Phil Anselmo Calls Chris Cornell 'The Best Modern-Day Rock Vocalist'

Former Pantera singer compares Cornell's creativity to late Freddie Mercury and iconic frontman Paul Rodgers.

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Despite being nominated in the same category at this year's Revolver Golden Gods Awards, former Pantera and current Down frontman Phil Anselmo had no issues with putting Soungarden mainman Chris Cornell ahead of himself, giving him nothing but props and kudos.

When asked by Loudwire about his own nomination in the Best Vocalist category, Anselmo instantly singled out Cornell, praising his skills and drawing comparisons to iconic vocalist Paul Rodgers of Free and Bad Company, as well as late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.

"I already know who I'd vote for. It'd be Chris Cornell," the singer said. "He's the best modern-day rock vocalist in the mold of Paul Rodgers and not that he sounds like it, but the creativity of Freddie Mercury. Chris can do it all, with his range, his pitch, his beautiful vibrato and whatnot, his awesome lyrics. He should win hands down."

The vocalist also took some time to discuss his numerous ongoing projects, naming different challenges they bring as the very essence of things.

"Music is a vast place. Music is a big vast world and it's history, literally," Anselmo said. "We're talking about decades times decades times decades and it's all out there. And if you're a true musician, I believe you ought to have the personal right to explore in different ways.

"But with the solo stuff, I wanted to do something very extreme to a certain degree, but I did not want to alienate Pantera fans or any of the other bands that I've been in, but it's very much a first step type of thing. For me it's also three years old now, so it's like damn, I've been sitting on this thing forever."

Speaking of solo material, Anselmo recently released his first solo track, "Usurper's Bastard Rant," from the upcoming release "Walk Through Exits Only." As the debut Phil Anselmo record, the album is due on July 16 via frontman's own label Housecore Records (MRI/Megaforce).

