Smells Like Infinite Sadness recently conducted an interview with former PANTERA and current DOWN vocalist Philip Anselmo. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Smells Like Infinite Sadness: When did you decide you wanted to make a solo album?
Anselmo: That’s a tough thing to pinpoint, but if you look at my track record at all, even when I was in PANTERA and all throughout those crazy years of incredible memories, and, honestly, great success, I was always doing different projects. And really I think as a musician… to be pinned down to one genre, it feels a little bit unfair. I guess I consider myself an explorer in music. You know, DOWN is what is it is: a BLACK SABBATH-based band that happens to have a Southern feel and maybe that’s because of where we come from and how we get things across… but we know that at the end of the day when we go to write DOWN music how it’s going to turn out and what it should turn out to be. For me as far as doing the solo record… I’m a big fan of extreme music of all sorts, and especially death metal and black metal, and any subgenre that may fall in between the cracks… And I wanted to create a record that I felt was as extreme as anything out there but with perhaps a different twist on its approach, whether it be lyrically or just pure attitude-wise. So whether I’ve done that, I guess time will tell… so right now DOWN and my solo band (THE ILLEGALS) are my only two working bands, and I’m going to try to keep it like that for semi simplicity, or maybe quasi simplicity’s fucking sake. We’ll see how it goes from there, man. I have to give a little shoutout to the fact that my solo band has another EP coming out strictly for the [Housecore Horror Film & Music Festival]; it’s a two-song, 10-inch vinyl and very different than anything off “Walk Through Exits Only”. I think that’s its epic in its own way, as a matter of fact. The EP is called “Housecore Horror Film Fest EP”… [I] think the B-side is really one of the most epic songs I’ve ever written in my life.
Smells Like Infinite Sadness: How does the live experience differ from you with DOWN vs. THE ILLEGALS? Does each set feel different for you (for lack of a better term) when playing for an audience?
Anselmo: It is different, man. DOWN has been around for a long time. We did our first demo in ‘92, and I guess our first record came out in ‘95… and DOWN has a very strong core fan base whereas THE ILLEGALS are looked at as something new, something different. I think people are still wrapping their heads around it, whereas with DOWN, everyone’s familiar with the stuff and they know the personalities on stage and the songs inside and out. So there is a difference there, a different type of energy a different type of approach and a different type of crowd reaction… so it’s a little bit different on both scales of the spectrum. But that’s fine by me. I’m really cool with the unexpected. It is what it is and that’s how the ball bounces and I’ll take it.