Paul Gleason of Caught In The Carousel recently conducted an interview with former PANTERA and current DOWN frontman Philip Anselmo. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Caught In The Carousel: You’ve said that [your solo debut] “Walk Through Exits Only” is “an angry album that only you can do.” What do you mean by that?
Anselmo: That is interesting. I consider myself semi-educated as far as the metal underground goes. I’m a music fan first, in my opinion, and I always have been. That’s how I started on this long journey. I began as a teenager, so I’ve collected heavy metal and hardcore ever since the beginning of their roots, really. I know what’s going on out there. So that, in my opinion, gives me a leg up on what not to do. What I didn’t want to do was just imitate. I wanted to create a record that was extreme and could hold its extremities up against anything or any sub-genre of extreme music being made. But I wanted to make a record that was very, very tough to slide into particular genre slot. With that said, when you look at extremities in music — underground extremities — I’m absolutely not talking about the mainstream. When you look at what’s out there, I would guess the leading purveyors of extreme music would lie within death metal or black metal or a sub-sub-genre or a mixture of the two. It’s like lyrically, before you listen to a black metal record, you already might have a sense or a feel of what the lyrical content might be about. The same could be said for death metal to a certain degree. So just that right there, lyrically, I wanted to come from a realistic place, a very personal place at times. Just that right there is going to make a big difference as far as the full listen goes. Regardless, I wanted to sing about real things, I wanted to show a different side of my personality. A lot of people think I’m just this straightforward, dead-serious-type guy, which is really not an honest assessment of who I am. I’m a fucking guy who thrives on the fucking absurd. I’ve got a ridiculous sense of humor, and I thrive on bullshit. [laughs] There’s a lot of sarcasm within the lyrics. So really, I wanted to show all of these elements, which to me makes a unique listen, and hopefully, an original listen.
Caught In The Carousel: You sound very angry on the record. When you lay down a track in the studio or perform it live, do you have to manufacture anger?
Anselmo: There’s no manufacturing at all, because like I say, I’m very much involved with the underground — love it. I can’t say enough about it. I have in the past sung different styles — there are so many different styles, whether they’re black metal or even death metal. You’ve got to figure I’ve toured with bands like MORBID ANGEL and been invited up to sing with them, so I can sing death metal. I can sing a lot of different styles. And even in bands like SUPERJOINT [RITUAL], I sing in a harsher style or more hardcore voice, so really it’s nothing new for me. With this music, I knew that melody would be an afterthought — or if you really, really, really listen, there are subtle hints of melody and I even have some harmony. This is a type of record you have to listen to several times to really get the nuances. This comes straight from the gut, and it’s a very true spot.
Caught In The Carousel: Are you psyched to get on stage with this stuff?
Anselmo: Oh shit, yeah, man! Stage, playing live — that’s the most comfortable stuff for me anyway. That’s my favorite part out of all of this stuff is actually getting up on stage and playing. The first show is in Tulsa on July 31. I think that each show will be very unique. Each show will be very different than the last show. I figure every night will have its own signature moments, so I wouldn’t miss a damn minute of it.
Read the entire interview at Caught In The Carousel.