Invisible Oranges recently conducted an interview with Philip Anselmo (DOWN, PANTERA, SUPERJOINT RITUAL, ARSON ANTHEM). A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
Invisible Oranges: How is New Orleans doing now with the oil spill?
Anselmo: We ain't seen the fuckin' beginning of the repercussion. I think the tip is fuckin' rearin' its head, but how can it not? There's fucking crude spilling out right as we speak here on this motherfuckin' phone. What can I do about it? What can anybody really do about it? Go to the fuckin' water and clean animals and birds? It's not solving the fucking problem. This right here, this knife in Mother Earth is [a] bleeding fucking wound in our planet, which in my book is God, by all rights. You got God stabbed in the fuckin' heart. And it's bleeding. We have not even begun to see the miserable ramifi-fucking-cations of this fucking particular disaster yet. Shit, hurricane season hasn't really even moved in. As a matter of fact, by the time the next year rolls around, everything on the Gulf Coast — not just New Orleans, but the entire… it's not even a tri-state area; you lump Texas and everything into this fuckin' thing, anything that can be affected by this Gulf — and you blow in fuckin' oil all over the motherfuckin' every standing structure… let a big hurricane roll through and blow oil all over every tree, house, car, fuckin' animal, oh my god – and let it dry up for a fuckin' week. Then flick a fuckin' cigarette out. See what happens, with fuckin' oil all over the place. This place will be torched faster than a motherfuckin' box of matches, man, and gasoline.
Invisible Oranges: When you sign bands to Housecore, what do you look for?
Anselmo: Most of all, I look for the bands that are hitting the different notes, man. I'm looking for the bands that are fucking different and are doing stuff. Now, with that said, I do have genre bands. Like WARBEAST — it's fuckin' thrash metal. You can easily label that. ARSON ANTHEM, the band I do with Mike [Williams, EYEHATEGOD] and Hank [Williams III] — the full-length record is coming out hopefully out in December — fuck, we're late on that fucking release. 17 songs, 30 fucking minutes: that is fucking hardcore, done in the way me and Mike grew up with. We grew up with that scene, we saw the whole fucking thing happen from the ground up. So ARSON ANTHEM can be called hardcore, straight out. But bands like haarp — way different, man. Way, way different. The way they write songs really reminds me a whole lot of what the MELVINS were doing. What the MELVINS do, actually — the MELVINS can do whatever the fuck they want. But when they go dark and when they go slow – the earlier stuff and whatnot…they can do it at any point in time. I think they write rock records just to fuck with people. Have you ever heard a band called NIGHTSTICK? NIGHTSTICK were on a fuckin' trip, man. Boston-area, man, fuckin' freakout trip. Slow, progressive. But you can't really lump haarp into that category. They're very extreme at what they do, very resolute. Jumpin' off of that, when I say extreme music, man, extreme does not necessarily mean distortion pedals and double kick, either. You can be extreme as long as you are going fucking apeshit in the direction you are going in. Case in point would be THE SURSIKS. THE SURSIKS are fucking insane for what they fucking do. Definitely not heavy metal, but definitely extreme. So I'm looking for bands that are going to make a difference, that are going to hit those hidden notes.
Invisible Oranges: You've had a lot of success with various bands in your life. Is it ever weird to hang out with buddies who are much poorer than you are?
Anselmo: No, because I've never, never, never, never lived into that "go get me a fucking limousine, I'm headin' to the fuckin' tit bar" lifestyle. I never did that, man. I'm pretty humble myself. I haven't bought clothes in, like, fucking 28 years, man. (Laughs) I've been wearing the same shit since I was like fucking 20. Not that I'm frugal, but I don't see big, pricey things and say, "Oh my god, I need that!" I'm not a big car guy, I'm pretty fucking smart with my cash. I don't go out. I'm not a big fucking spender. So [with] most of my friends, is it weird? No, not at fucking all. All my friends know, and my good friends know, and people that have been to my house, and people that have met me — they know when they come here, my house is their fucking house. Don't ask me for it — go to the fucking refrigerator, and get your motherfuckin' beer. Go to the refrigerator, and get you somethin' to fuckin' eat. Don't ask me fuckin' twice; I'll kick your fuckin' ass. If you want to sleep over here, just let me know, give me a heads-up. Crash out, I don't give a fuck. That's my fuckin' way, man.
Invisible Oranges: You seem to be in a better place these days than when you were battling drugs or controversies related to PANTERA. What turned you around?
Anselmo: Back surgery. Anybody that doesn't understand physical pain cannot fucking even ride in my boat. Everyone can point to drugs. That's the easy way out, man. I'll let you know that right there. That's like little kids making fun of "special" kids — "retards" and shit like that. You laugh and you point. And your parents tell you, "No, no, no, no, don't do that, you don't understand". Yes, I've learned some insane fucking lessons from pain. With pain comes the drugs. With drugs come more drugs, if you don't watch your ass. With more drugs comes death if you don't really watch your ass. I've hit all those motherfucking plateaus. (Laughs) Or sinkholes, whatever you want to fucking call them. But with each one, you learn a lesson. And if you take the lessons to heart, like I did, then you pull out of it.
Read the entire interview from Invisible Oranges.