Cannabis Corpse have mastered the resin-caked art of fusing old school death metal ferocity together with weed culture and a bong-rippingly hilarious sense of humor. Injecting their own brand of parody into the song titles of death metal legends like Cannibal Corpse (duh!) and Deicide, the band has been blazing a new trail of vicious death sure to buzz you right out of your skull. Forbidden Magazine recently caught up with bassist Phil “Landphil” Hall (also of Richmond, Virginia thrash horde, Municipal Waste), who graciously cleared the smoke on some burning issues.
Hails! First off, for those readers that are, for some strange reason, not too familiar with the bong-blazing madness of Cannabis Corpse, could you shed some light on the beginnings of the band?
Cannabis Corpse was started by my brother and I in 2006. We actually asked Paul from Cannibal Corpse if it was ok before we recorded anything. Once we recorded a bunch of demos, our friend Tim asked if it was ok if he put out the music as the first release on his record label, Forcefield Records. Ever since then, we have been steadily putting out records and touring as much as possible.
While other bands have had their own kind of concepts, I can’t recall any others at all like the death metal parody of Cannabis Corpse. The song titles are sheer goddamn genius! How quickly did the idea manifest?
Well I guess you could say it came very quickly, in a huge cloud of smoke.
The band worked with Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal, ex-Morbid Angel) in the creation of Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shalt Rise. How was that experience?
He is a pro and delivered an album that we are 100% happy with. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience! I knew that he was a guy who understood death metal and could give me something I could stand by.
The cover art for the album was conjured by the amazing Andrei Bouzikov. What’s the story behind it’s concept and creation?
The cover illustrates government slime and big business suits working together to have the average joe eaten by cannibalistic weed monsters. Andrei Bouzikov is one of the greatest cover artist of our time! He cannot do wrong in my eyes.
Speaking of the new record, how did the creative process compare to that of the band’s previous efforts?
We spent a lot of time on these songs! We wanted to put out a record that could compete with everything else out there. I hope that we have given death metal fans out there something they can get into.
The inspiration of song titles has switched from Cannibal Corpse to Morbid Angel and Deicide. Is there a special plan determining this, and is there any idea who’s next on the list?
We have a couple of ideas about who will be next on our list of death metal forefathers to parody. I bet you could guess them. Morbid angel and Deicide were at the top of the list because of the effect they had on me as a child.
Can you recall the event or general time in your life when you were drawn to the “heavier” side of music?
Yeah, of course! When I was in middle school my friend came into class with a Cannibal Corpse cd and got me to listen to it. I have never been the same since!
Outside of musical influences, what are some other sources of inspiration for Cannabis Corpse, as a band, in general?
Smoking copious amounts of weed in a never-ending pursuit of creating heavy-as-hell death metal.
Have you guys ever received any feedback (about the band’s concept) from the likes of Cannibal Corpse or the others?
Yes, they seem to be cool with it, Alex Webster actually visited the studio when we were mixing the new record in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Cannabis Corpse recently spent some time raging for crowds overseas. Highlights? What are your thoughts on Europe…Russia?
The tour was awesome! Russia had such a rabid crowd, it was nuts! I look forward to going over there again.
How would you compare the creative process involved with Cannabis Corpse to that of the other project(s) you’ve been a part of?
Cannabis Corpse songs are pretty much written entirely by my brother and I, then we give the demos to our singer so he can write vocals. Nick writes solos last. This is very different from other bands that I have been in, because they would write the songs together in a practice space.
I have to ask, what are your thoughts on the marijuana climate in the states compared to say, places in Europe? In what direction do you predict the situation will go in the U.S.?
I don’t ever have any trouble scoring weed wherever, so I guess I haven’t thought about it much.
It seems like it should be evident to most that the lyrical content revolves at least partially around “the mean green” and it’s culture. What else is touched on, lyrically, on Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shalt Rise?
Monsters, zombies, cults, and getting your head blown off with a bong. The usual kind of shit for us.
Inquiring minds want to know, what’s in store for Cannabis Corpse in the near future?
We are doing a U.S tour with Black Dahlia Murder for a month in October. After that, we are going start working on the next album.
That’ll do for now! Any last words for the ravenous groupies and jealous fan boys world wide?