Cannabis Corpse Interview
Photo credit: Dennis Williford Art credit: Barf Comics Album cover art: Andrei Bouzikov
The Hall brothers formed Cannabis Corpse in 2006 as a way to honor the death metal bands they grew up on and, of course, pay tribute to a hesher’s first line of nutrition: weed. Turns out, Hall Hammer rips on the skateboard as hard as he hits the drums. I met him at the Lost bowl a year or so back and was impressed. We got to talking metal and I found out just how many bands they infect between the two of them. I heard this monster they created referred to as a “side project” which I violently dismiss considering they just bagged up their fifth full-length album and are awaiting to slang their shit on tour again. Anyways, theses dudes shred on all levels and their hydroponic dope metal will leave you blunted and dazed as it was intended to. —Sam Hitz
What’s up, man? Alright, what came first for you, the drums or the skateboard?
Drums. Started playing drums when I was 12 and picked up a skateboard when I was 14 or so.
When did you get your first double bass kick pedal?
My brother came home one day and was, like, “Dude! I was at a yard sale and found a double pedal!” I already had a drum kit but I was, like, “Holy shit!” I was 13.
What do you mostly skate in Richmond?
I skate the Lost Bowl a lot which is my buddy Pat’s personal skatepark he built in his backyard. There’s another little smaller park here but before that we would just kind of skate around town and find whatever we could. Richmond was pretty poor when it came to skateparks for a long time but the Lost Bowl is one of the best spots on the East Coast.
It’s world class. They know how to party there, to put it mildly. Richmond always had a good volume of bands coming out of there stretching back to the ’80s. Who’s your biggest local influence as a musician?
Well, when I first moved out of mom and dad’s when I was 17, we had a practice spot that was in the Slave Pit, which is where Gwar made all their costumes. And, you know, when I was 17 Gwar was this huge entity here in town and just seeing those guy load up their bus or making their costumes or having band practice in the main room, I was just, like, “Aww!” That’s all I wanted to do was join a traveling circus like Gwar and play all the time!
What’s the new album called and when’s the release date? Has the band evolved much since the last album?
The new album is called Left Hand Pass and its done. We’re just working on how we’re gonna release it and when. I think the tentative release date is in September. On this current album we have a friend of ours from New Jersey, Ray Suhy. He’s the guitar player from 6 Feet Under. He did a lot of the tracking. My brother used to handle all the guitar tracks, and on this recent one we brought in a new guy to track guitars so it sounds different, you know? It’s definitely one of our favorite albums. It came off really energetic. From an evolvement standpoint, we definitely changed a bit because of the influence of new musicians in the band.
Who do you have doing the cover art?
Andrei Bouzikov, a Swedish guy. It has a severed hand holding a joint with a trippy kind of portal around it.
What’s the band’s plan when the album is finalized?
Well, in September we’re hoping to do a whole US tour and up to Canada. Maybe Europe in the wintertime? We’ve got to schedule around my brother’s other band, Iron Reagan. They did, like, 300 shows in one year. So Cannabis kinda has to work around that, so whenever we can squeeze it in we try and get out there. We kind of took last year off but I’m hoping to get back on the road. I have this other band, Gate Creeper, that I’ll be doing some tours with to keep the chops up, but we’ll definitely be coming to a town near you.
What’s the name of the track I heard? Sounds like some experimenting with some effects going on there. Pretty heavy.
“In Dank Purity” which is a play on a Monstrosity title called “In Dark Purity.” That’s the one we’re going to try and push, for sure. We’re working on a music video for that one.
Any other song tiles you wanna reveal? I’m here looking at Deicide’s Legion right now trying to come up with some shit.
There’s a bunch of ‘em. Well, Deicide and Cannibal, we’ve poured over those titles so many times trying to find the ones that work. So we’ll make a huge list of a bunch of titles that are killer or bands we want to parody or honor in some way and start riffing ’em. Here’s some song titles for you: we got “Final Exhalation,” taken from another Monstrosity title “Final Cremation.” Here’s one I like, “The 420th Crusade,” which is a Bolt Thrower album. This next one is a Bolt Thrower one too: “In Battle There Is No Pot.” Next one is “Grass Obliteration” and “Effigy Of The Forgetful,” a Suffocation one.
Sounds like once you crack yourself up with a new title the song follows. I always liked “Mummified In Bong Water.”
That was one of the originals, one of the very first ones we came up with.
How’s the band feel about spliffs, the 50/50 mix?
In Europe sometimes you get hard up for weed and inevitably you have to smoke the spliff. I personally hate it. I’m not a tobacco guy at all. It’s not my preferred choice.
I smoked out of an Earth bong in Prague with hella hash and tobacco in it and lost my mind for 40-50 seconds. I had to grab onto something. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever smoked out of? Skulls? Bone?
Well, growing up you tend to get really creative. One time I was on Chris Barnes’ tour bus, the old singer of Cannibal Corpse, and he had a bowl shaped like a knife, you know? And he’s handing me this knife bowl and he’s, like,”Prepare to get fucked with a knife bowl!”
Epic! How much weed is involved at a Cannabis Corpse show?
It depends on what town you’re in. Every time we play Oakland there’s a shitload of weed going around.
Any studio secrets to reveal since I got you on the line? Goat’s blood bong water? Hemp drum heads? Weed slaves lurking about?
Studio secrets? Just make sure there’s plenty of Bud on hand. As long as it’s there in the studio—without it I would say is the number one no-no.
Hey, is that Land Phil back there?
Yeah. Hey, Phil, Larb says what up.
What’s up Land Phil?! What’s your top-three stoner snacks?
Rap Snacks, beer and pussy.
What the hell are Rap Snacks?
It’s these chips going around Richmond. They say “Rap Snacks” on them and they have rappers on the front.
Nice! Send me a batch. Any Last words?
Smoke weed every day, keep it real, listen to metal and stay positive.
I can dig that. Richmond rips. I’m thinking Larb Fest there one day and Cannabis Corpse is number one on the list.
Fuck yeah! Theres plenty of venues here; we can hook it up.
Alright then, thanks for your time. Can’t wait to hear the rest of the album. Nice work ollieing the drum kit. Keep an eye out for a box of Creature wood at your door step.
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