Interview with Cannabis Corpse vocalist/bassist Phil “Landphil” Hall | By Christopher J. Harrington

The year is 4020, and the weed overlords have taken humans as their prisoners. One waits in his cell pondering his devastating fate: to be cooked up and devoured while his remains are left as fertilizer for the Sativa Queen. Rough times. “Yeah, it’s a pretty bleak post-dystopian world where society has been imprisoned by weed monsters,” laughs Cannabis Corpse vocalist and bassist Phil “Landphil” Hall. “It’s total sci-fi stuff, man. Totally awesome.”

Cannabis Corpse have been ripping ridiculously killer weed-inspired death metal since 2006’s Blunted at Birth, an odyssey of old-school riffs and ganja-induced madness. The band’s newest pound of smoke, Left Hand Pass—out Sept. 8 via Season Of Mist—continues the bong ripping, technically virtuosic insanity: as much a journey into a wild and apocalyptic marijuana nightmare as it is a treatise on true-blue, raw and beautiful ‘90s death metal. Cannabis Corpse never let you down.

“It’s a project obviously heavily influenced by ‘90s death metal,” Hall notes. “That’s what we were going for from the start. The band was actually conceived a long, long time ago by me and my brother, [drummer] Josh [‘HallHammer’ Hall]. We were teenagers experimenting with pot and watching VHS tapes of Cannibal Corpse. This was way before the internet, you know, and I thought it’d be a fun idea to write songs about weed in a death metal style.”

Hall and his twin brother present a perpetually invigorating and creative concept with Cannabis Corpse. The music is so deft and rigid, it easily draws you into the greater depths the totality of the project offers, such as the lyrics and the artwork, two departments equally substantial to the band. “Death metal can really be special because of the lyrics,” Hall says. “A lot of the time, you can’t understand what the singer is saying at first, so you really have to invest some time into it, you know? I remember reading the lyrics to stuff like Deicide and Morbid Angel back in the day. Those were some great trips, man.”

The band’s cover artwork—which has always been amazingly fantastical and hypnotic—is the initial gateway to the madness that is Cannabis Corpse. Left Hand Pass is no exception. With such intricate sagas and pulsating graphic work, one would think a comic book was in order. “One day, I’ll sit down and bust a comic out,” Hall laughs. “You know, the artwork takes so long to do, but yeah, I’ve definitely wanted to create a comic out of all these stories, records, and songs, and one day, I’ll draw it. It’s just a matter of time.”

Hall’s a busy dude. Along with Cannabis Corpse, he’s currently the bassist for thrash crossover throwbacks Municipal Waste and guitarist for hardcore punk behemoths Iron Reagan: two bands who tour and record a lot. So, when he gets the time to play in Cannabis Corpse, he doesn’t take it for granted. They are a special band. “I’m always really psyched when I can do it,” he notes. “I’m so busy with all my other bands that when I do get to tour and play with my brother, we make it a really special time.”

Left Hand Pass features Six Feet Under guitarist Ray Suhy. It’s his first record with the Corpse. Typically, the Hall brothers write all the band’s material and use various guitarists when playing live, but for the new record, the duo let Suhy play a bigger role. The results are wicked. “We really let him get in there on this album and add his two cents,” Hall explains. “He brought some big ideas to the plate. You know, this is our fifth full-length, and it’s usually a pretty regimented process. I wanted to mix it up on this one, and Ray did some amazing work.”

Left Hand Pass is destined to be one of the great weed albums. Just light up that spliff and be transported to the galaxy of perpetual sinsemilla—but what’s the best weed to smoke while spinning the new record? “I’d say some O.G. Kush,” Hall laughs, “or really anything that’s green and blows your mind.”

Purchase Left Hand Pass here

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