Philip Anselmo says that he will undergo back surgery next week — the latest in a line of corrective procedures designed to helped him deal with the damage to his back, neck, and knees sustained over two decades of touring.
"I'm going under the knife next Wednesday [January 31]," the former PANTERA frontman tells Jack Antonio in a new interview (hear audio below). "I'm having a follow-up surgery that's gonna nip something that has been nagging me for the last fucking decade in the bud, and damn it, once this last little kink is ironed out, I'll feel a whole lot better, man. Which means a better me, [and] that means more work, more gigs, more ability to do gigs, and shit like that. So that's always wonderful."
Anselmo is feeling good about his chances of having a successful procedure, explaining that he knows his surgeon "well enough. He did the big surgery back in 2006, so we have a great relationship," he said. "He seemed to be very cognizant of exactly what I was talking about, very confident. He's a cool cat to put you at ease, man, about what's ahead of you."
According to Philip, the first surgery that he had more than a decade ago "was so complicated and so huge and just massive in general, the hoops that I had to jump through to have that initial surgery was crazy, man, comparatively. And I guess [the surgeon] knows me well enough," he said. "I can tell my doctor had a new — are you ready? — level, and I'm not sure about power, but he surely had a new level of confidence. I could tell. He had done it a million times. And all we were waiting for is a date, 'cause once you're okayed for surgery, you kind of get put on a list. Anyway, he bumped me up. He knew… I was, like, begging him. I'm, like, 'Doc, this is holding me back. This is holding things back.' So he got me in. And give me a month out of surgery. Like I said, it's [scheduled to happen] the last day of the month, next Wednesday. Give me a month after that, I'll be a new man."
Anselmo said that while all the surgeries have certainly helped, he was never completely cured from the physical damage he had done to his body.
"I think the only pain I have left is this one little nagging thing," he said. "I think once they zap that, shit… I guess I'll be closest to feeling as close to normal for the first time in decades.
"I've talked to everybody close to me and tried to explain to them that I'm gonna have to re-learn how to live life, man, on many, many different levels," he added. "It's interesting. But it's good. I look at it as a positive, because after a decade of the nagging thing, I'd hit a wall, and when I hit a wall, I get pissed off and I tend to hit back, and my way of hitting back is resenting my condition. Therefore I'm doing everything in my power to overcome, and I'm gonna do it, man, again. Watch."
In a 2005 interview with Revolver magazine, Anselmo said that the back problem has plagued him since the late 1990s when the lowest lumbar disc in his back was "ruptured — shattered from being onstage since I was 14 years old, jumping off the stage, off [PANTERA drummer] Vinnie's [Paul Abbott] drum set, going as crazy as possible."
Philip's solo project, PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS, has just released its sophomore album, "Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue", via Anselmo's Housecore Records in the U.S. and Season Of Mist in other parts of the world. The disc is the follow-up to PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS' debut, "Walk Through Exits Only", which came out in 2013 to mostly positive reviews.