Phil Anselmo: 'Extreme Music Has Been Kind To Me; Give Back'

Phil talked about Housecore, Dime, his various side projects, the good bands, the bad bands, and the ugly bands.

Phil Anselmo: 'Extreme Music Has Been Kind To Me; Give Back'
0
At first blush, Phil Anselmo is a pretty scary-looking character. Full arm and sleeve tats revealing the faces of monsters and demons and evil things burning in hell assault your eyeballs. His hair is either way beyond shoulder length and flapping to the rhythm of some insane Down riff or he's sporting a buzzcut that gives him the visage of a punker street thug. But the moment you sit and talk with the former Pantera singer, you're confronted with someone whose passions run deep for everything from his beloved New Orleans to his long gone pal, Dimebag. The cadence of his voice and the way every other word tends to be an epithet brings to mind David Lee Roth meeting Zakk Wylde. For years now, Anselmo has been working on Housecore Records, his own label, and it was four years that the company really got off the ground with their first release. Phil issued the Arson Anthem EP and since that time HC has been off and running. There are many more releases sitting in the wings and the singer wanted to talk about all of them. In a voice that sounded like crushed glass and nails was flowing through his larynx, he talked about Housecore, Dime, his various side projects, and separating the wheat from the chaff when it came to differentiating between the good bands, the bad bands, and the ugly bands. UG: When Housecore Records began back in the 90s, was it originally intended to be just a way for you to release your own albums? And then it eventually grew into a real label? Phil Anselmo: Well, let's not misconstrue here. F-ckin' Housecore was an idea in the 90s; actually culminated in the 90s and not as a record label. If anything kind of an inside joke because we had so many people in and out of my first house in New Orleans. F-ckin' musicians, man, jammin' there and whatnot. Side bands; the amount of side bands was insane. All these f-ckin' side bands started happenin' because with all these musicians around there's nothin' else to do but jam. I've said this before and I'll say it again, I don't mind: a lot of these side bands were just that; little quick one-offs that weren't necessarily taken seriously. And then some of em got more involved like Christ Inversion and stuff like that. And then there were bands like Eyehategod and Soilent Green and whatnot that used to actually practice there. Superjoint [Ritual] and Down practiced there. Sh-t, Dimebag came in and jammed there before with us. It was always this f-ckin' spot. So when did Housecore finally release it's first album? Housecore today is finally a tangible thing. We recorded the first Arson Anthem in 2006. Katrina had hit and Mike [Williams] ended up in jail and the riots after Katrina [happened]. I bailed his ass out and I just had major back surgery a few months right after Katrina and we were just f-ckin' stircrazy. We did the Arson Anthem EP so I think that was the real launching point for the realistic version of the Housecore Records. So the label did initially begin as just a vehicle to put out your own records. Yes, but don't get me wrong: it is an outlet for me to release a bunch of stuff that people may not have that are interested. You know what I'm saying? If I was into a band or whatnot and I was into a certain cat's music, I'd want to hear everything he's got out there. I'd want to have the whole f-ckin' library. So I figured this was a good way to get some stuff like that out there to the f-ckin' people that want to hear it. And also being surrounded by so many badasses, I cannot help but want to help other bands, man. When you see another band out there like Warbeast or haarp or whatever, and you see em and you know that they're ready to graduate, it's like, Share the wealth. Extreme music has been kind to me; give back. It only feels natural. So it was important to you to create and nurture this real community of bands. You wanted these groups rehearsing, jamming, writing, and demoing at your Colbert Street residence in New Orleans. In a sense, you were creating a sort of de facto Factory scene ala Andy Warhol where there was a real communal thing going on. You know, it's funny because when you mention crazy house and Andy Warhol references, it's like it wasn't on purpose but in a weird way it was. Coming in and addin' somethin' to the wall downstairs writin' your f-ckin' name, puttin' a sticker up, puttin' whatever adds somethin' to this insane collage and collection of sh-t that's now extinct thanks to Hurricane Katrina. That's too bad. It's alright though; memories are still there and the main part of the house is still there. Downstairs is f-ckin' washed away and that's where really everything f-ckin' took place and was cookin'. We had local artists contribute to a lot of the walls and I do have some of that stuff still up there; it's fantastic. But I had a lot of local artist's stuff in there. So in essence, it was a whole lot like that: f-ckin' LSD trips; swimming pool in the backyard with the famous f-ckin' pentagram at the bottom of the ol' circular swimmin' pool. Yeah, I was young; it was my first house in my original neighborhood growing up. Not original but the main neighborhood where I spent time growin' up. I was dreamin' and I was doin' it and all the people that came and went and f-ckin' contributed, it was Housecore. And like I said, that was an inside joke really because we'd f-ckin' take these serious bands or let me rephrase that the band that we took seriously, I would be the guy at home while everyone else was out workin' I'd be off tour, man, for a month or so; a couple months. Just f-ckin' relaxing. Back in the day, I was up til the wee hours drinkin', smokin', doin' whatever, man, so by the time these dudes would get off work at four o'clock, five o'clock, whatever the f-ck [laughs], six o'clock, I'd be just rollin' out of bed, man. So I'd come downstairs in my robe or some sh-t and that's kinda where the whole thing came from. It's Housecore: music created in the house only to be heard by the house.

