Warbeast Vocalist on the Late Mike Scaccia, Friendship With Phil Anselmo
Warbeast are a favorite of Phil Anselmo, so much so that the former Pantera and current Down frontman brought them on tour with him, is releasing their music via his Housecore label and even dropped his first solo material of his career via a split with Warbeast. That’s some endorsement, Given Anselmo’s reputation and his passion for extreme, quality heavy metal.
Clearly, there’s something special about Warbeast. Noiscereep decided to find out what all the fuss is about by chatting with frontman and true Southern gentleman Bruce Corbitt.
How does it feel to get such an endorsement from a metal legend like Phil Anselmo, who released his first solo material as part of a Warbeast split and who signed you to his Housecore label?
We’re honored and it’s privilege and he’s a friend of mine, which makes it cooler. We wouldn’t want to be on any other label. He mentions our band in interviews and wears our shirts on stage, which is better than an ad in a metal magazine.
What’s the Warbeast appeal? What roped Phil in?
Metal fans are all-ages. The old school fans are always there, and the younger fans that discover older school thrash and stuff like us. [Guitarist] Scott [Shelby] and I are from the ’80s, that early wave of thrash, so naturally, that’s something we’ve always done. We leave the stage soaking wet with sweat and we’re in your face the whole time, jamming as hard as we can. It’s full out energy. Here comes Godzilla.
You were in the band Rigor Mortis with Mike Scaccia from Ministry, who died suddenly earlier this year. As a result, you dedicated a tour to him.
Warbeast and Down wanted to dedicate the tour to Mike. It’s been tough. It created an impact on a lot of people. He was the only reason I ever got in a band and it’s like I lost a part of my life. First, you realize you lost a friend. Then you realize it’s the end… of Rigor Mortis. And I will never be on stage with that man again. It’s devastating and I am dealing with it the best I can. I don’t want to bring anyone down. You try and be normal and have fun and laugh. Then there are the moments where it hits you again. It’ll be like that for a long time. Maybe forever. But you learn to function. Those moments will get longer in between; it just takes time. We had finished a Rigor Mortis album; he was mixing his guitar parts. Luckily, fans will get the music coming out. It’s bittersweet, but we have that.
Will you release the Rigor Mortis album?
Yes, it’s a priority of ours. Before the tour, I spent five or six days doing vocal mixes. The drums and bass are in their now. By the time tour is over, I hope it’s completed. It could be summer, or the end of the year but it will definitely come out.
What is up with Warbeast, post tour?
A full length, Destroy, which is finished, and out. We will keep chugging up that mountain.
Listen to ‘Birth of a Psycho’
What’s your favorite thing about the South?
I guess our accents. I have a pretty good one. Southern hospitality, I have to admit, I am that way. The south has friendly people. If there are strangers in town, you help them out, make them feel welcome.
Do you have any non-music hobbies or skills?
We’ve all been good at video games, the early Nintendo stuff, I got addicted to it then. I am an Xbox junkie. I will always be a video game guy.
Tell us a Warbeast recording story! Share elements of the process with us.
Scott wrote a song on 9/11. It doesn’t have to be about that, but I made it a song about all the tragic days in American history, including that. But also Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy assassination and hurricanes. We called it ‘The Day Of.’ All the clips in the song from history, of Walter Kronkite? We knew we couldn’t use his recordings, so we read news clips ourselves. We had a couple guys from Warbeast, Phil Anselmo, Mike Williams of eyehategod reading and recording them. We were not trying to imitate. That was fun. Someone would mess up and do funny stuff, like Phil trying to sound Japanese. It was funny as hell, despite the heavy subject matter.
War of the Gargantuas is available now on iTunes! Their Destroy album will hit stores on April 2.