Horror, Music and Sports with Philip H. Anselmo

Horror icon Bill Moseley – most notable as Chop Top in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, and Otis in Rob Zombie’s House Of 1000 Corpses and Devil’s Rejects – recently joined forces with extreme music legend Philip H. Anselmo (Down, Pantera, Superjoint, Scour, Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals, Arson Anthem etc.) for a very special collaborative release entitled Songs Of Darkness And Despair.

Released January 20th 2017 via Anselmo’s own Housecore Records, the five-track offering was produced and performed by Anselmo and Stephen “The Big Fella” Berrigan (Down, SYK, Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals, Eyehategod, haarp, Classhole, etc.), and mastered by Scott Hull of Visceral Sound. Songs Of Darkness And Despair includes guest appearances by Kevin Bond (Superjoint) on guitar, Squizzy Squires (King Parrot) on bass and guitar, and Jose “Blue” Gonzalez (Superjoint, Warbeast, Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals) on percussion.

We had the pleasure of a phone call with Phil H. Anselmo to talk about this project, Superjoint, A Serbian Film and much more.
CC: How did you first get into music and did you ever like Pop, Funk or Soul music?
Phil: Absolutely, All of the above and how did I get into music?  I was born and raised into a household of it.  I had very, very young parents and I guess in the late 60’s, mid to late 60’s living in the French Quarter – music was tremendous so the plethora influences was thick, if you will.
CC: Do you recall any funk artists that you may have dug right off the bat like maybe The Gap Band or Rick James or…
Phil: That’s an interesting question…Um, you know band like The Gap Band and Rick James, I mean, as far as radio hits…I mean, you gotta love Rick James.  I…what is it, Super Freak…I mean, you gotta love it, it’s a killer riff…I mean, it’s lovable so but gosh this is interesting, I like this interview…Growing up one of the big hits on the radio in New Orleans was “Right Place, Wrong Time” by Dr. John, so we had this different feel…I mean, I don’t know if Dr. John can be lumped in with traditional folk, pardon me traditional funk players…But. It’s like, um…it’s still for I guess New Orleans funky feel…I mean we’ve always had The Meters play and I’ve seen The Meters jam a few times throughout my life and they always throw down…So the funky, funky Meters and Dr. John and you know what more can be said…But, more…I love em’, I love em’.  Once again though there artists with quite the catalogs.  If you pointed to one direct record or anything like that.  It’s like a lot of bands, you know you like certain songs that you’re aware of and then there’s you know, like case in point, another cat would be David Essex, his biggest hit would be, “Rock On” like back in the day.  His sound reminds me of WAR.  It’s like if WAR was the backing band, it almost sounds like it.  But, he had another song of that record called, “Streetfight” which was fucking badass man, so kick ass, so you know, there you go, I mean, we can can go any direction you want from here.
CC: Absolutely, Did you sing in Church?  Did you go to church and sing or did you go to church?
Phil: No, I was not a church going person and I was not forced into that lifestyle, upbringing or anything like that.  However, I will say my mother’s sister, My Aunt was a theater person and also a lover of all the musicals and show tunes, if you will.  All that type of shit everything from The Sound of Music to Wizard of Oz, etc. etc. Judy Garland and all that stuff. So, I was raised in a house of the arts in general…you know a love of Diana Ross & The Supremes, Stylistics one of the greats, stuff like that, But, getting more directly to your question again…Um..What was the question again?
CC: The last question, Did you sing in church?
Phil: Ahhh, right, right, right…yes, so anyway I was taught voice by my mother and later in school…Um, wow ws that a wild beast in the background?
CC: Yeah, it’s my doggie.
Phil: Love it, I love beasts…But, uh in school I sang baritone in the choir in like 8th & 9th grade and that was about it.  However, my teacher took a specific interest in me for two different reasons.
1. I was a cut up asshole who couldn’t behave and 2. He felt I guess I was the lock down guy at baritone so he felt I was the strongest one therefore, he rode my ass even harder because it was like quit cuttin’ up you motherfucker because I need ya man was pretty much his message to me. So yeah, I have done some of that absolutely.
CC: Very cool, I’ll be 51 tomorrow…we’re probably around the same age.
Phil: Pretty close, Happy Birthday by the way.
CC: Thank you so much, I appreciate that.  Um, I don’t know what the school curriculum is right now as far as music in schools, I think it may be more diminished.
Phil: Agreed.  Curriculum in general is kinda confusing.

CC: So, you have a new Superjoint album or a recent Superjoint album and you have an EP with Bill Mosely, all written within 6 months is that right?
Phil: Well, Superjoint record like in all reality is probably two years old and Bill Mosely, that record gotta be over a year old as far as what’s up to date with what I’ve ben doing so I guess for the general public it is what it is but for me we’re talking kinda old hat.  But, it doesn’t matter and I realize this is the two records that are on the block and that’s all we can dissect, so let’s dissect, if you will.