"Being surrounded by so many badasses, I cannot help but want to help other bands, man."

There was never an intention of releasing these records on any kind of local or even regional level? At the time, I was signed to a major label and I couldn't put any of this stuff out; the bulk of it couldn't come out. There was a few things that squirted here and there but really the bulk of it I was not free to release. And there was some pretty good sh-t out there. Those first releases included the Arson Anthem EP, the first Christ Inversion record, and Valhall's Red Planet? Yeah, that first Christ Inversion was 1994. Valhall was a rarity and how I came across it was very f-ckin' interesting. But yeah, they're from Norway but they're not necessarily the in-house Housecore-type band. What was the reaction when those first Arson Anthem and Christ Inversion albums did get out there? Hey, man, everyone gets mixed reviews! You've got to put time and perspective into it; it was 1994 when I did the Christ Inversion and the Norwegian black metal thing was on the rise since really in my book or from my knowledge, it was 1992 when I finally caught on. Those records in those times always brought me back to the early 80s and it was fun to do sh-t like Christ Inversion even though I wouldn't classify us as completely typical black metal. Definitely not. The Arson Anthem, oddly enough, the first EP was recorded out here at my new house which is not so new; I've been here almost 10 years now and I still do have Colbert Street. But other than that, man, like I said we were stir crazy after Hurrican Katrina, man, when we did that f-ckin' Arson Anthem. So either way, mixed reviews or not, it's the people that f-ckin' love it, man, that really, really, really count. And feel free to dislike it. In a way, did you want people to be shocked or revolted by it? When I had that f-ckin' record done, I wanted the motherf-cker to be as hideous as it is! It explodes. If you have your motherf-ckin' iTunes on shuffle, I wanted it to come up like a f-ckin' goddamn car wreck on Canal Street in the middle of rush hour. I wanted it to be uggg-lee so I got what I wanted [laughs]. I knew we weren't gonna be millionaires from a 12-minute EP. You talk about this fraternity of bands that existed there in New Orleans and how there was some pretty good sh-t out there. Can you talk about how you differentiated between these authentic bands with real character and all the other clones lining up behind them? What drew you to Warbeast, for example, when there are a dozen other bands out there who sort of sound the same, dress the same, and project the same type of image? I got'cha; I hear that. Well, first and foremost I'll say Arson Anthem is a hardcore band; fine. I'll say Christ Conversion can be classified black metal; fair enough. Warbeast is one of my only other true genre bands and what makes them different is association. And I'll be blunt about that. I've known these guys since I was in Pantera and those were very, very impressionable years. Bruce [Corbitt], the singer, was in Rigor Mortis and they were a rival f-cking band and when I joined Pantera there was animosity between the two bands even. There was some factions that said, Dimebag was the best guitar player in the DFW area and some people said it was Mike Scaccia from Rigor Mortis. Mike went on to become very successful in Ministry so god knows they're both great guitarists. Either way I definitely bridged the gap there because I was a Rigor Mortis fan. Matter of fact that was probably the first demo, the first f-ckin' thing I'd heard out of Texas in early, early '88 or maybe even late, late '87. Because that was the moving point and Rigor Mortis was the first demo laying around this brand new place I was living. So you can validate Warbeast's authenticity by a long association with them? I've known Bruce and I know the guitar players; they played in a band called Gammacide and they were f-cking ripping thrash; old-school Slayer worship, 80s thrash. They're f-ckin' excellent guitar players so when Bruce got in touch with me and he said he was jammin' with these guys, I knew kinda what I was getting into here. It would not be the type of band that I would personally seek out but sure enough when Bruce sent the demos, there's an affectionate side of me that remembers and just adores that f-ckin' DFW sound. And what about all the posers out there? I'll tell you the truth: you are correct. There are a lot of cut-and-paste motherf-ckin' thrash metal acts today. That is harsh but I'll say it: there's a lot of Exodus worship. Fine. There's a lot of records where I can hear the first, what, 30 seconds of a song and know pretty much what I'm getting thereafter. Exactly. Warbeast has taken their influences and used them to the f-ckin' max. And they do it so well because they were there. It's not like a bunch of kids jumpin' on a trend here; they've been playing this f-ckin' sh-t for two decades now, man, and they haven't deviated. As far as I know, only Rick Perry the guitar player has a side band so to speak. All the other guys have either come from thrash metal or death metal bands. But I know for a fact, Rick, Scott Shelby the guitar player, and Bruce have always been thrash f-ckin' metallers, man. So there's some integrity there and I think they play their f-ckin' asses off and for me, I knew what I was getting into here. This is really, really an early point in their journey as a band so I'm takin' this record as kinda like a Cowboys From Hell no offense. Put it this way with Cowboys From Hell you got a glimpse into what Pantera was about but the true culmination did not come until Vulgar Display of Power. You're really talking about artist development here. That's what I've got on my hands here because I already know their new sh-t is blistering in comparison. Still, it's an awesome launching point. It really is. It shows a lot of variation and as far as knowing exactly what you're gonna get 30 seconds into a song? That's definitely not true with Warbeast and I was pleased with that. As the producer of the Warbeast album, how did you approach it? Pantera co-produced all those albums with Terry Date so did you bring in what you learned by working with him? Did you come in wearing a singer's hat? Guitar player's hat? Bruce wanted to take