Nearly a week away from going on tour and releasing his debut solo album, Walk Through Exits Only, Philip Anselmo, former lead singer for the heavy metal band Pantera, has revealed that he regrets his lack of communication with his former band mates. Have a look at the interview, inside.
Regarded as one of the defining voices of heavy metal, Philip Anselmo is best known for his work with metal bands Down and Pantera before launching his solo career in 2011. Since that time he has collaborated with myriad artists – from virtually unknown musicians to metal legends such as Slayer. In a recent interview with Dan Lorenzo of Steppin’ Out, however, Anselmo admitted that he regrets not communicating better with his former Pantera band mates:
Steppin’ Out: Most people on your level release solo albums with dozens of guest stars. Did you consider going that angle?
Anselmo: Not even at all. I’ve already gone the “supergroup” thing with DOWN and, I guess, a few other bands, and DOWN is still going on, it’s still a viable band, so honestly, for me to do a solo record, I thought it was important to have lesser-known musicians, even unknown musicians, because eventually this gives them more exposure. It introduces them to the public and basically gives them a leg up because these guys that I picked are beasts in their own way, man. I’ve know Marzi [Montazeri], the guitar player, for… gosh, since the late ’80s. This is something that he and I have always wanted to do. Finally it’s come to fruition. He deserves it; he’s a badass guitar player, [and he’s] been around for a long time. The kid from WARBEAST who plays drums, Jose, is an incredible player. He’s 23 years old right now; he was, like, 19 when he actually began working with me. I think in the years to come, he’s going to be known as one of the better heavy metal drummers around. To me, it’s just common sense to use lesser-known musicians to help them out.
Steppin’ Out: When you tell me you’re embarrassed of old interview footage… what are your biggest regrets in life or are you a man with no regrets?
Anselmo: You know… I wouldn’t say no regrets, but I would say that I’m very, very, very human. I am not the first to make a drug mistake. I’m not the first to be a part of a very popular band like PANTERA and had it break up. I am absolutely not the first so I realize this and immediately that takes a little bit of pressure off of myself but as far as regrets go, I think the biggest mistake any band can make, and this goes for every band I’ve been in, is lack of communication. The more a band is able to sit down and discuss problems or ideas that might not sit well with others or in general, the ability to talk to one another as people for the better of the cause, I think that’s a massive, massive lesson learned for me on my part. I have made that mistake in the past where I wouldn’t answer the phone and it wasn’t just for my band…it was for anyone. I guess the easiest way to put it is drugs, alcohol, and booze, all that shit, especially when you’re abusing the living F out of it, it erodes the will, so to speak. It erodes will power and eventually you just don’t even want to hear anything. You just want to fade into oblivion. To me, that’s a copout. I regret only that lack of communication, because being in a band is very much like being married, and if you can’t speak to your partner and let them know your truest deepest feeling on all levels, then there’s a big barrier there. As the years go on, that barrier gets bigger and bigger ’till it’s becomes this thing called a f’ing problem. Any young bands out there just take my word for it. If you’ve got a problem on your mind, speak it out, talk it out. It’s worth it.
Steppin’ Out: On the back of Rex Brown’s [PANTERA bassist] new book, he writes about how he still has dreams and nightmares about PANTERA. Do you dream about PANTERA?
Anselmo: Truthfully, for me… every time I have a PANTERA dream, it’s something good, actually. I don’t have nightmares about PANTERA. My memories are of the early days, the good days. Believe it or not, my dreams revolve around before we were signed to a big major label deal and we were still going to gigs in the old blue van and everybody’s cracking jokes. Really amazing. You wake up and you feel like, “Where did that go?” That’s what my dreams consist of.
It is easy to assume that at least some of Anselmo’s nostalgia may have been spurred by his performance last May with Anthrax. Halfway through Anthrax’s set at the Revolver Golden Gods awards, former Pantera members Philip Anselmo and Rex Brown reunited on stage to play Pantera’s “This Love.”