Interview with Thrash Supergroup Warbeast
Combining forces from brutal bands like Rigor Mortis, Gammacide, and Demonseed, Warbeast is here and ready to thrash you in oblivion. Warbeast has just released their debut album "Krush the Enemy" (reviewed here) on the illustrious Housecore Records run by Phil Anselmo, who made an appearance at their CD release show in Fort Worth, Texas, last weekend. I caught up with vocalist Bruce Corbitt, guitarists Rick Perry and Scott Shelby, bassist Alan Bovee, and drummer Joe Gonzales to discuss the musicians' incredible history, plans tp conquer the world, and their already infamous new album. A transcription follows.
Buick Mckane: Hi guys. I can’t say welcome to New Orleans this time because we’re not there. This is my first interview not in New Orleans.
Rick Perry: Welcome to Fort Worth.
Bruce Corbitt: Texas!
Buick: Thank you so much. How was your show last week in Austin?
Scott Shelby: It’s good; went real good.
Bruce: It was a good time, you know. Exciting. It went real fast so I gotta admit, just the excitement of the evening. So it seemed like the set was, like, 15 minutes.
Buick: Do you expect this show to be louder, better, heavier…
Scott: Oh, much.
Bruce: Ten times!
Buick: That’s awesome
Rick: It’s always cool to play in your hometown, and I’m having a feeling that our old friends and fans will be coming out of the woodwork tonight, so we’re looking forward to an awesome night.
Scott: This is on a much larger scale here.
Bruce: Four decades of friends showing up here tonight, you know what I mean.
Scott: We expect a big crowd.
Rick: Everyone wanting a free shirt.
Buick: You got a surprise special guest coming too.
All: Yes, we do.
Buick: Everybody’s excited about that.
Rick: Who is he? I’m wondering.
Scott: I wonder who that is? Alan, is he a friend of yours?
Alan Bovee: I think he’s a friend of mine.
Scott: Mr. Anselmo?
Buick: Is he here yet, or is he…
Scott: We hear he’s in town. He’s en route.
Bruce: Yes, they’re on their way.
Alan: Delayed slightly.
Bruce: He missed his flight. Let’s just be honest; Philip Anselmo missed his flight. Isn’t that typical of him, you know what I mean? He’s a couple hours late, but they’re gonna here any minute.
Buick: I hope so. Well, your debut album “Krush the Enemy” came out April 27th. How has it been received so far by fans in the songs you’ve been releasing on the internet and reviews?
Alan: Extremely well.
Rick: I’m really blown away by the response. I mean, I knew we had something that was good that I was proud of and I think we came up with something that’s ten songs, you know, there’s no weak spots in the whole album. But you never know what people are going to think about it, and I’ve been blown away by the reception. It’s definitely exceeded my expectations as far as what would happen.
Joe Gonzalez: Yeah, people have definitely taken to the album a lot, lot quicker than what was expected. Everyone here’s gonna have a great fuckin’ time. And it’s just not gonna stop.
Bruce: I’m just surprised that we haven’t had one bad review on it yet, you know what I mean.
The Dallas Observer even liked it, man. They’ve trashed everything I’ve ever done, so. They’re known for kind of being down on heavy metal bands, and you know they have they’re certain-type sound that they like. So for them to give props to a local heavy metal band, I think it’s awesome.
Scott: Satellite radio’s taken a liking to it too. Got in my vehicle quite a few times this week, and you turn it on, there’s Warbeast. How cool is that?
Buick: And metal usually doesn’t get played on the radio, so that\’s a big honor.
Rick: It’s like, we five have been in our practice space for a couple of years, crafting these songs and putting them together, but no one’s really heard them except for ourselves and our close fans. And now, people everywhere are hearing them, so it’s great to…It’s like you’re a painter, and you want to put your painting in a gallery and unveil it for the public. And you hope that everyone comes and everyone’s coming and they like it. So, everybody’s coming.
Scott: All over the place?
Rick: All over the place.
Alan: I have friends calling me from other states as far away as Virginia telling me how kick ass the album is, but I know we’re doing something right.
Rick: And when you’re big in Virginia…
Scott: I had a friend say he bought it in [a small city in] Indiana. And I’m like wow. I’ve never heard of it, but that’s cool that stuff’s being bought in small towns across the nation, so it’s pretty cool.
Bruce: I’m excited because tonight I’m finally going to get to see people who’ve had a chance to listen to the cd for a week or two. So we’re actually going to start seeing people who are more familiar with our songs. So I’m anxious to see if there’s people out there who know some of the words and everything.
Buick: You said that you’ve been crafting these songs for quite a while now. How long did the album take in total to make?
Rick: To write it or just to record it?