his time and that's normal protocol for vocalists. Most record labels, most deals, most demo sessions revolve around time restrictions and the vocals are always the last to get done. You have a certain amount of days or a certain amount of hours to get your f-ckin' sh-t done. So with that being said, Bruce wanted to take time with his vocals. However, once again I was sent over a period of time, eight or nine demo tracks that were extremely rough. So you were wearing your vocalist's hat when working with Warbeast. Sure there was a meeting of the heads; we all sat down and I said, Perhaps it would be a good idea to do this, move here, do this, move that. I leave it up to the bands completely to say, Well that's a good idea or whatnot. In the end if they're happy then I'm happy. Well, sort of. I know a good song and a good song has to be a good song from good songwriting. Anyway there was a lot of structure there and all we had to do was put a couple pieces together. They were very, very wide open and receptive and also once you suggest something then that generates ideas out of the actual members of the band. Did you get involved in the mixes of the Housecore albums? I'm there at the mix. I've mixed and been there for so many mixes on so many records, if it's drums we're listening for then it's the drums; if it's the bass; if it's the one note that sticks out too loud in the second verse of a song, yeah, we're zeroing in on that motherf-cker. So, yeah, man, I know the whole process down to the echoes on the end of leads for god sakes. Yeah, it's maddening and you sleep, work, and wake up with the same songs in your head for about two months later but once again, if everybody's happy, I'm happy and let's go. The last thing I do wanna add. With Housecore? I ask no time limits; we shall sew no f-cking music til it's time; stealin' a half-line from Orson Welles. And that's the truth, man; if we have to recall a mix til the motherf-cker is mixed 1,000 times then so be it. These dudes have to live with this sh-t the rest of their lives and I want them to be at least as happy as they can be. Everyone listens to a record that they've done and says, Oh, sh-t, I could do that 50 times better. Look, time restrictions and stuff like that? I know firsthand that can be a big distraction in your deliverance. So I just want to throw that out there. [Note: A dog barks in the background and Phil says, Hold on; there's a f-cking werewolf attacking.] As Rick Perry and Scott Shelby were laying down guitar parts on the Warbeast album, would you ever revisit a moment with Pantera and think about how Dime might approached a riff? Or how he might have gotten his sounds? No, not with Warbeast. There's a record coming out later this year by a band called haarp: all lower case letters; two a's; they're very particular about that so I want to make you cats know. Now what you've just brought up about what would Dimebag do or whatever, you may not know it or hear it necessarily on the haarp record but there are two solos on the whole one-hour of music record. Yes, I did think about a few things Dimebag did for this haarp session and it was f-ckin' cool, man, and it turned out really, really good. And it's not anything that anyone will say, Oh, my god, listen to this guitar player! He sounds exactly like Dimebag. You know, no f-ckin' way. But I did use one of his little nuances; one of his little tricks of the trade, man. Who can argue the point there? You have another record coming out by a group called the Sursiks which is about as far away from thrash as you can get. You are interested in other styles of music that don't involve monster guitar riffs and insane vocals? That's really the credo of Housecore and you'll see that as a trend in the up and coming, man. I don't have it [schedule] in front of me but the new Arson Anthem is coming out and in concert with that record is a band called Sky High which is an all-acoustic record my buddy Donovan Punch did with his daughter and it's insanely creative and I can't even begin to pinpoint that one for ya. If you look at our compilation record, we've got one side that is dedicated to the more aggressive extreme music as far as hardcore and thrash and whatnot. The other side of it is absolutely 100 per cent different; music that you can't put your finger on. And honestly that's what does it for me. There's so much regurgitation going around today that to be honest with you what does it for me as a musician myself, that all the notes have not been hit yet. You know what I'm saying? That's a great line. Yeah, look here: the Sursiks are a case in point; they are a band in search of that missing note and I think they're finding it, jack. I think they're alone in what they do. That's what I like about em. That's what I like about haarp. You can say that haarp is heavy metal and f-ckin'-a you'd be right; you could say they were slow and f-ckin'-a you'd be right. But would be fair to only say they're slow and heavy metal? No; they transcend the motherf-ckin' genre. They have invented something absolutely unique. I can't say enough about haarp. I'm lookin' for the bands that are hittin' different notes. Really that's what does it for me. And like I say, I'll have my genre bands here and there. Even Evil Army, we put their first album out through Housecore and they're definitely a genre but they're one of your better genre bands that were doing it before the new trend even came up. I'm lookin' for that uniqueness, man. So Down is your vehicle to pursue that uniqueness? To go after the missing notes? Anybody listening to Down will hear everything from acoustic guitar ballads to these dark songs that almost sound psychedelic. Songs like Stone the Crow, Pray For the Locust, Jail and Where I'm Going show a side of the band that other heavier groups just don't have. Well, man, I just wanna keep it fresh. It goes back to my other answer: it really has nothing with what I do. Matter of fact, in the case of the Sursiks and haarp, that's two things I can't do. If either band asked me to jam tomorrow, it would honestly be a train wreck; I wouldn't know where to begin to tell you the truth. Down makes Down music. There are so many genre bands today and so many bands that are lumped into genres, it's kind of maddening and kind of unfair at the same time.

