Philip Anselmo and Bruce Corbitt’s contributions to metal are unprecedented. While Anselmo helped bring heavier genres to the mainstream as part of Pantera and Down, Corbitt served as an early influence in the underground thrash scene as the voice of Rigor Mortis. Yet despite already leaving a major footprint in metal music, both singers are still forces to be reckoned with in today’s scene (Anselmo with his numerous groups and label Housecore Records, and Corbitt with the reformed Rigor Mortis and Warbeast). Thus it’s rather fitting that the two singers and longtime friends have teamed up to release War Of The Gargantuas, a split EP featuring two previously unreleased Warbeast songs and our first taste of Anselmo’s solo material.
Recently, Metal Insider had the chance to speak with both of these legendary frontman. During our candid chat, we discussed the inspiration behind War Of The Gargantuas (due out on January 8 via Housecore), Warbeast’s evolution on their new album Destroy, the formation of Anselmo’s debut solo album, the two singer’s close relationship (both musically and personally), and the friendly rivalry held between Pantera and Rigor Mortis in the early days.
I know you both have a long history together, but how did the idea of doing this split actually come together?
Philip: I guess when Warbeast was down here actually tracking Destroy, or maybe it was before that. It was always an idea, something that we wanted to do. After I recorded the bulk of my solo stuff, it was something I had brought up to Bruce. And actually, this is a long time coming now that I’m really remembering because the two songs that Warbeast has on the split (a song called “Birth Of A Psycho” and also “IT”) were recorded…geez, what three years ago, Bruce?
Bruce: Over two years, yeah. I was going to mention that Philip sometimes gets these ideas way in advance. And at first he didn’t remember it, but this was some idea he came up with like two and a half years ago, for us to record a couple of songs because he was writing his new material at the time. And the idea was “Let’s do a split down the road. We don’t know when it’ll be.” Here it is, over two years later and it’s happening, but it’s good that we planned ahead.
Philip: Excellent summary there, Bruce!
So Bruce, would you say that since these two songs were recorded a while ago (and after Warbeast went through some lineup changes), fans can expect something different with Destroy?
Bruce: Yeah, I would say so and I think Philip agrees. And these two songs on the split are what we call a “step in the direction” we were going in. Still sounds like Warbeast, of course, but I think we got heavier and unleashed our drummer [Joe Gonzalez] more. We changed a couple of members since then, so there’s just a couple of different things in the writing and everything. We’ve evolved and improved as a band, and the writing shows that. So I think when you hear the new album and the split, you might have to agree, hopefully [laughs].
Philip, I know you’ve been working your solo debut Walk Through Exits Only for a while now. Can you give us a breakdown of how the actual process of recording and writing occurred?
Philip: Well, I was writing songs and I’ve been doing Down for a long time. When it comes to Down, there’s no real surprises for any of us in the band. When we step into a room and the core members are there, what we write is going to sound like Down. I’m one who has always adventured in music, because music is a very vast place. And there’s an extreme love in my heart for I guess what would be called extreme music, or heavy metal in general. So I wanted to basically just get this mad nagging out of my system, these songs, whatever they were going to turn out like. I think that coupled with figuring that I wrote all of these songs in my bedroom and whatnot, I didn’t have a band, I didn’t have anything going except for a bunch of riffs and ideas.
And Bruce, believe it or not, suggested that I use the drummer from Warbeast, who is affectionately known as “Blue.” So Blue came aboard and I really helped shape things with him, and he really played his heart out for me, he did a great job. And I always had a guitar player in mind, and that’s Marzi [Maziar Montazeri], an incredible guitar player I’ve known since the 80’s. He was the guy I knew would be the “executor” as far as my ideas on guitar. I’m not a great guitar player by any means, but I’m creative. I write riffs aplenty. So I am a riffster, but once again I can’t play and sing live at the same time. I just don’t have the knack or talent for it. I feel pretty constrained with an instrument in my hand onstage. So I really need a guitar player so I can be myself up there with a microphone. And I guess all the other pieces are coming together slowly as far as members or who might do or play what.
So it’s still a work in progress, but the record is finished. It just needs to be mixed now, so we’re in the mixing phase of that. I should start getting some mixes maybe even as early as late tonight [November 30]. It’s something I can’t wait for you experts out there to consume and figure it out. I’m not going to name it, I’m not going to say ‘It’s great!’ I’m not going to say it’s one thing or another. I’m going to let people decide for themselves, but it is a record that I guess I needed to do.