John Gehrig of Sic Asylum recently conducted an interview with former PANTERA and current DOWN singer Philip Anselmo. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Sic Asylum: You've had the chance to play with legends in music, from Rob Halford to the SLAYER and ANTHRAX guys as well as countless others. Is there anybody on your bucket list for you to share the stage with?
Anselmo: When I jam with other bands on stage, it's always invitation first. I'm not going to run up and ruin someone's set or anything like that. So know that, I'm invited so I come up. But sure, man, there's always people I would love to meet. Whether we jam or not, that's one thing or another. You know what's funny? I never met David Lee Roth in my life and that's one dude I'd love to meet just to say hey and I shook hands with one of my earliest influences in life and one of the great frontmen of his era. I have a lot of respect for David Lee Roth.
Sic Asylum: If you just said the best song you've ever written, the song you're proudest of, anything.
Anselmo: Gosh. Well, I do love "New Level" from PANTERA. I love the message, I love the song, I love the power of the song and what it does for people in the audience, the audience participation — I love that. That particular song and shit man, but still you know you take a band like DOWN, it's tough to ignore "Bury Me In Smoke", it's tough to ignore a lot. I don't know; that's a tough question, Jack.
Sic Asylum: Fans and the media alike are always looking to crown a band as "the next PANTERA." While no band will ever fill those shoes, there have been bands like LAMB OF GOD and even MACHINE HEAD that have been given that label. Is there a band you would stand behind passing the torch to?
Anselmo: That's a bizarre question, because I do hear the influences that you're talking about. I get it. But once again, like you say, it's already been done. It's already been done. PANTERA hit a part of the mainstream that I would have never foresaw growing up, and I wouldn't foresee it, and I didn't foresee it, because I'm a pessimist by nature so that type of success is like, a wow, once-in-a-lifetime type shit in a weird way. If you make it more than once in a lifetime, then you must be really doing something good. But I don't give a shit about the mainstream at all, I really don't. For me, I like more avant garde as far as modern stuff. I really, really love the underground in extreme heavy metal. The underground isn't called the underground for nothing. The underground means there is a limited amount of fans that like a certain band or even movement or even genres or subgenres of music. Right now, it's the underground that's doing it for me. I think if you took a look at my track record of bringing out bands like SOILENT GREEN, EYEHATEGOD, CROWBAR, NEUROSIS, SATYRICON, MORBID ANGEL and turning them onto a bigger audience. My heart has always been with the fucking underground wearing DARKTHRONE shirts, PORTAL shirts, GHOST shirts before it became chic. That's who I am, man. Heavy metal has been kind to me. My knee-jerk reaction has always been giving back. If giving back means me taking bands on tour or even being a walking billboard, I don't mind being that guy.
Sic Asylum: In countless interviews you've done, people always latch on about PANTERA, your relationship with Vinnie [Paul Abbott] and Rex [Brown], etc. Are there any questions you wish people would just lay to rest?
Anselmo: No, I don't care. I really don't mind answering anything. Really, I'm an open book and I can talk about anything in the world, whether it be PANTERA, drugs, fucking booze, fucking — the underground, I don't have a problem with it, you name it because I'm easy people man, I'm laid back.
Sic Asylum: It just seems like people keep rehashing shit over and over with you.
Anselmo: They do, constantly. But such is the way of mainstream media and whatnot. It's just like you read something about yourself, it's supposed to be a review of a brand new record, take for instance my new record, "Walk Through Exits Only", I'll read a review and somehow they have to squeeze in the fact that I did heroin before. It's like I haven't done hard drugs in nine fucking years. When are they going to forget that? The media doesn't forget, so guess what, what the fuck can I do about it? Let them write the fucking shit, it doesn't matter. As long as they keep talking about me in the press, then so be it. Fucking A, what can I do? What can we do but be ourselves and keep on rolling forward?
Read the entire interview at Sic Asylum.