"It's Housecore: music created in the house only to be heard by the house."

The new Down record is done? Not even touched. We did a show in Switzerland, a festival, but that really wasn't as memorable as the second show which was with AC/DC in Bucharest, Romania and that was three days ago. That was f-ckin' amazing; it was 50,000 people. The only thing that tarnished the whole event was that Black Sabbath [Anselmo is referring to Heaven & Hell] and we all know that Ronnie James Dio just passed away. You were a Dio fan? I've got to say it right here and right now: Ronnie was probably one of the you'll hear this a million times but if it were ever true Ronnie was the nicest guy you could ever meet, man. He was one of the good guys. I've known him since 1993 and he's always kept in touch with me someway, somehow. We played more gigs together with Down a few years back and it's a big loss. You did recognize what Ronnie brought to metal as a vocalist? No matter what today's younger generation think, I know what my generation thinks and the generation before my generation: an end of an era has occurred, man. Ronnie was alone. Probably one of the best heavy metal rock and roll singers around; maybe even a little underrated. I think he was right up there; him and Glenn Hughes and Paul Rodgers and even Chris Cornell. Let's go for it. Do you have any feelings about some of the modern metal bands? Groups like Mastodon, Lamb of God, Avenged Sevenfold, and those types of bands? I've got respect for Mastodon; I think they play very well for what they do. I think the drummer is very, very entertaining to watch; he's a f-ckin' excellent drummer. Super cool guys to hang out with; a lot of fun. I think that music is a wide open world. Of course I know what you're fishin' for. I think Pantera left a big imprint on them. It's flattering and sometimes if I walk into a room and I hear somethin' playing real, real low that sounds real f-ckin' familiar, nine times out of ten it's one of them bands you're mentioning. But that's fine. The biggest argument could be this and I get this: Pantera doesn't exist anymore. The records exist but we're not creating music anymore so there's a void there. And I guess these bands are filling a void. So you've got to take that into account as well. Just a few more questions, Phil, and we're done. Man, I'm easy. It's about to rain and I don't have nothin' special to do. Do you think that any of these contemporary bands will have the impact and staying power that Pantera had? Pantera revolutionized the sound and the approach to heavy metal. It's been regurgitated. Once you up the production on a product and not just the playing but the actual production, then it's going to up the ante. Period. Bands are going to want that sound and Dimebag had a monster f-ckin' guitar sound; it was all a matter of getting it on tape right. He always had that great sound. If a band called Pantera came out today with an album called Cowboys From Hell, would it make an impact? Would it have been a tougher road [today]? I don't think so because I think Pantera at our prime would have destroyed anything in our f-cking path. So I can't really think that way. So who's the new Pantera? A modern band? The only band I can think of that will have longevity like that for heavy metal would be Metallica for sure. They're the Rolling Stones of metal. They can if they want to and I believe they do from the last I've seen of them, keep creating music; keep writing music together. They have a good time doing it and they have a massive f-ckin' following so why not do that very thing? Look at AC/DC; look at Heaven & Hell up to the point [of Dio's passing]; and look at Ozzy Osbourne. I'm not sure if he's doing gigs but he did gigs into his middle 60s. It's there for Metallica if they want it and like I say, I do believe they will be that band. But modern bands? I can't really judge that; I don't know. Mastodon could play music together forever as well and they can have a hardcore following forever as well. Whoever's in the kid's faces; like Slipknot. If I was a young teenager or even a kid, they would be my Kiss of this generation. You know what I'm saying? So Slipknot could keep doing what they do for as long as they're havin' fun. So, yeah, there are some bands out there who can do it and will do it on a massive scale. Sure. Til they call it quits and only til that point and that's saying something; that's longevity one way or another. No matter what anyone thinks of the f-ckin' music. Because music is like f-ckin' opinions and like anything else you're gonna get in life: good and bad; I like it; I don't like it. Tastes are varied, man, so much in this music world. Look, I adore the bands that I adore. On the flipside, as much as you love a 100 different genres of bands, there are another 100 I can easily say I dislike too. In bands like Arson Anthem and I believe in Christ Inversion and maybe some of your other side projects, you were playing guitar and not singing. Do you dig the guitar playing side of things as much as you do being the frontman? Well, man, I love playing guitar; I've always played guitar. I've written Pantera riffs; I write a real good amount of the Down riffs on every record. People would jam with me for years like Jimmy Bower from Down, Eyehategod, Clearlight and god knows how many other bands he's in, and he can tell ya that I've got my own style and I do. I've got my own approach to playing guitar and the other thing is all of my side bands, I can proudly say none of em sound alike. Not a damn one of em sound alike. They all are very unique within themselves and why not? Because music is very vast and I am just an explorer, man. Why imitate something you've already done? With that fact known, within all these different styles of music I play, my guitar style stands out, man. You have to listen close to anything I play guitar on. You said that you write riffs for Down on guitar but do you actually play guitar on record? You mentioned Pray For the Locust; I played that, man. That's me on the record. You're playing those acoustic guitars? F-ck, yeah. That's really some wonderful guitar playing. Thank you. Like on Jail, I play the mandolin. I love playing guitar and as a matter of fact I'm writing some new stuff right now. Where it's just me and a drummer and I'm havin' fun with it, man, and it's aggressive; it's extreme and that's all I can say about it right now because it's a work in progress. But it's f-ckin' deadly. You never played any guitar in Pantera? I didn't play guitar in Pantera but I'd say, Hey, Dime, listen to this. I wrote this. And I wrote Mouth For War. So you actually traded riffs and stuff with Dime? The thing about Dimebag is he would grab the guitar, I'd show him somethin' but by the time he grabbed it, he just had this grip on the guitar that was f-ckin' inhuman. I can't explain it; just not human. I sounded very mortal. Believe me, the riff [for] the Mouth For War as you know it sounded very, very mortal compared to what it is now. Yeah, man, that's how that would work. Who were some of the guitar players you were listening to? Certainly being in a band with Dimebag you must have been absorbing a lot of stuff? I was never one to know a cover or really yearn to learn a cover song. I never wanted to do that; I always wrote my own stuff. OK, you go through different phases in life; my early phase of course I listened to a lot of Kiss but at the same time I was listening to Ted Nugent; I was listening to the Scorpions and I was listening to Peter Frampton. It's hard to imagine that the guitar player from Humble Pie would have affected you in any way. Peter Frampton really left a impression on me because the Comes Alive! record and actually all of his solo records after Humble Pie are some of the most beautiful, melodic solos I ever heard, man. Really f-ckin' fantastic playing. Oh, sh-t, man, of course Black Sabbath. Now that's one band I gotta kinda eat my words on because the riffs were so infectious and Tony Iommi was such a badass. And still playing the end of Black Sabbath is impossible for me to do so put it that way. The beginning is easy but the end of it is like f-ckin' forget it, I'm not doing it. You learn a few Black Sabbath riffs; Paranoid is an easy one. And then there's Slayer; talk about infectious riffs that you were dying to know how to play. Because Slayer reinvented thrash in matter of fact so much so that I've got at least 90 records - and I do mean vinyl sittin' in my frontroom that are just pure Slayer worship. If Slayer hadn't existed, these bands hadn't existed. So Slayer was always fun to play; Mercyful Fate was an influence for sure. I love trills, man; I'm a f-ckin' sucker for trills, man, and that's a Black Sabbath thing. Iommi was a trilling fool. I hate to leave anything out: I guess Judas Priest and stuff like that. Then you've got the other side [and] Johnny Marr from the Smiths; the cat from the Birthday Party [but] I forget his name. Nick Cave and the Birthday Party. Very unique; very ugly tone; very dramatic tone. Almost follows the theme of the song because Nick Cave's lyrics will take you on a journey and the guitar does the same; it complements what he's doing. A lot of things stick out for me that have been influential.

"We did the Arson Anthem EP so I think that was the real launching point for the realistic version of the Housecore Records."

You've talked about tones and stuff from other guitar players. What is the Phil Anselmo sound? Right now it sucks. I'm f-ckin' hating it. I lost my Randall head; Dimebag gave me this old Randall head many, many, many moons ago and I guess when we recorded the last Down record, somewhere amongst 50 other Randall heads mine got taken. And I've not found one that sounds even close to my old and I'm bummin' out on that. So there's my tone right now in a nutshell. What is your main guitar? SG, jack, and I also an Ovation; I play Ovation acoustics. Just raw; I just mic em up, I don't ever plug em in much. But that's not entirely true. If I'm gonna do somethin' a little trippy of course I'll plug up. Gibson f-ckin' SG's. Believe it or not there's a guitar called a Gibson Sonick [in fact it is spelled Sonic] which was rare; badass guitars, man. I used to have a cream white one and I don't where the hell that thing was but it played mean and sounded rippin'. They were like a Les Paul-looking guitar; really excellent. Jimmy Bower plays those motherf-ckers, man. Here's another quick Dimebag thing: we were in Japan and there it was on the wall. A '66 SG Mini and I was drooling. That sucker covered it right there with his credit card and I paid him back when I got home but still, man, that's my favorite guitar and I still play it today. The headstock got broken off; the original tremolo doesn't work anymore so it's not on there but it still rips. Was the SG a nod at Tony Iommi? Yeah, but it's also the feel of the thing. It's a Mini and they're very thin; they're light; and you can grip into em and the neck is just perfect long enough because of the cutaway. What is on the agenda for Housecore in the coming months? Let me take a look right here: Housecore releases 2010. OK, we just released Warbeast and the Sursiks. Coming up next in the middle of June will be the full-length Arson Anthem titled Insecurity Notoriety and it is blistering. That's coming out along with Sky High and it's a self-titled EP. It's acoustic Native American-feeling, Frank Zappa at times f-ckin' hippie music, I guess. It's great. And then in the end of August/early September, the full-length from haarp comes out and that was f-ckin' a blast to produce; a totally different band. That's another thing about production, man, each band requires different sounds; different things; different techniques. And I love that about that. And haarp is a very, very hardworking band and a very particular band; they're very dark. This record is very dark sounding. We do not have a title for this haarp yet and as a matter of fact we're all puttin' our heads together this weekend and talkin' artwork. Paul Booth [tattoo artist] is doing the cover art for the haarp and it's f-ckin' massive and that's gonna be a good thing. Comin' out with that haarp is probably gonna be The Manson Family soundtrack finally. And that was for Jim Van Bebber's The Manson Family which finally got released, I think, in '06 and then has been re-released several times by a million different companies and whatnot. I did the soundtrack for the film back in the day; we started that in the 90s trackin' that stuff. But it's come a long way and that's a lot of noise stuff that I've done: the Disembodied and some Body and Blood tracks are on there and sh-t like that. Very different stuff, man. Last thing here: you have that video up on the Housecore Records site from an interview you did at Loyola University. You were talking all about your addiction and it was unbelievably honest and open. That takes a lot to put yourself in a roomful of strangers and tell them you stick needles in your arm. Not to end up as another drug casualty speaks a lot about your character. It's a plague, man, it's a plague. If you've got any hair left just yank that sh-t out because it really drives you f-ckin' crazy seein' what you were and what you put your family through and all your friends and stuff like that. So, yeah, man, I've got nothin' to hide when it comes to that and I'm wide open as a book. Ahem There is a book coming? Yeah, man. On the video you were reading from your computer and it came out like verses in a book. Yeah, well, it's gonna be a lot of hard work. Of course but if it wasn't hard it wouldn't even be worth doing. You can say that in five different languages and every time it come up tough! Interview by Steven Rosen Ultimate-Guitar.Com 2010

62 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    Flying Afros
    Saw haarp opening for Kylesa a few weeks ago here in NOLA at the Big Top, tiny art gallery-like venue. Jimmy Bower was there and head banged with haarp's vocalist. ****ing awesome stuff, like a slowed down and more groove-based Crowbar. Fuck I wish I was born 10 or 15 years earlier to further witness the rise and growth of some of the heaviest and sludgiest sounds of the South. And Phil is the ****ing man. HAIL THE LEAF!
    Slap-happy
    This is a good article - although "Believe it or not theres a guitar called a Gibson Sonick [in fact it is spelled Sonic] which was rare" - it's "Sonex"
    TsarBomba
    That's the thing though; the mainsteam doesn't account at all for what's actually going on in any music genre. I'm not trying to sound elitist, but it's true. Mainstream music takes forever to catch up with what's going on in the underground, and when it does, the people are more concerned with how to package and market it. So while I love a lot of Pantera, and I like modern bands like Mastodon who are now getting recognition, you have to take their influence with a grain of salt. Context is definitely important too. Celtic Frost have influenced entire genres, nevermind thousands of bands, and they haven't had the success Pantera have. If you know your metal, you know.a band like CF are one of the most influential in every genre of metal, so you have to look at a band's influence in the bigger picture. Pantera influenced bands that sound like Pantera, and you can't tell me there are more bands like that than otherwise. I
    pag_slash_2
    Phil sounds good nowadays. Back as recent as 2008 I think he was still on some shit but nowadays he seems clean and all the better for it. I think when hes talking about modern bands playing like Pantera, it's got to be directed at Lamb of God. Mastodon are nothing like Pantera but Lamb of God just emulate it. It is a shame that he dosen't seem interested in recording some new Down material at the moment though, that would be sick.
    Im_Broken
    biff022 wrote: Phil seems like he's doing better. Good for him always liked him and his voice... Pantera were awesome... but Mastodon crushes them.
    Mastodon and Pantera are my two fave bands. ever. cant beat em. but no. Pantera demolishes Mastodon in terms of impact and originality.
    Muck27
    spidersquasher wrote: Anjohl wrote: Not the brightest guy, but he definitely has a burning passion for music. Also, I don't think "Panther" were as influential as he thinks. Having a jock following hardly counts as being influential...jocks dont pick up guitars. have u heard metal recently? pantera is the most recent of the BIG influences. listen to the riffs out there.
    true enough.. although usually when i listen to pantera, i tune out phil and just rock the **** out to dime and VP. nothing really against phil, as i would honestly tune out any vocal who was on the same track as dimebag & vp. those 2 just created some bad ass riffs together that i dont think can ever be matched. but all in all, they're definitely big influences. most of the successful bands of today will list atleast one member of this band in their influential figures.
    Romper Stomper
    My typo doesn't change the fact that this guy is a NOBODY. Dio was a rock god. Period. Phil was a guy that had a couple cool albums with Pantera. No need for childish name calling little boys and girls.
    TsarBomba
    I still put on Pantera maybe once or twice a year, and I hate fair weather fans who start bashing the very bands that got them into the genre once their tastes start developing. That said, it's extremely annoying and narrow minded when people act like bands like Pantera are the be all, end all. Some people can't even admit that lots of bands in various subgenres took absolutely nothing from their music. I also know metalheads and musicians who can't stand the band. But you say this to the average Pantera fan, and they freak out. They bitch about metal credibility, and then in the same sentence, give you shit for not conforming.
    ambivalent615
    for whatever reason, i like the fact that he openly acknowledges just how influential pantera where. he doesn't downplay the legacy or pretend to be modest or whatever. thats cool, although i'm not a huge pantera fan (i do like them) theyre obviously influential as all hell.
    DDJJ
    Anjohl wrote: Not the brightest guy, but he definitely has a burning passion for music. Also, I don't think "Panther" were as influential as he thinks. Having a jock following hardly counts as being influential...jocks dont pick up guitars.
    Jocks? You're an idiot. And they got their name from the old sports car. Sure it's Spanish for panther but who gives a f***
    spidersquasher
    Anjohl wrote: Not the brightest guy, but he definitely has a burning passion for music. Also, I don't think "Panther" were as influential as he thinks. Having a jock following hardly counts as being influential...jocks dont pick up guitars.
    have u heard metal recently? pantera is the most recent of the BIG influences. listen to the riffs out there.
    dementiacaptain
    dopelope wrote: My typo doesn't change the fact that this guy is a NOBODY. Dio was a rock god. Period. Phil was a guy that had a couple cool albums with Pantera. No need for childish name calling little boys and girls.
    so, Phil had a couple cool albums. Well Dio had a couple cool albums too. I would say all in all, they both have about the same amount of mass appeal. If you are a Pantera fan, then you probably know more of their catalogue, but as a just an average metal fan, not specific to them, you probably only knowstheir greatest succeses, or at least don't know all their songs. same can be said for Dio. influences? I think you can definitely hear them from Dio, but Pantera? I mean, legions of bands have at least one aspect that rings the Pantera bell. Im not saying Phil has as much cred as Dio, but accounting influence, and mass appeal, his greatest succeses and Dios I would say rank fairly even. tldr: Older doesn't always mean better, or more worthy of worship.
    goddamncanadian
    Tarsplitter wrote: TriviumFan717 wrote: How dare you spell "sentance" wrong. What are you on about? He spelled "sentance" correctly.
    Sentence, actually.
    rob904
    littlebigjames wrote: biff022 wrote: Phil seems like he's doing better. Good for him always liked him and his voice... Pantera were awesome... but Mastodon crushes them. Mastodon crushes Pantera thats the funniest things ive ever read, they are nothing and will be remembered as nothing just another fad like Avenged Sevenfold. What has Mastodon created nothing but more Prog to go on the pile of the countless prog bands around, yeah there good musicians but who cares? heavy metal is never about whos the best muso. They dont have songs that are catchy or just straight out heavy or solos that will be talked about by guitarists for generations to come. Pantera is forever Uh...I'm not saying I agree with this guy, but Mastodon is pretty original, their definitely better than some of the shit that's out there today, Probably most of the shit you listen too, But I agree that they are no Pantera by any means, to me, that's kind of like comparing Milk and water, two totally different styles and two totally different sounds. Again, I LOVE the hell out of Mastodon and think they are definitely more than a "fad" but they are no Pantera.
    couldn't have said it better myself
    RockInPeaceDime
    scorpio2billion wrote: Profanity is the language of the uneducated.
    Because no doctorate holders ever curse.
    Tarsplitter
    TriviumFan717 wrote: How dare you spell "sentance" wrong.
    What are you on about? He spelled "sentance" correctly.
    TriviumFan717
    How dare you spell "sentance" wrong.
    dopelope wrote: acdclandon wrote: Love this guy for all the shit he takes, honestly when he dies it will be the end of an era as was dio's passing. How dare you even put Dio and this guy in the same sentance?
    jameshudson92
    Just a few more questions, Phil, and were done. Man, Im easy. Its about to rain and I dont have nothin special to do. that line was awesome....and the respect that he has for metallica...say what you want to but phil rules man!!!!
    littlebigjames
    biff022 wrote: Phil seems like he's doing better. Good for him always liked him and his voice... Pantera were awesome... but Mastodon crushes them. Mastodon crushes Pantera thats the funniest things ive ever read, they are nothing and will be remembered as nothing just another fad like Avenged Sevenfold. What has Mastodon created nothing but more Prog to go on the pile of the countless prog bands around, yeah there good musicians but who cares? heavy metal is never about whos the best muso. They dont have songs that are catchy or just straight out heavy or solos that will be talked about by guitarists for generations to come. Pantera is forever
    Uh...I'm not saying I agree with this guy, but Mastodon is pretty original, their definitely better than some of the shit that's out there today, Probably most of the shit you listen too, But I agree that they are no Pantera by any means, to me, that's kind of like comparing Milk and water, two totally different styles and two totally different sounds. Again, I LOVE the hell out of Mastodon and think they are definitely more than a "fad" but they are no Pantera.
