Interview: Cannabis Corpse's Phil "Landphil" Hall Talks New Album, Chris Barnes, and Druggy Treats from Fans
Weed-obsessed death-metal band Cannabis Corpse--featuring Municipal Waste bassist/Iron Reagan guitarist Phil Landphil Hall--recently released their new album, 'From Wisdom to Baked' (stream the record in its entirety here). So we asked Landphil to share some of his wisdom.
REVOLVER THow long did you spend working on 'From Wisdom to Baked,' and what was the most challenging part?
PHIL "LANDPHIL" HALL My brother, [Josh] HallHammer, and I spent about two years writing and recording. Every aspect of writing and recording a death-metal album is a challenge. Especially when you have already previously completed several full-lengths. Part of the challenge is that these days I record everything entirely at my home studio in Richmond, Virginia, so occasionally some roadblocks come up from teaching myself how to use the recording technology. I wanted this album to sound as natural as possible without compromising quality. I also had the luxury of being able to nit-pick the performance of every instrument very thoroughly because of the ability to work at home. Another challenge is trying to keep my cat from deleting things accidentally by walking on my keyboard while I am not looking.
The band started almost as a parody, but it has completely transcended that now. Why do you think that is?
The band was never a parody--from the beginning, it was worship. I started this band as a humorous tribute to my favorite style of music. It has grown from that. I think death-metal listeners out there can tell that a lot of effort is put into making these records as memorable and well made as possible. I love the old-school [Scott] Burns-era style of death metal and want to bring that feeling into Cannabis Corpse. That music from the early '90s had such an impact on me as a teenager, and this band is a direct result of that. I feel like our music is just as real as any other band we just make our influences a little more obvious. I think the music is what helps the band transcend the initial, "Is this a joke?" reaction.
"Individual Pot Patterns" features vocals from current Six Feet Under and ex-Cannibal Corpse's Chris Barnes. How did you get him to be part of the album, and does that mean you have a seal of approval from Cannibal Corpse?
We actually asked Paul [Mazurkiewicz] from Cannibal if we could do Cannabis Corpse before we recorded the first song. They have been super nice guys about it and have been spotted wearing Cannabis Corpse T-shirts on occasion. I met Chris Barnes while touring with Six Feet Under in the summer of 2013. He was very friendly to us and when I asked him if he would be interested in doing a song he was very cool about it. I love what he did on the album--it might be my favorite song. Working with him is a dream come true, of course, because I am a huge Cannibal Corpse fan and I love Six Feet Under, as well. His vocals are so gnarly. He sounds like a monster.
Other guests include Trevor Strnad from The Black Dahlia Murder and Sean McGrath from Ghoul--why those guys?
They are musicians that I have worked with in the past and are friends of mine. I love collaborating with creative people to hear what ideas come out of it. Trevor actually wrote his own lyrics for the song that he did called "With Their Hash He'll Create." It turned out to be one of the best songs on the album.
From album titles to song titles, there are a lot of metal and pot puns. How long does it take you to come up with them or is that just your sense of humor?
We generally come up with a big list of titles and choose the ones that make us laugh the most. I especially like titles that still sound super brutal after a pot pun has been injected. We want the vibe of the title to maintain it's scariness even after the pot pun has been injected. I am surrounded by hilarious people every day of my life so finding humor in song titles is a snap.
You're in three bands that tour frequently. The road probably feels like home at this point--do you have any creature comforts you take with you?
These days I bring my laptop and write riffs and record even while I am on tour. I love the fact that I can demo new songs for bands while I am in the back of the van. This luxury is going to increase my creative output 100 percent. I am driven to create music every day of my life. As long as my brain functions, I will be putting out records. I am also thankful that people out there are listening to what I have created, with out the fans I wouldn't be able to so this.
Favorite weed-related experience?
I have been smoking weed for so long that is almost like asking what my favorite life experience has been! [Laughs] Being stoned and playing a show in front of hundreds of thousands of people has happened on occasion. Smoking weed with people that I admire in the music industry, like Chris Barnes, or just being stoned and enjoying the outdoors on my free time are things that I love about doing what I do. Or getting high and doing an interview like right now.
Have fans offered you any strange substances?
Well, sometimes I will get weed food like brownies or Rice Krispy treats or something. Eating weed always plants me right on my ass. I have had to quit eating weed brownies and stuff because of how insane the buzz can get sometimes.