Philip Anselmo spoke to Desde El Underground TV about the lyrical themes covered on "Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue", the second album from his PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS solo project, which was released in January via Anselmo's Housecore Records in the U.S. and Season Of Mist in other parts of the world.
"I take [mental illness] really seriously," he said (see video below). "I mean, look no further than what happened to my guitar player from PANTERA for me to be very, very concerned with mental illness. So I would say for people to talk to each other, love each other and put love first. And if you put love first, things normally work out. It can't happen every time, but, hey, man… You've gotta stay tight."
Anselmo went on to say that he is not immune to the effects of mental illness. "I guess being injured — my entire career being plagued with injuries — it ends up fucking with the brain a little bit," he explained. "And there's so many different levels to it. Sometimes you can just wake up and it's [snaps fingers] like that. Sometimes it'll take a small thing to put you over and you're in a dark place. But, for me, I think, with the band I have, the good guys I have and the love that they show me, back and forth, the friendship that we have, it helps a great deal. Plus writing the music and getting to perform the stuff, it helps a lot with coping, man, and just dealing with stuff."
He added: "I always say, as a person, just like everybody else… Human beings are one step away from disaster, no matter what, so it's kind of up to the rest of us to watch each other's backs, help each other up when we're down and just make sure we don't take that one step too far."
On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, PANTERA guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott was shot and killed onstage by a troubled schizophrenic who believed that the members of PANTERA were stealing his thoughts.
This past January, Anselmo undwent back surgery — the latest in a line of corrective procedures designed to helped him deal with the damage to his back, neck, and knees sustained over three decades of touring.
"Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue" is the follow-up to PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS' debut, "Walk Through Exits Only", which came out in 2013 to mostly positive reviews.