CC: Is there a new fire burning inside Phil Anselmo?
Phil: I don’t think there’s ever been a fire when it comes to music there’s always that little flame whether I’m making music just for myself or you know whether it’s something that I know the public is going to consume so I’m always writing music man I write all kinds of fucking music so you know it’s very common around here.
CC: So, its a constant?
Phil: So yes -there’s- to answer your question, The flame never went out there’s always a fire.
CC: We wrote a glowing review of the recent Superjoint album and I quote Gene A Gaona, who is one of our reviewers, “The guitars have enough twang on them you can practically smell the swamps of Louisiana”.
Phil: (laughing) Sounds like a review
CC: A bunch of adjectives, right?
Phil: Correct, yeah.
CC: Do you have any favorite songs on the new Superjoint album?
Phil: Not really, you know it is what it is.  I think it serves it’s purpose and Superjoint is interesting you know it’s like we all know all the ingredients with Superjoint there has to be fair amounts of hardcore, and definitely this sprinkling of heavy metal and then there has to be that New Orleans vibe of groove that is essential really to the band.  So, we all come in with our own ideas and I will say having Steve Taylor on the bass, really he’s an excellent guitar player, very creative guitar player.  Um, you know…having a guy like that in the band is I guess refreshing to a degree as far as ideas go and bouncing off ideas…He’s about our age, as well… he’s played in, he’s so low key about the bands that he’s played in some very, very unique bands like – He was on the first Wovenhand album and played in Thirteen Horsepower or whatever it is Sixteen Horsepower I’m not that familiar but I do know that they’re not hardcore nor heavy metal, having a guy like that to bounce stuff off of is always very interesting but at the end of the day we’re all I guess focused on what Superjoint is supposed to sound like and as as influences go you know it’s like always that gotta be Black Flag meets a bit of Agnostic Front meets fucking St. Vitus or something like that and it never turns out, it’s not quite like that Shit man, I guess that’s the beauty of having all the influences you hear…fucking take em’, ball em’ up and put em; in a blender and see what comes out.
CC: What can you tell me about Widder Woman?
Phil: Not much man, that’s some wild ass shit that Bill Mosely came up with lyrically I thought it was ridiculous, thought it’d create a ridiculous soundscape for it and on with the absurdity and here, here we need more absurdity in a positive way.
CC: Are familiar with the Northern California organization E Clampus Vitus?
Phil: No, I am not.
CC: Ok
Phil: What is it?
CC: It’s a Fraternal Brotherhood that goes back to the Gold Rush days and a California Preservation Society that was set up in part to help take care of widow and orphans of miners who lost their lives in the mines.  The widows are referred to as “Widders”
Phil: Hey, look..All that is on Bill Mosely, he’s a California guy.  I can’t say how long he’s lived there but he’s been living there long enough to where he has a view on things or whatever.  But, Trust me I don’t think Bill is writing from anything but his own experience….ya know…if that made any sense…Jesus Christ, what the, Gosh, the destruction of the English language with Philip Anselmo. Sorry about that.
CC: No worries, You’re not entirely just an English guy you’re from Louisiana, you speak pretty good English.
Phil: Well, Thank you.
CC: It’s not that hard.
Phil: No, it isn’t.  It really, really is not that hard and ahhhh, I like innovation within the language, I like messin’ around with the words creating your own little words here and there.  Especially living in the world of so many different dialects and different inputs, you know, I guess they would call it, what is it like, pigeon language to a certain degree when you live in a one zone community and to me like sometimes New Yorker’s sound like people from the New Orleans area.  It’s kinda strange you know because New York supposedly has this very unique accent and all but to me it’s like wow it sounds so similar but you know you can tell the difference in dialects…you know…California has it’s own little thing with their, Hella this and that, whatever see you won’t find that here, you know, you don’t hear that expression that much.
CC: Ah yeah, It’s still a popular phrase up here.  I’m originally from England and ah, I still enjoy…
Phil: I love the English dialect, ah like, case in point would be like the word “quieten” ya know you don’t hear that really in America so to speak but “quieten” and ahhh, I adore English comedy everything from Benny Hill to Finn’s Comics, I’m a fan.
CC: Speaking of England, how familiar are…I know you’re a big horror fan, you must be pretty familiar with Hammer Films, I would imagine?
Phil: You could say that in 20 different languages and every time you’d come up with, “Correct Sir”.
CC: And I would imagine that…are you a Sci Fi, Dr. Who guy at all?
