AN INTERVIEW WITH BRUCE CORBITT OF WARBEAST!!! by Wendy WWAD
WW: How did you guys originally hook up?
BC: It kind of just happened by being victims of circumstance. After we heard about our longtime friend Wayne Abney’s (Hammer Witch) serious motorcycle accident, Homer Jimenez( former bouncer and bar manager of the Tattoo Bar, R.I.P.) suggested we put a benefit together for him. So I started setting it all up and looking for bands to play etc. I wanted all of the bands playing the show to have a connection to Wayne somehow. Whether that meant being former band members, his friend’s bands, or bands that came from the same era as Hammer Witch.
Because of schedules with all of the (at-the-time) recently reunited old-school Dallas/Ft. Worth Thrash bands like Rigor Mortis, Gammacide and Rotting Corpse, none of those bands were able to play on the date of the show. Then Rick Perry of Gammacide came up with the idea for the available members of those bands to team up and play some songs from each of our bands. We ended up getting some of the guys from Hammer Witch involved too. Scott Shelby (also of Gammacide) thought of calling it Texas Metal Alliance. So those 2 guys from Gammacide, their new bassist Alan Bovee and myself made up the core of the lineup. We had to learn all the material from all of the bands and then we brought up special guests during certain songs. That was probably one of the most important shows of my life for me now that I look back on it because I had to sing songs by 4 of the most important bands that were part of starting our original D/FW underground scene. I proved I could do more than just sing Rigor Mortis songs. So anyway, less than a week after that show… the Gammacide guys called me up and asked me if I wanted to go ahead and keep working with them. So we decided right then to go ahead and make a band out of this project… and the rest as they always say… is history.
WW: You guys were formerly called the Texas Metal Alliance. What prompted the change to Warbeast?
BC: Once we got signed and had enough original material to record an entire album. We just figured it was a good time to change the name. Plus by then we had stopped playing Rigor Mortis and Gammacide songs at shows and bringing up special guests. So by then we had evolved into a permanent and a current band. We were no longer just a band of musicians from different bands uniting to play our old shit.
BC: Back in December 2005, Rigor Mortis went on a short tour with one of Philip’s bands Arson Anthem. I first mentioned the new band and lineup to him then and I handed him a demo that we had recently been working on. A couple of months after the tour we talked on the phone one night. I told him I’d send him another copy of the demo because we had finished it by then. It really wasn’t like I was submitting it to his label. It was just friends sharing their music with each other. To our surprise he called me a week later and said that he heard potential in the band. So he was interested in signing us right then and obviously now that’s exactly what happened.
WW: Philip Anselmo recorded your upcoming release, Destroy (2013). Is there a set release date yet?
BC: Philip has produced all of the Warbeast releases since we signed with his label. We always record at his own studio that he calls Nosferatu’s Lair. We are close to having an official release date. But as of today I just know it will be in either February or March 2013.
WW: How was working with him?
BC: Keyword… FUN! We’re all friends with Philip to begin with. So I can honestly say that making these albums with him will always bring back some of the best memories of my life. There’s really nothing better than working hard on making your creative ideas come to life and enjoying it the entire time. Besides Philip’s knowledge and experience when it comes to the studio process of recording a new album, he’s well aware of creating a comfortable environment for the band to get the best out of each member.
WW: What does the new bass player, Dre’ Karst, add to Warbeast?
BC: Dre’ shared our love for Thrash and was into a lot of the same bands we are. He’s a 20 year veteran of being in bands. So from the beginning Dre’ proved he could learn our songs on his own and he didn’t have to be coached to get all of our material down. He’s proven to be very dependable when it comes to our live shows too. He also wasn’t gun-shy and he didn’t act like the new guy onstage. He has a good stage presence and he’s added that to our live shows.
WW: Warbeast members come from a long line of Texas metal bands. Can you tell us about some of them?
BC: With the departures of a couple of our original members Rick Perry (Guitar) and Alan Bovee (Bass)… Scott Shelby (Guitar) and I are the only 2 members left from that original benefit show. Scott of course is mostly known from Gammacide. But he’s also recorded with Rotting Corpse before and he also joined Hammer Witch for awhile near the end of their run. Our drummer Joey Gonzalez came from the longtime D/FW Death Metal band Demonseed. Recently he’s toured with Hank 3 and he also plays all of the drums for Philip Anselmo’s upcoming solo album entitled “Walk Through Exits Only”. Dre’ was originally from New Orleans and moved to Texas after the Katrina disaster. Bobby Tillotson (Guitar) also was in Demonseed for awhile and many other bands around here like Sweet Tooth
WW: You have been super busy this past year, with 3 releases slated for 2013: Destroy (Warbeast’s sophomore album), War Of The Gargantuas (a split featuring two Warbeast Songs and two songs from Phil Anselmo’s solo album), and long-awaited and much anticipated Rigor Mortis album, Slaves to the Grave (http://www.theaquarian.com/2012/11/28/interview-with-warbeasts-bruce-corbitt-thrash-renaissance-man/ ). How do you have the time for both bands? Which band takes precedence?
