In a brand new interview with Jenna Williams of DamnationVault.com, Philip Anselmo spoke about the lyrical inspiration for his EN MINOR project, which he had previously described as "the darkest, heaviest, most miserable shit I've ever written."
"I don't wanna be that dude, but I do have some dad issues," Anselmo said. "I did not have a picture-perfect upbringing with my true biological father. I know a lot of people can relate to that. Those, to me, are some of the more painful songs. But I also, like everybody else at my age now — 51 — the older I get, the more brothers and sisters you just lose over time. And it seems like this class of the '90s heavy metal and hard rock people that I've grown up with, there's a lot that are gone now. So the reality of the cruel joke that is life. It's what you're not supposed to think about life — meaning, we're just going to get older, more feeble. And what are you gonna do that's the same thing my family's done with my father? Ha! That shit ain't happening. I'll throw myself off the top of a fucking building before that happens. So, yeah, life is a joke — it's a cruel joke.
"The wise people have always said, 'Enjoy life now. Enjoy every second of it. Live it up now.' And they're right; they're correct," Philip continued. "So I take a good, cold stare at the bleakness of existence. A lot of self-loathing in there, which, sitting across from you right now, I can giggle about it; I can laugh about it a little bit.
"My whole career's been one gigantic fucking injury, so with every success or milestone broken or achievement or whatever… 'Hey, Phil, you sold a million records.' It's, like, 'Yeah. Well, when's the next back surgery?' [Laughs] So I'm always dealing with the good and bad."
Anselmo also talked about the challenge of singing such personal lyrics in a live environment. He said: "Well, it's at that point where you've gotta realize this is music, this is an expression. And I've got seven other people in the band with me that are absolutely just nailing it, man. They're giving it their full talent and style to this vibe that we've all created. And that gives me a lot of joy. It's, like, 'Wow!' It's a beautiful moment; it's a beautiful thing. So there's beauty with this darkness, there's beauty with the ugliness. There's things that I do with my voice that, I guess, it could be considered anti-pop or something like that — purposefully ugly, to a degree. So there's things like that to think about and consider.
"I just feel so damn grateful that I have music that I do — for anything; for any reason… 'Cause I could have gotten in a lot of trouble," he admitted. "A lot of anger — a lot of angry, angry, angry, angry feelings that were never anybody else's fault except… Mostly it's a rift between me and the old man, me and Dad. He could never justify it; he could never… see it. He could never see it. It's funny, 'cause I've told him things that probably shouldn't have gone down the way they went down when I was a kid. And I don't know if it was nerves, because I could ball him up with one hand and bounce him off the ground, but he always laughed. He doesn't see the gravity of the damage that he could do psychologically. And I was the practice kid too, so I've seen him with his other children. And that's interesting, too.
"So all the anger. I was never really mad at anybody else but Dad. And yeah, I guess with the realities that life just nails you with, everything is temporary — very, very temporary. It's just a way of accepting it, I guess — at least some of it."
EN MINOR made its live debut on August 14 at One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans, Louisiana. The concert served as the release party for EN MINOR's debut seven-inch, which was released on August 2 via Housecore Records.
Fan-filmed video footage of the show can be seen below (courtesy of YouTube user "richerd hurts").
A project inadvertently in the making since Anselmo's earliest days as a child in the French Quarter, EN MINOR features Stephen Taylor (SUPERJOINT, PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS, WOVEN HAND, 16 HORSE POWER), Kevin Bond (SUPERJOINT, CHRIST INVERSION, ARTIMUS PYLEDRIVER), Jimmy Bower (EYEHATEGOD, DOWN, SUPERJOINT), Calvin and Joiner Dover (THE DOVER BROTHERS), and Steve Bernal (former first cellist in the TEMPLE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA).
EN MINOR's single serves as the precursor to the band's full-length debut, set for release later this year.
EN MINOR also performed at this year's edition of Psycho Las Vegas, which took place August 16-18 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
EN MINOR is:
Philip H. Anselmo - Vocals, Guitars, Bass
Kevin Bond - Acoustic, Electric Guitar, Bass
Stephen Taylor - Guitar
Calvin Dover - Keys
Joiner Dover - Bass
Steve Bernal - Cello
Jimmy Bower - Drums