Formed in the year 1983 in Arlington, Texas the band is considered to have virtually created the underground metal scene there and with their very less but highly acclaimed eps and two full length albums (Rigor Mortis and Rigor Mortis Vs the Earth) the band has done more than enough to inspire ‘generations’. I was fortunate enough to talk to Bruce Corbitt (Vocals) about their new album ‘Slaves…’ which you can read below where he talks in in-depth about the upcoming release and much more. I hope you all will enjoy reading it as much as I did.
Hey Bruce, thank you for your time. We all are very excited for ‘Slaves to the Grave’. Tell us how is the album shaping up?
BC – Oh man, we are all excited about this album release too! It’s shaping up really great especially with the fact that we reached our goal on our fundraiser page. So special thanks goes out to all of our fans out there… they made this album possible!
The band has stated that this will be the last Rigor Mortis album to be released which is sad news in its own sense but at the same time it will be a great treat for long time fans of the band to get to have one last grasp of RM. Tell us where we can find the band in terms of new songs? What can we expect from ‘Slaves to the Graves’?
BC – Rigor mortis was really just getting started back then when you think about it. The band only had 3 official releases and we/they were probably lucky to even get those out. We were just too young, wild, and crazy to be able to handle the music business at that time… much less each other. We pretty much just self-destructed the band ourselves. So it wasn’t like we ever had the chance to use everything in our arsenal, we still had a lot to offer and plenty of fresh ideas.
The point I’m trying to make is that Rigor Mortis wasn’t a band that had already burned itself out by using all of its creative ideas after releasing so many albums. So I always knew that we could concoct a new batch of killer Rigor Mortis songs. Plus, we had over 20 years of experience and knowledge so we had only gotten better as musicians. It was almost like having a time-machine and being able to go back 20 years with the advantage of knowing what you know now and also being even better than you were before. So we all went back in time to the band that started it all for us… which is Rigor Mortis. Then we recorded the album that we always wanted to make, that sums up the new album to me.
‘Slaves to the Grave’ also marks the final work of the mighty ‘Mike Scaccia’, the one man that has such an incredible influence on countless musicians till date. The world was fortunate enough that he was able to put down his glorious work for the last time. Bruce, tell us about the whole recording period of ‘Slaves…’ and how did it felt to be recording with old members again after all these years?
BC – We are all still devastated that Mike is no longer with us. Without hesitation or even talking about it… all of the surviving members of Rigor Mortis felt that it was best to no longer continue Rigor Mortis after Mike was gone. So this wasn’t actually intended to be our final Rigor Mortis album when we were recording it. So yes, we are all very grateful and fortunate that we did make this album with Mike. I truly believe that without a doubt this was Mike’s finest work of his entire career.
When we entered the studio, the crazy part of it is that this album wasn’t even completely written yet. Harden was still trying to learn his drum parts and most of the lyrics had yet to be written. I admit now that that really worried me at the time. I like being prepared, so when everything wasn’t completely finished, I just felt like we might have been rushing it.
Luckily, Mike had faith in all of us including me. He never seemed to be worried that we would be able to pull it off. He was right; Harden came in and nailed his drum tracks. Casey and Harden also helped write lyrics for some of the songs to help me out. Even though I was singing most of the songs for the first time while we were recording they actually turned out really good. It was really surreal being in the studio with the original lineup again. It had been 24 years since the last time I recorded an album with these guys. So it was just unbelievable to me that it was even happening. I know I savored every moment and appreciated the fact that we were all together and still alive at the time to even be able to do this album. We had a lot of great times, we drank a lot of beer and we had a lot of laughs…. the entire experience was a blast! Our engineer Sammy D’Ambruoso was so easy to work with. He was one of the best engineers I’ve ever worked with.
It’s indeed a great treat for the fans to have the entire founding member on one record again. At what point did you guys realize, after more than two decades, that it’s time for Rigor Mortis to conquer the world again?