BC: Yeah it’s crazy for me to think that just in 2013 alone I will more than double all of the releases I’ve been on in the last 25 years. There’s a good chance that it will actually be 4 releases that I’m on in 2013. Warbeast wanted our next full-length album ‘Destroy’ to be about 40-45 minutes long. We ended recording more than enough songs so we’re also going to put out 2-song special edition vinyl hopefully by the end of 2013.
Even though it does keep me busy, so far there haven’t been any problems working out schedules to do both Rigor Mortis and Warbeast. Planning is done farther in advance these days. So we just have to pick and choose around our schedules since most of the other members have other things going on too.
WW: What inspires you lyrically?
BC: Sometimes that’s the hardest part about writing lyrics… just figuring out what to write about. Sometimes I’ve been given an idea, title, movie or subject that one of the other members wanted this certain song to be about. If I have to do research to learn more about this subject to be able to write the lyrics… then I do just that.
When I come up with my own ideas and themes for songs… I try to mix it up with true and fictitious stories. If I wrote novels, I would write books like Stephen King and not about love stories and fairy tales. So that’s kind of how I am when it comes to writing lyrics, especially for bands like Rigor Mortis and Warbeast. The music itself requires more of an evil, wicked, demented feel and sometimes serious or humorous types of lyrics… or it just doesn’t fit.
WW: Obviously you are a horror and fantasy buff. What are your top 3 movies?
BC: I always have to just stick with my old favorite classics when it comes to questions like this. So I would say The Exorcist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Evil Dead.
WW: Warbeast is hitting the road on the Weed and Speed tour with Down again in Jan. 2013. Is another European tour on the horizon? Will Rigor Mortis tour in 2013 as well?
BC: From the feedback I’ve been hearing since our recent European tour with Down… I do expect us to tour Europe again. I think we will also do some kind of ‘fest’ during the summer in upcoming years. Rigor Mortis does plan to tour for the new release in 2013… in the US and also in Europe.
WW: Some favorite places to play? Places you would like to play but haven’t yet?
BC: Honestly I love playing anywhere and everywhere. I like meeting people in all parts of the world. Some of them become fans and some become friends, so it’s always cool to see them again when we come back.
Favorite places are.. usually if I love the city itself for a certain reason. Like, I love gambling, so I love when we play in Vegas. Or if I have close friends in some cities etc. As far as places I would like to play… anywhere we haven’t played before. Like I said, I wanna play anywhere and everywhere!
WW: You guys recently toured Europe with Down. How was your reception there? Any tour horror stories you’d like to share? Or was it pretty much just awesome?
BC: We were actually received really good by the fans in Europe. Especially considering the fact that the crowd was there to see Down and most of them were unfamiliar with a Thrash band like Warbeast. Our style obviously doesn’t match Down’s sound… but it made both bands sound even more ‘unique’ and it somehow fit to make it a great concert for the fans. They could also sense the support each band gives each other and that we are true metal brothers.
Europe was just simply… AWESOME! Luckily no horror stories… except maybe the fact that we had to eat at McDonald’s or Burger King every day for like the last 8 days of the tour… haha!
WW: How would you describe Warbeast’s sound to the uninitiated?
WW: If you were reincarnated as an animal, what would you be?
BC: Hmmm, I dunno… do Dinosaurs count? Haha! If so I would be a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Because I’m not a vegetarian.
WW: I read on your Facebook page that you guys are looking for places to stay (while on tour) where you can watch the playoffs. Are you Cowboys fans? Haha
BC: Yeah, the only way that Warbeast has been able to afford to do a lot of touring so far is because so many friends/fans have helped us out. I’m the main football fan of the band… so it was really me that didn’t wanna miss the Playoff games during the tour, Haha! Am I a Cowboys fan? To put it bluntly… “HELL NO!”
WW: Happy 50th! How’s life on the road treating your half a century old self?
BC: Well thank ya… as we speak, the big day is approaching soon. Man, I still write like a 1st-grader, I still eat like a little kid (I always get stains all over my shirt) and my mind still feels like I did when I was a teenager. Too bad my fucked-up neck, lower-back and achilles tendons aren’t on the same page. But even when my body is feeling old and aching… I somehow still make it through the show with the help of the adrenaline I get from being onstage.
WW: What makes Dallas such a hotbed for metalheads?
BC: That’s a damn good question and I really don’t know the actual reason. But we do have a long-tradition of producing great metal musicians and metal bands. We’ve luckily had some great metal fans and some very important club owners over the years to support us. I also think that because Dallas and Ft. Worth are so close to each other that it just makes this an even bigger area for more musicians to meet.
WW: What are your plans for Dec. 21st, 2012?
BC: First I’m going to rehearse with Rigor Mortis to get ready for my 50th birthday show the following night. Then I’m going to go hang out with my wife for the rest of the night. At least I know I will be going out doing what I love to do when the world comes to an end… Haha! But no matter what… the show must go on… my birthday show that is.
WW: Final words of wisdom?
BC: “Don’t do what I do… do what I say.” I’ve made more mistakes than just about anyone… and I’m still making mistakes. If I ever give anyone any advice… it’s usually to try to prevent them from making the same mistakes I’ve already made.