    RockInPeaceDime
    dopelope wrote: My typo doesn't change the fact that this guy is a NOBODY. Dio was a rock god. Period. Phil was a guy that had a couple cool albums with Pantera. No need for childish name calling little boys and girls.
    I will say it again...give it 20 or so years and we'll have to find out. You really think the "aura" Dio is surrounded by these days was exactly the same when he was in his 30s and 40s? Unless you've developed some sort of psychic abilities that nobody else holds, it would probably be wise to bite your tongue, sit back, and enjoy the ride.
    DDJJ
    I guess the lack of Pantera would explain why there are not many comments here. True what he said though, Pantera would have destroyed anything in their path.
    refizzled
    Good interview, but most of this was TLDR. I just counted how many times he said "f-ck". Phil's the man.
    bwalter32
    dopelope wrote: acdclandon wrote: Love this guy for all the shit he takes, honestly when he dies it will be the end of an era as was dio's passing. How dare you even put Dio and this guy in the same sentance?
    Because it's a good comparison? Dio was awesome and is one of my favorite singers, but you can't take away what Phil did and accomplished with Pantera and then continued to accomplish with Superjoint, Down, etc... When Phil passes, it will truly be the end of an era, one I'm not ready for.
    stndrdprcdre
    This guy is so entertaining. Not long ago the modern rock radio station in my city interviewed him and it was the funniest drive to work I'd had in a while. Even though he was being interviewed by douchebags who probably didn't know anything about him other than that he was in Pantera, he still gave a killer interview.
    Misfit-FTB
    dopelope wrote: acdclandon wrote: Love this guy for all the shit he takes, honestly when he dies it will be the end of an era as was dio's passing. How dare you even put Dio and this guy in the same sentance?
    How dare you question it. You apparently did not read the interview. Phil might not be considered as great as Dio, but Phil is still young and his career is not over so it could very well be that way in the end.
    WheredMyRockGo?
    I've seen Pantera in concert a couple times. I've never seen any other show that was as wild. This guy new how to get the crowd fired up. Of course the music helped with the riot atmosphere but he got everyone in the mood for complete reckless abandonment. Great frontman. It was actually funny when i saw lamb of god a few years ago. I was like, wait, did this guy just steal all of phil's lines? I would say they would be one of the regurgitation's.
    Andragon
    Let me put it that way. Pantera was unique from Vulgar Display and on, but without Phil, the sound wouldn't be as powerful. Phil seems like a good guy who went through some shit, did some bad things, but in the end he does more good than bad, from the stories I've read.
    Kankuro1
    Phil is the man. He had a period where he was very disagreeable (his quote about how someone should beat up Dime comes to mind), but hes overcome that. He's overcome his problems, and doesn't deny things that were his fault. He's apologized for his mistakes, and has become more of a badass than he ever was. Phil is the ****ing man.
    Romper Stomper
    acdclandon wrote: Love this guy for all the shit he takes, honestly when he dies it will be the end of an era as was dio's passing.
    How dare you even put Dio and this guy in the same sentance?
    SkepsisMetal
    Seems a pretty cool, and very honest guy. You don't get that a lot these days. A lot of pretentious asshats, passing off as some great geniuses just because they're thinking what society wants them to think. This guy's got it nailed down, and nothing but he changes his mind. I aspire to be like that
    Jyrgen
    "Because music is like f-ckin opinions and like anything else youre gonna get in life: good and bad; I like it; I dont like it. Tastes are varied, man, so much in this music world. Look, I adore the bands that I adore. On the flipside, as much as you love a 100 different genres of bands, there are another 100 I can easily say I dislike too. " Good quote Phil is great.
    desimate
    say what you want about the man but he talks truth especially now he's cleaned up. When phil anselmo talks you shut up and listen. example in point being that video of his talk at loyola uni.
    biff022
    Phil seems like he's doing better. Good for him always liked him and his voice... Pantera were awesome... but Mastodon crushes them.
    mrshreddy
    Misfit-FTB wrote: dopelope wrote: acdclandon wrote: Love this guy for all the shit he takes, honestly when he dies it will be the end of an era as was dio's passing. How dare you even put Dio and this guy in the same sentance? How dare you question it. You apparently did not read the interview. Phil might not be considered as great as Dio, but Phil is still young and his career is not over so it could very well be that way in the end.
    +100000 good answer.
    guitarplaya070
    dopelope wrote: acdclandon wrote: Love this guy for all the shit he takes, honestly when he dies it will be the end of an era as was dio's passing. How dare you even put Dio and this guy in the same sentance?
    Just wondering... what's a sentance ? tee-hee... Now I know I seem like the anal type of prick that makes fun of typos, however if you're going to make a stupid statement, at least spell it right...
    Rtard_GWARRIOR
    MonsterOfRock wrote: Phil to me is the embodiment of metal. The guy walks talks and does everything metal. He survived tremendous amount of abuse that hes done to his body and lived to tell the stories. You can see it in the way he talks, that drugs have taken its toll. But in interviews or thru his music its pretty clear, that the guy is just too real and keeps it straight to the point and no bullshit. That kids, is ****ing metal.
    +1. Phil is the best mother****er in metal to come from a once Glam Metal band. Period.