In a brand new interview with Metal Insider, former PANTERA and current DOWN and SUPERJOINT vocalist Philip Anselmo spoke about his songwriting process and what it's like putting his life experiences, good and band, into song. He said: "Honestly, it's very important for me. I'll take a quote from my aunt. She said, 'Baby, if you didn't have music to get your frustrations out, you'd be in jail right now.' That's her being dramatic, but in a way, I can't disagree with her.
"Everybody's life is very, very different — that's one thing I've always known. We are all individuals. Although we may all have a lot in common at a human level, there's always going to be that fluctuation; differences, opinions, tastes, and likes. So, take for instance I write a song about my relationship with my father. It amazes me sometimes when I go back and listen to any number of bands I might have been in, and hearing how much my disconnect with my father has affected me and my songwriting to a major degree."
He continued: "I know for a fact, and this is from people coming up to me saying, 'What you wrote strikes a chord with me, and here's why.' I really get it a lot on this one subject. It helps them through the day because they know they're not alone in these feelings.
"There are a lot of people out there who were raised just by mom for quite a while, with no dad around — and when you saw dad, he was a total fucking dick. I'll call it for what it is. [Laughs]
"The demons of your childhood sometimes surface way later in life; it's bizarre, but it does happen."
Anselmo added: "Writing something that other people can get and understand — I'm glad I can be of assistance, because, really, I was literally screaming my heart out about this particular situation in my life. The same thing goes with many other subjects, but I also had the whole drug addiction thing — people coming up to me going, 'Man, I struggled for years and your lyrics helped me.' I've been down that road as well, and I've been very open about that subject. I tell the truth the best I can about that subject. But I will also throw the absurdities at people, too — especially lyrically. I will throw a jumble of words together, that, yes, mean something to me, but could very well possibly mean nothing at all. That's where I like to build imagery in my lyrics — I like them to be vivid, for people to see it in their heads. I want them to shape it to however it fits their own life.
"I like honesty as a songwriter. I guess that's why I'm a Morrissey fan and a SMITHS fan. There is no greater truth teller than Morrissey."
The new album from Philip's SUPERJOINT project, "Caught Up In The Gears Of Application", was released on November 11 via Anselmo's Housecore record label. The disc was recorded at Philip's New Orleans-area studio, Nodferatu's Lair and was produced by Anselmo and Stephen Berrigan. The effort was mastered by Scott Hull (AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED, PIG DESTROYER) at Visceral Sounds.
SUPERJOINT's current lineup includes guitarists Kevin Bond (CHRIST INVERSION, ARTIMUS PYLEDRIVER) and Jimmy Bower (DOWN, EYEHATEGOD), drummer José Manuel Gonzalez (WARBEAST, PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS) and bassist Stephen Taylor (PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS, WOVEN HAND, 16 HORSE POWER).