Warbeast - Bruce Corbitt

Warbeast - Bruce Corbitt

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WARBEAST are about to drop the third full length album titled “Enter The Arena” which will also mark the end of this hard-thrashing band. Life got in the way and singer Bruce Corbitt has to enter his personal arena and fight a serious health issue, so being the band’s frontman, has been - logically - pushed to the sidelines. However, the album is absolutely a killer, so METAL KAOZ got on the phone with Bruce to learn more about pretty much everything with the name WARBEAST involved. Check it out, and don’t forget to support your favorite musicians.


Hello, this is Dimitris from METAL KAOZ calling for Bruce.
Hey man, how is it going, brother?

I’m good, how are you, Bruce?
Hey, you know, I’m hanging in there, not too bad at all.

You sound in high spirits - I like that.
Well, like I said, it’s been a rough couple of months for me and I’m actually feeling pretty decent the last few days, so it’s a good feeling to starting to get some of my energy back.

That’s awesome news, man and the way you’re handling all this ordeal is a huge inspiration. You have to know that - I mean, we can only imagine what you’re being through.
I’m just being myself and that’s the way I had to deal with this. Only way I know how to deal with this is to take it head on and get pissed off and say “you know what? Fuck you, cancer!” (laughs).

In a way, I agree, but being outside, I can only tell such things in theory. Now, let’s talk about music, ok?
Yes, sir.

First of all, you had the album release show on July 14th and then one show on July 21st, so how was the album release show? Did you go?
Yeah, you know, it was gonna take a lot for me not to be there. Even though I was going through all the radiation and chemo and feeling bad, and it was going to be hard, but luckily I was feeling decent that day and I was there, and man, it was one of the most amazing nights of my life; bittersweet and just a roller-coaster of emotions going through my mind, but with an incredible amount of friends and family, people from the local community – people flying in, showing their love and support by being there that night that I’ve ever seeing, and that’s no bullshit. I have never witnessed that much love at one venue before, ever. It was very special.

That’s great! So, did Phil do a good work on the WARBEAST songs (laughs)?
Yeah, of course, I mean it’s Phil Anselmo, so you know that he is not gonna try to sound like me or mimic my voice; he’s gonna do it his own way and that was what was cool was he did it in his style and made a memorable night for everyone that was there of course. I would have loved to be up there but it was fun for me to watch Phil singing those songs and yeah, man, he did his best.

And I think I saw a YouTube video where Ed Neal did some singing too, is that correct?
(laughs) Yeah. We got that new song from the new album, “Hitchhiker”, and of course the lyrics are about his character from the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” movie and we got to become even closer the last year and he kind of offered to sing it and I was like “you know what? I wanna see this and I bet everybody’s gonna want to see this”. It was too fun , too cool - we had recently filmed a music video / short film starring him in the first time during the last 40 something years that he’s played that role, and he is doing it in our music video. And he got up there and directed it, helping with where we needed to start and finish each verse (laughs). It was so cool, man, had great time filming it. And the music video which we all are proud of, he loves it too, will be out in the middle of August or something like that. It’s about 18 minutes long.

Is there a script going on?
Yeah, it was an idea from long time - and that’s my favorite movie of all time, the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” - and he was always my favorite character in the movie. I mean, I love them all but when actually comes to the acting part of it, I thought he was the best actor of the bunch, so I was always a big fan of the Hitchhiker role. So, I wrote a script and that idea had for a long time and finally got to make it happen. It’s like in the old fashioned ‘80s days - where there is a little story / plot built up before the music video and we took it even a step further - like I said, this is a 18 minute long thing now (laughs). I’m excited for everybody to see it, man, it’s coming up in a few weeks.

Is there a career of script writing in the future for you?
Well, I don’t know - I mean, you have to tell me. I don’t know if it’s a great script or anything to make a career for me, but somehow I made it work and everybody found humor in it and I think it works. You know, directing the RIGOR MORTIS documentary and written the script and help directing and produced this music video for WARBEAST - I mean, I had to retire from singing (laughs), so I don’t know - I’ve got to find something else to be up there. You never know.

So, how long did you work on “Enter The Arena”, the album?
The writing started about 6 months before we got down to the studio, and actually today [July 31st] I noticed it was exactly 1 year ago today when we started recording the album (which is crazy, how fast a year goes by, you know), but yeah, 5 or 6 months that we started the writing process. We had one of the songs already written and playing for about a year and then the other nine songs came later. What we like to do is, about two months into the writing we set a studio date with Phil Anselmo and Housecore Records and picked a time for us to come down and we were still in the middle of writing the album and that gives us like “alright, this is our target, man”.