BC – We actually started talking about recording a new Rigor Mortis album as soon as we did the reunion back in 2005. But Mike was living in El Paso at the time and we were just all so busy with our other bands and jobs etc So it just took a while for all of us to find the right time to do it. I think we all sensed that we had talked about it long enough and so we knew the time was right. We did have some hopefully big future plans for this band and this album was intended to be just the first step.
It sucks that none of the record label that you pursuit wanted to release it and hence the band had to do it on their own. Was it hard to work that way?
BC – Well naturally it’s a lot easier when you can just be ‘the band’ and not have to run the business too. So yes, it has been a lot of hard work and a lot of learning experiences along the way. But we understood it was going to be that way going in. Luckily we’ve all been around long enough and had previous releases with labels so we pretty much knew the steps it takes to release an album.
And now that it’s all done by the band itself do you think the album will suffer in any way without a proper label deal especially because the music business nowadays have become so flashy and people are slaves to what they are shown by medias?
BC – Even though we’ve tried to release ‘Slaves To The Grave’ the same way that other labels would release their albums it would be foolish to think that we could do just as good as a long-running label. Besides, I don’t think it really matters what label releases an album these days once it’s out there there’s going to be people that download it for free, and that’s just how it is now.
Bruce, thrash music in general has come a long way today. How do you think this genre has evolved over the years and do you listen to any new thrash bands?
BC – Even though I do like a variety of music styles and genres, thrash metal has always been my favorite. There is nothing like seeing a live thrash metal band… it’s a pure rush of adrenaline! There was a long-period in the middle there when only the pioneer thrash bands and the heavyweights were able to survive. But a crop of new blood helped turn things around and brought thrash back to where it should be. I think thrash has evolved because all of the newer thrash bands and thrash fans show so much respect for all of the original thrash bands that started it all. So now thrash is an all-ages type of music. Back then in the 80s, when it was a new kind of music, you only had people mainly in their 20s that were the fans.
Kindly, tell us about the album launch show/party. There are some really great bands including Deadhorse but it a shame that Rigor Mortis won’t be playing in their own show. How is the response for the party thus far?
BC – The release show will be on September 27th at a club in Dallas called The Curtain Club. Our hometown fans will be able to get the new release 10 days before the rest of the world. As you mentioned we got the legendary Deadhorse headlining. I cannot wait to see those guys!
Actually we won’t be performing under the name Rigor Mortis, but we are doing something called Wizards Of Gore… which is Casey Orr, Harden Harrison and myself… with a long time friend of ours named Mike Taylor on guitar. We are going to do a set of classic old Rigor Mortis songs and even throw a couple of the new songs in as well. We wanted to do it for Mike Scaccia… he would want us to do this. There is a big buzz going on about this show of course around here especially. But we do have people travelling from all over the place, some people coming from other countries like Germany and so many different States. You can just feel the excitement and anticipation building up around here. We also got some of the great bands on the bill as well, Chemicaust is a new thrash band from Dallas/Fort Worth. We got Dead Earth Politics, a very talented metal band coming from Austin to play. Also another up-and-coming thrash band from D/FW called Exploder. Of course we are also going to play the album in its entirety over the sound system that night for everyone.
Ok, the album is set to be released on the 1st week of October, where can we find/buy the album after the release?
BC – The actual street date will be on October 7th. The album will be available at select stores. Online you can get it at most of the usual places like iTunes, Amazon, the Rigor Mortis website, the Rigor Mortis merch store. If you just do a ‘search’ for Rigor Mortis ‘Slaves To The Grave’ you’ll be able to find it online.
At last thank you so much for your time. We wish all the good luck for ‘Slaves…’. Any last shout outs?
BC – No problem man, thank you so much!! I know we’re all really proud of this album, Mike Scaccia was very proud of this album, and you will know why as soon as you listen to it. Always remember Mike Scaccia… he was a great person and one of the greatest guitarist of all times!
RIP Mike Scaccia.
Listen to their new song here: