PHILIP ANSELMO: ‘I’m A Purveyor Of The Horrible Tune’

John Serba of recently conducted an interview with former PANTERA and current DOWN frontman Philip Anselmo. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. The first word that comes to mind listening to your [solo album “Walk Through Exits Only”] is “experimental.” Was that your intention, to branch out and do something different?

Anselmo: I think with any release you do, especially a fresh, different band and outlook on the project in general, I think you want to create something that’s new, especially within the extreme heavy metal genre. You know, the extreme heavy metal genre has subgenre upon subgenre already. “Experimental” might not be a word I would use, but I can see that easily coming out of your mouth or anyone else’s. It’s new and it’s definitely a challenging listen. 15, 20 years ago, PANTERA was bringing Neurosis and other more obscure bands out on tour and putting them in front of big audiences. That was your doing, right?

Anselmo: It’s very true that those were my calls… it was always my decision, or my input that brought out SOILENT GREEN, EYEHATEGOD, CROWBAR and PANTERA was at its biggest when we brought out MORBID ANGEL and SATYRICON. I’m a sucker for the underground. I love searching for new bands within the underground. Heavy metal has always been so kind to me in one way or another, and really, I’m just a music fan, big time. I cannot stress that enough. I’m a music geek, man. It thrills me to bring out bands that your mainstream audience is not aware of or has not seen live. … It’s just me giving back to a genre that has been fantastic to me. Helping out an up-and-comer like AUTHOR PUNISHER — I’m excited to see them every night. It pumps me up, too. The consensus seems to be, “Phil Anselmo has good taste in music.”

Anselmo: I don’t know about that. I love terrible music too, man. I’m a purveyor of the horrible tune. It depends on who’s saying it, depends on what band you’re listening to. It’s all in the eye of the beholder. I get it. There are some black metal bands out there — and it goes back to Venom — that can’t play their instruments very well, but what they’re doing is so bizarre, you can’t help but appreciate it.

Anselmo: The beauty of music is, you can do whatever you want with it. It doesn’t have to be a pretty picture every time. It doesn’t have to be this neatly gelled, glossy product. It can be ugly. It can be rhythmically different. It can be pulsating, in a different time signature, but still extremely effective. Music is a vast world. It’s history. You know, man, as a musician, I’m the type of guy that likes to tap into as much as I possibly can within whatever sounds good to me. I love to experiment with different styles of music. I’d feel, I guess, cheated if I had to play the same-old same-old every time. That’s the beauty of having a solo band, because I can go wherever I want. The next record could be the anti-“Walk Through Exits Only”. It could be an all-acoustic thing. It’s just having that freedom right there. It’s a wonderful feeling, really.

Read the entire interview at


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