PHILIP ANSELMO: ‘I’ve Made More Bad Decisions Than Great Decisions In My Life’

Michael Christopher of The Boston Phoenix recently conducted an interview with former PANTERA and current DOWN frontman Philip Anselmo. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On how he remembers his time in PANTERA:

Anselmo: “I miss the days, I long for the days, sometimes, and I miss [late PANTERA guitarist] Dimebag very, very much. There’s a plethora of emotions, and to dwell on the past doesn’t feel healthy for me and when I think about those days. It’s not like I try to think of all the good stuff; it kind of comes naturally, especially ‘Vulgar Display Of Power’ and that whole touring cycle and the change in the audience and their perception of us. When we toured ‘Cowboys From Hell’, there was a very lukewarm if not awful response. But when you back it up with a record like ‘Vulgar Display’, that’s when the tide did turn — rapidly, to say the fucking least. There were some extremely educational, memorable, cherishable times in my life.”

On a long-rumored VAN HALEN cover track that was recorded by PANTERA but never released:

Anselmo: “We used to fuck with all kinds of songs. Obviously we did that ridiculous version of ‘Cat Scratch Fever’ for some movie soundtrack [‘Detroit Rock City’], that dickface Ted Nugent. Shit, dude, we would kick into KANSAS and all kinds of shit. What you said does ring a bell; I think it was something like ‘Outta Love Again’, I wonder where that shit is. And here’s another one for ya: I never did sing on the motherfucker, that old Phil Collins [he starts singing ‘I Don’t Care Anymore’], we did a version of that, and it’s somewhere. But there really probably isn’t any original material left, but cover tunes and shit like that. If there was the proper amount of digging, we could find all kinds of shit.”

On the constant media portrayal of metal fans on the whole as uneducated lunkheads:

Anselmo: “We haven’t helped. There’s been a lot of things that have not helped us. I remember being flown into New York when MTV was going through some kind of change-up in the early 2000s, and they wanted me to be the host of ‘Headbangers Ball’. First of all, the name of the show sucks — it fucking sucks, it’s cheesy as fuck. Why don’t you just call it the ‘Extreme Music Hour’ or something like that and give it some fucking credibility — because honestly, there’s great musicians in heavy metal. Look at some of the great guitar players. . . But heavy metal has always gotten the meathead rap, and you know, hey, honestly I haven’t fucking helped. I’ve made more bad decisions than great decisions in my fucking life, and I regret a lot of things I’ve said onstage, a lot of actions I’ve done onstage, and a lot of trouble that I’ve got into, because all it does is bring bad publicity to heavy metal. It kind of makes us, heavy metallers, a sovereign state in a lot of ways. We might not get as much big-time praise from mainstream media, but let them call us meatheads, let them think we’re ignorant, and let them keep writing awful music — and I’ll keep calling it awful and we’ll just be even at that.”

Read the entire interview from The Boston Phoenix.