Buick: To do everything.
Rick: We’ve been writing it for about, you know, two years before we recorded it. When we initially started, we were playing songs by some of our previous bands, and we started working our own new ones in. So writing the songs, we took our time, made sure every song was quality. The actual recording of it took a couple months, and then just waited for them to put it all together, and now it’s out. It was about a year ago when we started recording it, so. A year later, we gave birth.
Bruce: To be honest, it’s been kind of a drawn-out process. That’s just the way it went.
Joe: It was totally worth it though.
Bruce: We took our time with the mixing process big time, you know.
Joe: I think that’s what also helped with everybody picking it up. Sonically, it just sounds great. It’s a phenomenal record, and yeah.
Rick: Bruce’s last record came out in 1989…
Rick: ’88. Scott and I put out our cd back in 1989. So it’s been a while. We were in no big rush. You know, why rush it out? I mean, let’s take our time and get it right.
Bruce: What we learned from those bands… I mean, a lot of people don’t know this, but Rigor Mortis found this out later when we re-issued [it], that our first album never got mastered. It was released like that, so. That’s pretty crazy, you know what I mean. We didn’t want to have any regrets at all with this one.
Buick: Do you think you’ll take a longer-than-average time on your next album?
Bruce: Think it’ll go faster this time with the mixing and everything. We’ll spend the same amount of time recording it until it’s right, but the mixing process will go a lot faster.
Buick: Well let’s talk about touring. You have a few dates set up in Texas, and you’ve had shows in Texas before. When are you going to do a whole tour?
Bruce: Well whenever we get a booking agency that believes in us. Well, what we did was in the beginning we looked around, and they didn’t hear all of our music yet. So you’re not gonna just get picked up by some of the bigger booking agencies so. We just decided to do some of our own stuff, shows, and put out the album, give it a couple months, and see if the momentum carries forward to a real booking agency and see if they pick us up.
Rick: People think that it’s just as simple as, you know, some big band saying, “Yeah, I like them. Let’s take them on tour.” It doesn’t really work that way. It’s really a business; any band that brings you on tour is expecting you to sell a certain amount of tickets also. And so, we’re basically gonna have to prove ourselves regionally, playing our own little mini-tours and playing. And I think once the buzz of this cd continues and starts spreading, then I think we won’t have any problem latching on to some proper tour.
Buick: That sounds awesome. How much time can yall devote to Warbeast with all of your other commitments going on?
Bruce: Well, actually, Rigor Mortis thing, we haven’t done anything in a year now since we played in Germany, so. And there’s no plans in sight. I’m putting my full-time…I’m putting my life into this band right now.
Scott: Me too.
Bruce: Nothing’s holding me back. What about you, Rick?
Rick: Well, I mean, uh…I’m not doing this to get rich. You know, I have my own day job that pays the bills. But it doesn’t matter, even if I’m at work, my mind is on metal 24 hours a day. So whether or not I’m at work or taking care of whatever, I’m thinking about songs, I’m thinking about riffs. So my commitment to metal is 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Scott: I have to do it, I don’t want to, it’s just a force of habit.
Rick: We got day jobs, but that pays the bills, but metal is what keeps us going.
Scott: We remind ourselves every week how much work sucks.
Joe: As awesome as tonight’s going to be, on Monday we all gotta go…
Alan: Back to reality.
Joe: Back to reality.
Buick: Do you remind yourself that work sucks when you play a show or is there some other way…
Rick: I don’t even think about work one second when I’m playing.
Scott: That’s always that harsh reality when you wake up after a show and you’re like, “Uh, work.”
Joe: Yeah, when your neck hurts and you’re just like, “Uhh, man.”
Scott: We love doing this. It’s just natural for us.
Joe: Wouldn’t have it any other way.
Alan: Actually, we kind of would.
Rick: Well, we don’t wanna know what way you would do it.
Buick: You want to support yourself with your band is what you’re saying.
Joe: I mean, that’s part of the dream, isn’t it? Being able to live off of it?
Rick: Oh yeah.
Alan: That would be nice.
Buick: Well, you’ve got great advantages going for you like your label Housecore Records which is putting out a lot of great records that people really enjoy. How did yall get involved with Housecore?
Bruce: Well, about three years ago, Rigor Mortis went out on tour with Philip’s band where he plays guitar, Arson Anthem. And I just told him I was jamming with Scott Shelby and Rick Perry because he remembered them from when he lived here. And he wanted to hear some stuff, so I got back and emailed him a demo. We weren’t expecting too much out of it, you know. I was hoping he liked it. Called me up a week later and pretty much, in that conversation, told us he wanted first chance at signing us. We only had five songs at that time, but he knew what we were about from those songs and he believed in us.
Scott: We had some other small record labels approach us, but I think we made the right choice and we’re happy with Housecore.
Rick: Yeah, I mean as soon as he wanted to get involved, there was really no point in talking to any of the others.
Scott: ‘Cause we’ve known him for years and it’s kind of in the family, I like to say. That’s good instead of setting a deal with a record label where you don’t know the people and out-of-state or something. We’re pretty happy with it.
Rick: He would tell you himself. He moved to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area when he was 18 or 19, something like that. And he saw some of our old bands. He saw Gammacide. He saw Rigor Mortis. And he knows where we’re coming from, and that makes a big difference.
Joe: I wish I was there.
Rick: He wasn’t born yet
Buick: I’m in the same boat. ’88.
Joe: I mean, they talk to me about all these badass memories and all these stories that all these guys have and I’m just like, “Yeah, totally wasn’t there.”
Scott: His are just beginning.
Rick: These days are just as kickass as those days were back then.
Bruce: Well he’s off to a much better start.
Joe: Yeah, well I got great teachers and great friends.
Scott: Yeah, you don’t have to struggle like we did.
Bruce: No, Joey paid his dues, man. People talk about his age, but that don’t mean anything, you know. He’s equal, man.
Joe: These guys are the shit, they’re awesome. I got the best teachers in the world. I couldn’t ask for much more. Pretty much couldn’t ask more than a fuckin’ thrash record for this one we got, is the shit.
Bruce: I’m glad you like it.
Joe: Well, sometimes. Depends on what I’m listening to.
Buick: Do you think you’ll have the chance to play some big European festivals this year or next?
Alan: Sure would be nice.
Bruce: Well, actually, his wife, Scott Shelby’s, been talking to the editor at Metal Hammer and she sent him the video and some cds, and he loved it so much that he’s trying to get us on that Bloodstock this year. And he says, if he can, he’s got a few other things that they sponsor. So that’s what I mean, we ain’t got tours happening yet or a booking agency, but the cd’s been getting out and there’s starting to be a buzz about future festivals and stuff like that.
Scott: It’s probably going to happen. Just give it some time.
Buick: Absolutely. And since the album was just released things can only go up from here.
Scott: I think in Europe, they’re going to eat it up like crazy.
Buick: Especially with the thrash revival going on with bands like Toxic Holocaust and Municipal Waste.
Scott: Yes, I love those guys.
Buick: Would yall ever like to do an only thrash tour?
Bruce: What we’ve found out is that we’ve done stuff with tribute bands, we played with White Snake tribute bands to the brutal death metal bands. And we fit in with any bill, the way I look at it. We’re definitely different, but it’s not such a thing where..
Scott: I like a more diverse gig instead of just one genre. I think it makes for a better gig. But sometimes, it’s not that way, but you just gotta take what happens.
Buick: What are the bands tonight? What would you classify them as?
Scott: Well, Turbid North , they’re a great band. They kinda been changing styles, but they’re kind of doing a death metal, power death metal style. And Blood Stain Carpet is technical…
Joe: Technical grind death extreme. Blood Stain Carpet is badass.
Scott: Mitra is pure hard rock.
Bruce: Hard rock metal. Harden Harrison from Rigor Mortis is the drummer.
Scott: And Warbeast is classic, pure blue thrash.
Bruce: And Hell Goat.
Scott: Yeah, Hell Goat. Southern, southern, southern metal at it’s finest.
Bruce: So, you see from tonight, like he said, we like to mix it up. We got such a variety of bands on this bill. And that’s what we like to do, you know.
Joe: But all these bands are extremely heavy in their own way. And very, very good at what they do.
Bruce: And they’re good friends of ours.
Rick: When I first started listening to metal, there weren’t a bunch of different catagories. And it was okay to listen to Venom and Motely Crue. I mean, that was alright. Later on, it kinda got, “Okay, if you listen to that, you can’t listen to this.” And that’s one of the things I like about Warbeast is that we can draw from different aspects of metal and just put it all into one powerful package. Some of our other bands, maybe we we’re like pigeonholed into a certain category of music to where we couldn’t deviate from that too much. And with Warbeast, we can incorporate all that and it fits.
Buick: Is there anything else yall would like to say?
Scott: Buy the cd. Check it out. And we can’t wait to play your town.
Bruce: Yeah, we can’t wait to come play New Orleans especially.
Buick: You have friends there so you could definitely play there.
Scott: We got a lot of friends there and we really look forward to coming there.
Bruce: It’s going to happen.
Rick: Emily, thank you very much for giving us a chance to speak to the readers of your webzine, and go out and buy “Krush the Enemy”
Bruce: Come see us in your area.
Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.
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