DOWN’s PHILIP ANSELMO: ‘I Consider Myself A Free Agent Still To This Day’

Former PANTERA and current DOWN singer Philip Anselmo spoke to Pat Douglas of about “Down IV Part I – The Purple EP”, the first in a series of four DOWN EPs to be released over the next few years (with a year between EPs), each touching on a different aspect of the band’s sound.

Asked why it has taken DOWN so long to release the follow-up to 2007’s “Down III: Over the Under”, Anselmo said, “We are the worst bald-faced liars on the planet when it comes to keeping promises on when the next record will be coming out. Everybody is busy, busy, busy with a million different things. When you’re doing all that, time flies and the next thing you know, you’re a liar and you’re sitting there going , ‘We haven’t put out a record in three years.’

“We can make plans to get together after three years, and the next thing you know, by the time all the plans are made and everybody aligns and the stars align, it’s another year later,” he added. “It’s just chaos. The new album is out, and I’m very much ready for the public to consume it.”

On the topic of his many projects, including his upcoming solo album and autobiography, and his label, Housecore Records, for which also serves as the in-house producer, Anselmo said, “DOWN is something I do because I still enjoy doing it. More importantly, it’s for the fans of the band.”

He added, “I consider myself a free agent still to this day. I have to give DOWN that particular attention that it deserves, but it’s not gonna stop me from doing other stuff.”

Regarding the decision to release several EPs as opposed to full-length albums that might have 12 or 13 full tracks, Anselmo said, “I don’t like doing big, full-on records that burn me out. I overthink (stuff). I know DOWN very well and I think overall working with this group of guys and trying to crank out 10, 11, 12 songs, to me, in my opinion, doing EPs with DOWN is less stressful.

“There’s no second-guess songs, really,” he continued. “There’s no, ‘Does this song belong on this group of 10, 12 songs?’ There’s no second-guessing yourself. Six songs? Fine.”

According to Anselmo, DOWN used the same approach for the new EP as it did for its earliest demo recordings back in the early ’90s. “Everybody flew in from wherever the hell we were living at the time,” he said of the band’s first demo tape. “We got together, demoed three songs. I had no lyrics with me. I wrote ’em on the spot. Sure enough, those three songs ended up on the debut record, ‘NOLA’. ‘Bury Me In Smoke’, ‘Losing All’, ‘Temptations Wings’, those are some of the audience’s favorite songs.

“That’s the approach I took, man. I tried to honestly keep myself away from the project in a lot of ways. I did all my vocals alone. I think as a band, all of us didn’t overthink this record. You take me, Pepper [Keenan], Kirk [Windstein] and Jimmy [Bower] and now Pat [Bruders], you put us all in the same room, you know it’s gonna sound like DOWN.”






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