On January 24, Sheila Esmaili-Doki of the Sherman Music Examiner conducted an interview with former PANTERA and current DOWN frontman Philip Anselmo. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Sherman Music Examiner: How was the “Metal Masters 5” show? I watched some footage from that and it looked pretty amazing.

Philip Anselmo: It was fun, you know, always fun meeting up with those guys… ANTHRAX and SLAYER, specifically. Meeting up with those guys, who really took me and PANTERA under their wings. We were such kids, you know. It means the world. They’re great friends. And the MEGADETH guys… shit, man, Chuck Billy [TESTAMENT] being there and Billy Sheehan and all the rest of them. I don’t want to leave anybody out — there were a lot of musicians out there. It’s always fun. It can be a bit of a clusterfuck here and there, but it’s always a blast.

Sherman Music Examiner: I noticed that “Strength Beyond Strength” was in the setlist, which was really cool. It reminded me about the 20th anniversary of [1994 PANTERA album] “Far Beyond Driven” coming up. Does it seem like that has been 20 years? That album being #1 on Billboard back then was a pretty outstanding thing. Does it seem like the time has passed quickly since then or does it seem like a long time ago?

Philip Anselmo: You know, I guess I could say a little bit of both. Sometimes, it’s, like, “Oh my God, time flies.” And then other times, it’s, like — you know, it’s been a long haul and a lot has changed… you can see the distance and feel the distance, but 20 years — you think about when you’re 20 years old and you think you’ve been on the earth a very long time, and it’s not true at all. It’s a long time, but I’ve got great memories and I still love that album.

Sherman Music Examiner: I know you have mentioned before that you always have low expectations for any music release you put out and that you are kind of a pessimist. Have the reactions to [your solo debut] “Walk Through Exits Only” surprised you in any way? It has gotten a lot of positive feedback, and it is an incredible release.

Philip Anselmo: Once again — you really said it, you know — I am a pessimist. And I don’t put any expectations out there because I guess they set you up to let you down if you’re that type of person, and I’m not that type of person. I realize that people are going to love music or hate music or be indifferent to it. For me, you know, especially on this leg on the tour, where I was very adamant about playing small clubs — for me, the vibe is awesome so far. Because I think we’re really just that type of band. So I feel like we are where we belong, it’s a new thing, and where it goes from here is anybody’s guess, and also, where it goes from here is, I guess — how much work you put into it. So we’ll see. I’m as in the dark as anybody else, but as far as the shows go, I’m having a blast.

Read the entire interview at Sherman Music Examiner.