Johnny Firecloud of Crave Online recently conducted an interview with former PANTERA and current DOWN singer Philip Anselmo. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Crave Online: I've heard [your two solo] songs [that appear on the "War Of The Gargantuas" split album with WARBEAST], man... and holy shit. Holy shit. What motivated the solo route?
Anselmo: Thank you, buddy. Well, man... I've always had this great affinity for extreme music. That's a well-known fact. After Dimebag's [PANTERA] death and after things went really sour with SUPERJOINT RITUAL, and DOWN became one of the main focal points, if not the main focal point of my musical output. I won't call it an empty feeling, because at heart I'm a free agent — I can do what I want. DOWN will be there, and all that stuff. But if I was going to put my fingers on something heavy again, I wanted it to be different from anything that I had touched before. Not that it's annoying or anything, but I see a lot of the comments saying it's similar to SUPERJOINT. But it's coming from a musician who knows and played guitar in both projects — it's very different. Maybe they're alluding to the vocal style that I use, but I guess that's just what naturally comes out of me. To do an extreme metal record is something that is well within my capacity as a musician to write stuff out of the box, write stuff that's probably more extreme than the band I'm in at the present time, and it's something that needs to come out of me one way or another. The two songs of mine that are on this split are some of the more straightforward, and honestly, tame in comparison to what the full-length will offer. So I guess I'm really glad that you think it's any good at all. I appreciate that much of it, and there's plenty more to come.
Crave Online: What about this really comes across as tame? I'm not hearing tame in this at all.
Anselmo: It's true. The full-length really touches on a lot of the same stuck-in-my-room, agonizing in fucking pain, what the fuck do I do besides bounce off these fucking walls? But I may touch on some other interior things that I'd like to put into plainer words, but it's best that it comes out in music. Because it can get kind of ugly or might be taken the wrong way, so I guess it's kind of like the freedom of having the stage to vent as one platform without harming anyone else's reputation or integrity in music. But as far as subject matter, it's not the be-all-end-all. I've got so much fucking material to sort through that I did get recorded, and there's about three songs that I haven't even touched vocally yet. I'm just sitting back to see how these songs, and the full-length down the road — we're aiming for early summer release — run. Not everything's been tapped, subject-wise. There's a lot of irons in the fire, a lot to cover.
Crave Online: We talked a year and a half ago about a lot of it being informed by the pain in your back...
Anselmo: Not just the back, now. It's my whole fucking body. I've destroyed this fucking skeleton. So let's clarify, and make sure I'm the Evel Kneivel of fucking goddamn metal. I think anyone who suffers from chronic pain can agree with this — you feel this great significance. What I wanted to capture was that significance, and as a matter of fact, I think that's one of the lyrics on "Confict", on the split. I touch on the significance, and really it's a selfish thing, in an offbeat way. But you can only exist as far as your mind will allow you to exist, and I think chronic pain will stop time dead in its tracks. You feel like you're the only one, and how unfair it is, and a million different feel-sorry-for-yourself-type feelings. In my better sense of mind, I know that I'm far from alone and far from the worst, and the earth keeps spinning. Everything keeps moving, with or without me. So I guess a lot of these songs are very selfishly hedonistic/defeatist attitude. But between you and I and the readers, there is no quit here at the Anselmo camp. But sometimes especially within these songs, you gotta get this whole fuckin' bad day, bad week, bad whatever off the fucking chest, you know?
Read the entire interview from Crave Online.