Some sort of a deadline right?
A deadline, yes. So, we had only three songs written, we got to come with a lot more - we might have a different parts of a lot of songs, we had just to come and finish them off, so that deadline and target date just makes this band move forward and put all that pressure on us. So things fell into place, once we set that target date.

And the album came out great because I feel that the previous albums were building up to this point; I mean, the band sounds confident, it has a characteristic sound, everything sounds in place - at least to my ears.
Man, I’ve known you for years, and that means a lot, you saying that. And yeah, we changed band members over the years, but the nucleus with me and Scott and Joey, we pretty much have grown together as a band and writing. So, I pretty much, you know, have total faith in Scott Shelby to lead the writing for the musical part of the band and let him take the reins, and sure enough he’s become a great leader when it comes to leading the other musicians in the writing and giving them the right direction. And the new guys worked well; Joey has always been a vital part of this band and then of course once they did the music ready, then I came in and try to add my touch later with the lyrics, you know.

And you did great, man - I mean, the album comes with a great sound; the drums have what I like to call a “natural” sound, the production is not super-compressed, you can hear stuff. You can hear the bass that I love to hear in Thrash albums. I guess “natural” is the best way to describe it. Speaking of lyrics, do you write them before or after the music?
I always wait till after, man - I like to hear the song and get to know it and sometimes kind of see what I can [interrupting himself] I can hear a theme in it, you know, something it reminds me of, so I may not been thinking of songs and stuff I wanna write about and then I like to hear the music and listen to it so much that I know it as well as the musicians. And then the lyrics start to float and start to hear parts where sort of certain things will come to me. You know, I always wanted to do a song about the Minotaur - you know what I mean? And all of a sudden, when they were writing the music to that, I was like “ah, that’s the one where I’m gonna put the lyrics for that”. So, that became that song, and then with “Orchestration Of Violence”, I was finally doing a song about D-Day and that song just reminded me of war and stuff like that. So yeah, I add my stuff later and I write to the music, not try to fit lyrics to that. I was never able to write in advance, never was.

I see what you’re saying; you have to have something to get your clock ticking, I guess.
Yeah, and like I said, there’s been times where naturally a song would remind me of something and then it just comes to me later, you know.

I was about to ask you about “Maze Of The Minotaur”, but you just talked about it. Because, being a Greek, I was intrigued by the title there (laughs)
One of things that fascinate me is Greek mythology - I just love how all that stuff sort of ties together in one big story, it’s so fascinating to me. This is one of things I’ve always been into, and medieval times and horror movies and stuff - that’s the things I like to write about.

Yeah, and I remember the awesome song from the last RIGOR MORTIS album, “Ludus Magnus”, so looking at the tracklist of “Enter The Arena”, I was kind of thinking that based on the title there might have a connection to this album, but I guess there is none.
In a way, it kinda does - I mean, Scott thought the title but he always is, well, he and me both, into gladiator stuff and we’re into mix martial arts, UFC, and in one point actually our artist had put “Ludus Magnus” up in the background, kind of like he’s gauzing “Enter The Arena”, so yeah, all kind of have a connection but it’s not like intentionally.

I know what you’re saying, I just thought I discovered something when first looking at it (laughs). Speaking about connections, we talked about the obvious one between “Hitchhiker” and the movie “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre”, but is there a movie connection for “The Scalping”?
Yeah, actually what I did for it came from a movie but then I did my research, like I always do once I get an idea, but I was watching that movie “The Revenant”. And then at the end where there is a scalping; I was enjoying the movie and I was like “that’s pretty fucking sick”, you know, what they used to do fuck somebody’s scalp off, and use it like a trophy or something. So I just thought, being known to write all the horror and gore and all that stuff, this is true live shit, so then I did my research in the history of scalping and that’s where that came from off. I really didn’t take anything else from the movie - just the idea of that came from it.

I heard the excerpt in the beginning of the song, so I thought there is some movie-inspired theme here, but I see what you’re saying. You can find a lot of horror stories out of true life and the history of this.
Exactly, like I did with “We Are The Vultures” and the medieval torture devices and stuff like that. That’s some sick shit that used to be (laughs).

And this is what I love about your vocals; even though you sound aggressive, you almost growl or even scream, but still, one can understand what you’re saying, and this is what makes you so different from the other Thrash singers.
I appreciate it. I always try to be that way but it’s just the way I sing - and I start realizing that people would point that out. Even from the first RIGOR MORTIS album, you can understand everything and then the chick that signed us back then said “I like that because it makes is twice as evil when you can understand what he’s singing about”.