Phil: Ya know, Oh gosh to a degree…man, I can’t say I’m a some Dr, Who nerd the way I am to a degree with the original Star Trek series. But, ahhh it depends on, I guess, ahhh, I guess it depends on the Sci Fi so to speak like ahhh you if you think about British…right off the top of my head…If I think about British Sci Fi like I would think of, “Children of the Damned” and stuff like that which is absolutely Sci Fi – You know, but really horror is and can be Sci Fi in , in a lot of different ways and I think that Howard Phillips Lovecraft has proven that and this is just my opinion that really, no much further than that…But, take a film like, “The Thing” and um, which I guess was originally a 1950’s film but John Carpenter’s version in general I don’t think there would be that vision in general.  I don’t think there would be that vision for, “The Thing” without HP Lovecraft and, you know, HP Lovecraft in general with the cosmic horror that was his favorite and best at what he did.  You know, it’s like the fear of the unknown and I guess that in of itself is somewhat Sci Fi.
CC: I know you frequent the obviously the horror circuits, the horror conventions.  Have you been to any anime conventions?
Phil: No, No, No, not a tremendous fan but I know it’s huge.
CC: But you’ve been to the Star Trek conventions, I imagine?
Phil: No, I’ve never been to one.  I’ve never felt the need or anything like that.  I like the show, I really do.
CC: Have you seen A Serbian Film?
Phil:  You know what? Honestly, I’ve avoided it. I’ve avoided it to tell you the truth and you know why?  I don’t…from what I’ve read about it and what not, put it this way…I love horror movies and shit like that and I respect – Oh god, here we go – Ok, take a movie like, “I Spit on Your Grave” or “Last House on the Left” I respect the cinematic value of em’ But, rape movies do absolutely nothing for me at all.  If anything, it makes me feel…it’s a turn off…It’s like if I see it, Ok, it’s watched…on to, give me haunted houses and give fucking vampires, anything over rape, please…doesn’t sit well with me.
CC: I agree completely and I’m Serbian as well, not that being Serbian would draw me to go see the Serbian film…Rape and all that stuff, it’s just, I don’t know.
Phil: I mean it’s horror but, it’s too, it’s just revolting and I don’t…
CC: I would say it’s more porn that horror
Phil: If that’s the case then I’ll stick to regular porn where everyone is consenting.  I’m not really into the whole rape thing.  I don’t like rape. It’s uncool.
CC: Do you read reviews of movies, CD’s?
Phil: Um, I have definitely, I have.
CC: Are there any reviewers or sites where the opinions/tastes are similar to yours and you can rely on somebody’s opinion to maybe purchase something that would more in tune with your liking?
Phil: For me, I think because of the cinema I like – Um Something Weird video that was started back in the day where movies are B movies to Z movies and they’re all over the place and mostly very strange and or tough to come by…you know, your average …like…Put it this way, If I find a horror site – It’s been awhile since I’ve really looked into it but, if I find a horror site and say I find one written that seems pretty consistent with my taste and what I think is great, what I think is not so great, Um…the next thing you know, I’ll read…or, put it this way, I’ll end up vehemently disagreeing with them and just turn my attention elsewhere…movies are strange and I liken them to music, food and anything like that it’s personal preference, personal taste and like I’ve said in the past , you know, like food, you either love it, loathe it or are pretty indifferent to it, you know or it’s OK, you know, it’s fair…so once again it’s personal preference.
CC: Does it bother you to hear artists express their opinions on subjects outside of music, such as, politics and do you like their art any less if you disagree with them?
Phil: That’s an interesting question, um…because obviously we just had this crazy election “cycle” (?) pass…and yes it’s fucking crazy! …Honestly!
CC: There’s some people that think musicians should only have opinion to do with music, and if they…
Phil: Ah well, that’s bullshit you know, like human beings I don’t think a damn person on the planet outta be thought policed that’s ridiculous and if you have an opinion on something that;s all it is and it’s an opinion…so…doesn’t really bug me all that much. It’s when I guess it seems like if a person has a large following, I guess, it starts and ends there.  You know, if you have a large following and then you are speaking politically and you are an actress, actor, musician, whatever and you’re trying to sway your audience, you know it’s …at the end of the day it’s really up to the individual, you know I’m all about the individual…you know, I’m all about individuality that’s what makes the world go ‘round.  Individuality and all the wonderful things within individuality.  I don’t like boxes, check marks and groups and all that shit.  It’s like, stand your own ground with your own ideas and your own belief system or whatever man, you know, it’s like religion…it’s like…believe what you want but don’t try to convert me, ya know.
CC: Good luck with that one.  What are the positive aspects of social media for you? Clearly, there are many negatives.  What are the positive aspects for you?