29 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Too bad that the winners of this year's GG awards was a complete joke, as usual. Halestorm for best drummer, Corey Taylor for best vocalist, Device for best new talent, Slipknot for best live act, and Black Veil Brides for song of the year? Once again a confirmation that shows like this are dominated by popularity and mainstream accessibility rather than professional talent. I mean, ****ing seriously? The Halestorm drummer over Abe Cunningham, Mario Duplantier, Gene Hoglan and Neil Peart?
    I can see Corey Taylor winning best vocalist of the year, and did Slipknot even tour that much this year? Device sucks, let's just get that out of the way. Black Veil Brides?-- I'm not 14 so I don't know what the **** that is. Awards for music is dumb.
    He's also the vocalist for Stone Sour and some stuff on Sound City. Those are pretty damn-good, and both had material released this year.
    And, ironically, Black Veil Brides took the award as an insult. Bastards.
    and Black Veil Brides, their members are so damn talented if you hear them by themselves. They honestly could do so much better than what they have. I honestly think it's their singer who gives them a bad image, besides their bland lyrics, and crazed 12 year old fans.
    matteo cubano
    I just graduated high school that was a primarily trendy, artsy school where i would go to classes full of hipsters listening to FUN or Mumford and then playing football with a bunch of kids who think they're from the country and only listen to taylor swift, the hootie dude, jason aldean and the few ones who don't listen to country or hipster music think that they're ghetto and listen to Cheef Keef or Sosa or Waka Flocka Flame even though they went to a private primarily white school. So listen man, everything's relative, sure, i agree...i don't know if you're from the US, but to call anyone nominated for a Golden God mainstream is really ignorant of the modern day culture we live in haha.
    You went to a school filled with people who listen to music with no cultural connection to that genre besides regional popularity. From the sound of it people bloated their tastes without actually enjoying the music where you went. I agree everything is relative, however listening to genres in order to formulate a status they never had but always wanted is worse than being hipster. Back on topic: What pisses people off about contests like this is that you can predict who is going to win due to the targeted demographic of the contest. It has nothing to do with the music, it's almost 100% exposure that makes a band win. And that's not what music is about.
    I honestly save my breath for shit like this, but Miss May I for best new act is reasonable I guess.
    Chris Cornell is ****ing god. Probably the best ever up there with Plant and Freddie. I remember UG had a poll not long ago and Cornell came up 3rd behind them. Incredible voice, he probably could've done opera if he wanted to. I personally think he's the best, I mean who else sings songs like 'Beyond The Wheel', 'Say Hello 2 Heaven' and 'Jesus Christ Pose' with that power? No ****ing one besides Chris Cornell. He puts guys like Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson to shame in pure vocals. Funny, saw on here yesterday in the interview that Mustaine would have Cornell's voice if he could.
    He certainly is But for the first, like, two thirds of his career he was more than that, imho: he was a god. Compare it to how aspiring actors view Robert DeNiro -> if you were into alternative rock music and had any dreams of becoming a singer, that guy was always gonna be in your top 10 list Album after album he was coming up with the coolest riffs (although Thayil wrote more of 'em Chris certainly played his part) and great melodies. I mean, obviously the voice was out of this world but his lyrics are equally amazing. After a couple of years he became the main creative voice for one of the most respected bands of his generation, and even when he joined forces with other talented muscians (take the Temple of the Dog album which is one of the absolute gems of the Seattle era) he would always be the engine Then come Euphoria Morning (which for some reason didn't end up selling too well, even though most people I speak to seem to love that record) and Audioslave, and if you put the whole "yeah, but Rage and SG were better bands"-argument aside I think most of you guys will agree with me that those guys still made up one of the best bands of he noughties (or whatever you call that decade). And yeah, it was around this time that his voice started to plummet (well, occasionally: I saw 'em twice -> on the first occasion his voice sounded shrill and sore, the second time he sounded fine) After that (starting with Carry On) the overall quality of his output started to go down a bit. Which is too bad -hell, I think we all remember Scream- but now that SG is back together I can't wait to watch 'em live once again. And even if they never make another Badmotorfinger or Superunknown, Chris'll always remain one of my all-time favorite musicians. Period. He still writes some amazing lyrics, his voice (though certainly not as rangy and fresh sounding as it used to be) remains unique and despite what some might have uttered in the past, particularily during the Scream-thing (which I guess some saw as a "sell out moment" or something), he doesn't seem like a douchy prick with the 80's rock star mentality at all. In fact he always came across as a pretty nice guy I was watching the Pearl Jam docu the other day and couldn't help but notice how emotional he got when asked about Andy Wood. So when people go "I'm not a huge fan anymore, the dude's past his prime"... Well I guess I understand where that's coming from but to me any guy who produces a solid 15-20 year streak of awesome, timeless music deserves nothing but praise, perhaps even a statue or whatever. I mean, DeNiro's had his livetime achievement awards innit? So cheers to you Phil, I totally agree
    Don't discredit yourself there, Phil. Cornell is one of the best vocalists today, but so are you.
    It's hard to contest really, Chris Cornell is one of the best vocalists alive, the only other vocalist I can think of on that level of talent is Mike Patton. I'd say Phil Anselmo is a damn good vocalist of course, but his range is less natural than Cornell's, it's more trained and the top-end is very much falsetto, Cornell makes it sound effortless, preserving his natural voice through his entire vocal range, which is no mean feat. I'd say Anselmo definitly does aggression better, naturally; it is afterall his bread and butter.
    Saw Chris in July, his voice completely filled Nokia Hall, Tel Aviv. I love his songwriting as well.
    love Phil's work, and soundgarden...glad to see his appreciation for Chris' vocal talents
    Always been a fan of Chris Cornell's work...awesome singer.
    I reckon Corey Taylor deserved to win. He came out with two great Stone Sour albums last year and this year. He always gives a 100% and his vocal performances on those two albums were very heartfelt. Cornell is an amazing singer but he hasn't released anything big recently to compete with.
    I'd like to hear them collaborate on a song. Something in the vein of "Learn from This Mistake". What I've always wanted to hear though is John Garcia and Chris Cornell sing 4th of July together.