What is the latest updated regarding the second part of “The Story Of Rigor Mortis”? I understand that now there is no time to work on that, but what do you have in mind?
I know the editor and filmmaker Marco Hugner from 12 Pound Productions; he started to help on getting the second part going by’s taken a lot of the pieces [interrupting himself] we have finished filming it, so that’s the good part, so he’s gonna take a lot of the pieces and the interviews and put them in a timeline to tell the story, and then as soon as I have my surgery and I can get through this long recovery period, I will come in and do my part, just to tell the story by writing the narration around it. I usually film my parts later to help fill in any of the blanks or anything missing in the story. We’re working on it but now unfortunately all gonna have to wait until I can recover from my upcoming surgery. I’d guess we will have it out sometime in 2018.

Of course. And now that you went back to your health issue (and this is something that is bothering me for quite some time now), how difficult is for a musician, especially in Metal, to survive when there are so many health insurance issues? I mean, it must be brutal.
It is tough and I’m glad you brought that up because you’ve seen that some people have started the fundraiser for me and they usually do for other musicians. And then I read at some site, a guy writing “I’m so sicken off all these musicians, why aren’t they getting any health insurance?”, and I’m like “why is that guy bitching about?”. This is why such people do not buy the musicians’ albums and let us make some money when we do it as a career, and maybe we wouldn’t have to have those fundraisers. You see what I mean? Because I’m not gonna start bitching about people who illegally download, but you know, the music business is not what it was 20 years ago back. People could actually make some money back then, now it’s hard to make money, so the only way someone like me is going to have any chance in the world, it is because of friends, people or family who try to put something together to help us out. It’s brutal, because like I said, some of us have health insurance but it’s usually not a very good one, because usually we don’t have the money to afford a situation like what happened to me. It’s just an expensive thing I’m going through and I didn’t make much money over the years with RIGOR MORTIS or WARBEAST, so I tell people all the time that I thank them because if they didn’t have started that fundraiser and these benefits shows I wouldn’t be able to continue this fight with cancer, believe it or not.

I believe you, man, and I want all these to be heard because I believe we’ve lost connection with the human being, being so online I mean. It’s crazy. It’s not right going through with the stuff you’re going through and have on top of that the health insurance issues and worry about money – that’s the bottom-line. It’s totally unacceptable.
It’s been frustrating, dude. Because now I’ve got to worry if something happens and my insurance delays in a week or two, giving time to cancer to spread to some other part of my body because of the delay – it’s just bullshit, you know.

And you don’t need any more stress right now.
No, I don’t.

I have one more question, Bruce, and maybe it’s hard to answer it; what are the plans to promote this album, since playing live is out of the question - at least for the time being?
It’s a good question and this is something we had to discuss and figure out with the record label. And thank goodness for Phil Anselmo and Housecore Records still being behind us and this band and me and have to still no matter what move forward to release this album, knowing that we can’t be out there touring for this next year where we’d usually do after a new album. And there isn’t much we can do other than what we’ve been doing which is [interrupting himself] just, we had a big show here, a couple of weeks ago, Phil came to sing and, we’re about to stream this week the whole album and then the music video. Other than that all we can do is with press and stuff, you know.

Do you have any unreleased songs that would possibly make it into a 7’’ single or something like that?
I know we do have one unreleased song from the “Destroy” sessions and then of course we have the song “Nameless” which was a bonus song on the European version of “Destroy” and then other than that we have a joke song (laughs) - it was kind of a funny thing, when we did our first album “Krush The Enemy”, I sang “Blackened Heart” with a Rock kind of John Lennon voice just to freak Scott and the other guys out when they would come to hear my vocals for the first time. So, there are two or three things that maybe we can put together. There is a couple of really, really good live recording of us in one of the clubs around here and I have a buddy that once he heard it was like “hey I kinda liked that version better from your actual albums”. Who knows what we can do, we’ll see. I’m sure all the other guys will carry on the best they can and find their way in other bands or something and then if I’m lucky, maybe one day, a couple of years from now, I’ll be able to find something to do too, and maybe even sing again, you know.

...And that’s the best way to close this interview, man! Because, I wanted a positive note to go out from this.
You know, man, honestly, I’ve got a lot of stuff left in me to do, like you mentioned the RIGOR MORTIS documentary, I have a book I’m gonna finish and I think that I’ve got a chance to work in the music business somehow, whether it’s producing bands or managing, promoting - something. So, I believe there are a lot of bands out there that I could help with my experience and guidance and connections. I’ve got a lot of goals and dreams left in me, so don’t count me out yet (laughs).

Now that you mentioned the documentary, will you be adding close captions in the second part of the DVD?
Yeah, I will next time because you told me about that later. As soon as you brought that up, I thought we definitely need that for part two, brother.

That’s awesome, Bruce! Please be strong to fight this shit. Take care!
Thank you, brother - talk to you soon!