Phil: Boxingrec.com, where you can get results from all over the world, Rotoworld for football, the NFL and Youtube for boxing and funny shit here and there to a degree and that’s really all I …..I don’t go to music sites unless someone shoots me a link for some reason or another, I never do, it’s boring, like we talked about like, horror movies, it’s like I don’t really frequent that many horror movie sites because I’ve got so many god damned friends in the biz already – if something that’s gonna come out that’s worthwhile or what not either I’m gonna stumble across it or I’m going to hear about it anyway and I’ll give it it’s day in court as far as the movie goes. So ya know, it’s like yeah, that about it.
CC: Is there anything Pantera left to release or has it already come out already?
Phil: That’s interesting because I did find a track I cannot make heads or tails out of and I know it’s the guys…But, I never did vocals over the top of it and I’m sure back in the day there was good reason for it, it doesn’t really do much, it’s like, riffs back & forth and that’s that, so it must’ve been just a…I guess, a mulling type of idea that had gone on, either we put it to bed or just moved on because truthfully Pantera there really was not that much unreleased material laying around, there really wasn’t we used almost everything that we…um, would come up with I guess you know?
CC:You recently did a successful benefit for Mike Williams and the cost of his liver transplant. How is you your liver holding up?
Phil: Well, I guess that’s something we’ll see in the future but, I haven’t had a drink since, ahhh….Feb. 14th 2106, so that can’t hurt.
CC: (laughs) No, it can’t, no, it can’t…A friend of mine got in a car accident maybe 10 years ago and she suffers from severe back pain and she went as far as having a morphine pump installed into her back…
Phil: Jesus Christ, Do you know what kind of injury it was?
CC: You know, I don’t know the specific injury.
Phil: Is is lower or upper back?
CC: I think it’s the lower back but I can’t be sure.
Phil: Lower back is rough man but gosh upper back can take the wind right outta ya as well, so I
I would not combat or challenge the, the…I wouldn’t want to have either – and, um, I can speak about the lower back and just realize it’s the center of your body so it’s like, a very delicate and very long rode back if it’s like a big problem cause honestly when I hear about an athlete or something going through…and I’m using gigantic quotes hear minor back surgery…wait, go on sir. I didn’t mean to interrupt you.
CC: Oh she, she had to have it removed because she couldn’t function, couldn’t drive, couldn’t work, couldn’t do anything because obviously it’s morphine and she eventually got it removed and while she suffers from the injury, from the back pain, she now relies on marijuana exclusively for the back pain.  I read somewhere, where you’ve had successful surgeries or successful surgery to relieve that pain.  Is that correct?
Phil: To a degree, Yes, but I will say that…Umm…My surgery was very, very complicated.  Ihad an excellent surgeon, they did none evasive surgery where there’s not these huge scars or anything like that and went in with cameras and they basically built a titanium cage around my lower three discs next to the tail bone and what not, I know it’s the L-5, L whatever…You know when they do that they have to cut through muscle, they have to cut through ya and that road back is tough but that can be remedied with hard work and, um, but the thing that I guess nags me now…I’ll give ya a quick blow by blow is really about 4 months after surgery when the nerves start re-connecting I started noticing like an electric burn down the left side of my leg that really, really…under my knee cap and on top of the foot and, uhhh, it was very uncomfortable and that’s the damn sciatica going bananas and really the way it was explained to me….Nerves, the medical world doesn’t know much about them aside they’re their, what they can do cognitively and stuff like that but either way..ahhh….that right there I think in a nut shell the sciatica pain is something I suffer from until my eyes close and I sleep at night.  But, ya know…stretching that fucker out uniquely – meaning if you stretch it one way it could aggravate it but if stretching in a different almost like karate kick style, like if you’re on the floor and you stretch it that way – for me it does help a bit for sure…getting the blood moving and all that shit helps a bit…still it’s something
that I’m gonna have to re-visit in the future but until then, I’ll deal with it.
CC: Would you be loyal to the Saints if they moved to Las Vegas like the Oakland Raiders?
Phil: Oh god, I mean, would it be the New Orleans Saints anymore I don’t know man, I mean, I guess there would be a sliver of me left that had some loyalty…but gosh, I cant…that’s so tough man, that’s so damn tough , I don’t know, I don’t know…that’s a tough question and the fairest answer I can give is, I don’t know/ Honestly, I feel for like San Diego…Because to me just out of mere tradition, you know, it’s always been the San Diego Chargers, and Oh man, LA Chargers, it just feels a little strange.
CC: It’s like a horror movie in itself.
Phil (Laughs) Write up a script maestro and I’ll look it over.
CC: (Laughs) Well, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us.  Do you have any final thoughts that you care to share to anybody that may be reading this, or listening to this?
Phil: I think this is the most pleasurable, different, wonderful interviews that I’ve done in a very long time and I just want to give you sir, big props for a fantastic interview and I think a big thumbs up here on my end to you and all your readers and all your people that follow your site and your podcast and all of that, so thank you for having me.
CC: You’re welcome, thank you.
Transcribed by Tina Mattis

8 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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