which only makes fans worship him more.

I guess, but people need to hear cuts like “Wizard Of Gore” or “Re-Animator” to understand our argument. Actually, how exactly did “Foaming At The Mouth” make it on to the “Decline Of Western Civilization II” soundtrack, even though the band was never in the Documentary?

Our promoter Rachel knew Penelope Spheeris, but we were striving to keep the rights to our name as another Punk outfit was called RIGORMORTIS at the time. This entire legal BS kept us from making an actual appearance in the film.

Another trivia fact that I am curious about is the film “Mr. Nanny” starring Hulk Hogan. The infamous RIGOR MORTIS song “Foaming at the Mouth” is played on cassette to Mr. Nanny by one of the mischievous kids in the movie who is a fan of the cult band. I was a substitue school teacher at the time when we played this movie for our students in 1993. I instantly got a kick out of all the RIGOR MORTIS jokes, but by this time, you had already left the band.

Man, you really know our history.

Well, I am a fan, and I know that King Fowley put out a bootleg of the debut with the rare track “The Troll”. I have the re-issued version with the original demo on it, is that version official, though?

Yeah, Casey put that one out for fans. We got tired of other people making money on E-Bay for our art. We actually plan to re-release the self-titled again with re-mastered production, better packaging, and more bonus tracks. We want to do this right to honor our fans, accordingly.

Well, that is the version I will want to support. Perhaps you can use the proceeds to benefit Mike's bereft family. I still have my original cassette, which I still play. With RIGOR MORTIS you split the writing lyrics responsibilities. However, with WARBEAST, are you not the main lyricist?

Yeah, for the most part. I like to take my time writing words that fit. I may take a whole week just with one song. I like to emphasize the number of syllables in a song. Counting them helps me to create stronger words. There are so many topics which inspire me too.

It seemed like on the “War of the Gargantuas” split you penned some angry words. I noticed you mention the name Golem in “IT” quite frequently.

Yeah, but this is not J.R.R. Tolkien's Gollum. If you go to Wikipedia, you can learn more about the folklore, and what inspired me.

The German Thrash act PROTECTOR had an album called “Golem”. I am familiar with the Jewish mythology of this character. I also noticed how you sound like Oderus Ungerus vocally, at least the way he did on the first two GWAR albums: “Hell-O” and “Scumdogs of the Universe”.

Did you read that in another CD review? Some compare me to Phil Rind of SACED REICH too.

I do not read other reviews before I write my own, nor do I search the Internet for clues before an interview. I thought that I was alone in this thinking. I was not aware that others had made this same comparison. I would not agree with the Phil Rind allusion, except that on “Birth of a Psycho” you do intone a bit like Phil does on “The American Way”. Either way I like the way you sing with such anger and aggression. It matches the music.

Thanks! I have been doing this for quite some time. I am 50, you know.

That is noble how you still have the energy and enthusiasm to keep it going. I wanted to complement you on the WARBEAST logo, it has some catchy imagery with the demarcated letters.

Yeah, that is something Phil just jotted out and scratched on a piece of paper when trying to come up with a memorable logo.

It reminds me of the early iconic DEATH covers.

Each letter has its roots and inspiration: The “W” is like something out of a werewolf movie, the “A” obviously is anarchy. The “B” looks like the BEATLES, the “S” is the KISS army “S”, etc.

This is why I bought a tour shirt at the show tonight. I like the whole design. Even the Pointed Star reminds me of “Gates of Purgatory” by RUNNING WILD. Bruce thanks for indulging an older fan.

No problem Man, keep in touch and spread the good word around!


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