Philip Anselmo (PANTERA, DOWN, SUPERJOINT) was interviewed on the December 16-18 edition of Full Metal Jackie‘s nationally syndicated radio show. You can now listen to the chat using the Podbean widget below. A few excerpts follow.
Full Metal Jackie: We’re here this evening to talk about the new SUPERJOINT album, “Caught Up In The Gears Of Application”. It seems like you’re always making music on multiple fronts, all at once. How do you maintain that passion without being consumed by it?
Anselmo: “Truthfully, I am consumed by it, because, really, it’s all I know well, and whether I do it well or not is another question. But still, it’s something that I love to do. I am in involved in many, many different things right now. But, honestly, the SUPERJOINT record is over a year old for me, so it’s, honestly, like backtracking. You know, I recorded it with the rest of the guys when we did it, and, you know, the most important thing was to stay true to the SUPERJOINT sound and what we initially… I guess our initial influences and all that type of stuff. And I think we did it.”
Full Metal Jackie: The 20th-anniversary edition of PANTERA‘s “The Great Southern Trendkill” was just released. At the time, it was kind of the darkhorse of the PANTERA catalog. Looking back, why was it an important album for you?
Anselmo: “Well, I think at the time, we were being told by anyone with an opinion in the hierarchy of the record biz that heavy metal was going out of style and grunge was the biggest thing in the world, and that was true. And then there were heavy metal bands that were implementing different styles, and all that’s fine within itself. But for PANTERA, at the time, I think it was very, very imperative for us to stay as true to heavy metal as possible, and it was really, really, really important to us. And so wearing that heavy metal on our sleeves as proudly as we did do, we always took things and obstacles and doubts about the ability of the band or how far we could go as chips on our shoulder. So I can still remember back to the first night of the tour [in support of that album] my road manager coming up to me and saying, ‘Well, don’t expect a full house. Don’t expect this, don’t expect that.’ But he was so wrong, and it was a packed house ,and it was sold out, and so was the rest of the tour. And yep, we did well. And funny enough, I do agree with you, ‘The Great Southern Trendkill’ was a bit of a darkhorse in the catalog. Even for me, it was, like, a strange record. But today, in 2016, I am amazed — shocked, amazed and gasping for air — at how many different people come up to me and say, ‘Man, that is my favorite PANTERA record.’ And I’m, like, ‘Really? Jesus Christ, well, thank you very much.’ So more power to it.”
Full Metal Jackie: You’re always out there in the news and anytime you do an interview, it sort of makes headlines. Phillip, what’s the hardest thing about having such a polarizing personality, as you do?
Anselmo: “Oh, jeez. I guess in this world of the interweb and the Internet and knee-jerk reactions and stuff like that… Listen, I am a guy with a… oh, I guess I’d say a very harsh sense of humor, sense of… you know, freedom of speech and then all of that, and all that goes with it, and sometimes it’s so easy just to catch the tail end of something, or look at something through a lens, so to speak… The person that’s looking is looking for something specifically, and, really, if you look at something and you look for something specifically all the time, you’re gonna find something to bitch and moan about, whatever. So, have I made mistakes in the past or been insensitive with my sense of humor or sense of levity, or whatever, or reactionary things or whatnot? Absolutely. And I have always owned it. And my apologies are very, very sincere, despite the fact that anybody and everybody can apologize today and it’s either accepted or it’s not. And most times it’s scrutinized as well. So it’s a no-win situation. So, really, all I can do is be myself, continue to be myself and just try and enjoy life as long as I can, man.”
Full Metal Jackie: This is [SUPERJOINT‘s] first release since 2003. Creatively, what’s the starting point for a band making an album after so much time has passed?
Anselmo: “I think it’s identifying exactly what the band was based off of, which was the love of hardcore music that we grew up with — ‘we’ meaning really me and Jimmy Bower and Kevin Bond. And then you get the new blood in there with José Manuel Gonzalez, better known as ‘Blue,’ my little young drummer who kicks so much ass. And Steve Taylor… Steve Taylor is my right-hand man; that guy is a very talented musician. And you take all that, and you take the new blood, and you really stay true to what SUPERJOINT sounded like in the past, don’t stray too terribly far from, I guess, your influences and the task at hand. Each band is its own task and its own… it has its own personality. So you don’t wanna stray too far from that. And like I said before, we tried desperately not to stray, and we tried to stay as true as possible to what SUPERJOINT really sounds like. And, I guess, really, I’ll leave it up to all of your experts to decide whether we sound like SUPERJOINT or not still. [Laughs] I’m not the guy to say it.”