Phil Anselmo: A Rock And Roll Fables Conversation (Part 1)

“Dear William, Get your ass to my joint because we got three days.”

So said legendary vocalist Phil Anselmo via phone recently recounting the genesis and recording of his musical collaboration with equally legendary horror icon Bill Moseley. The Anselmo/Moseley friendship was a gradual one that stemmed from a chance meeting:

“Me and William befriended each other at an event where filmmakers and actors were interviewing musicians and vice versa and we got paired up. We quickly befriended each other and began an email correspondence and over the next three years (after we had gotten to know each other pretty well) he kept pestering me. That’s how this damn thing started! Good old constant persistence so you gotta hand it to William…what a guy!”

Getting back to Songs Of Darkness And Despair, Anselmo immediately found out what he was in for once Moseley arrived to start recording:

“Upon arrival he basically threw a biblical stack of paper at me (And I’m talking as thick as The Bible) so I say ‘Okay, I take these to be lyrics. That’s fine. What instrument do you play?’ And he goes ‘I don’t unless you’ve got bongos!’ Bongos? Why yes, Bill, we do have bongos but you play no instrument and you’ve been buggin’ me for three fuckin’ years and you play no instrument! Right then and there the ground rules were set: I’ll play the instruments, you sing you motherfucker. And sing he did! He surprised me. Had I known, godammit, that Bill was such an excellent singer with great range and excellent pitch, I’d have put him to a much harder task I think. Everything was off the cuff so really we just went through his lyrics and I just picked what I thought were his strongest poems so to speak and we went from there.”

With any album featuring two high profile artists, talk of a potential tour will always be on the table and Anselmo points out that something might be in the works…at some point while also divulging his favorite Bill Moseley role:

“I’m gonna take a page out of Bill’s book here. Now this is a message through me from Bill so kinda supernatural: ‘As far as live performances go, you can expect maybe something between now and 2020.’ So with that bullshit out of the way, my favorite Bill Moseley performance would be anytime I see the man. He’s so awesome! He’s a bit older than me and wiser and smarter and more well-traveled I would think. He’s just a dynamite cat. Such a beautiful dude to be around, man! Being around the guy is educational, he’s just a great, great human being.”

Like many a recent Anselmo release, Bill & Phil was released through Housecore Records which presented Phil with an opportunity to elaborate on his role within the company:

“It’s perceived as my label but there’s many pieces of the label that help it out and that includes all of the bands so it’s really just like minded people. Whether it be heavy metal people or hardcore people. If you take a look at the records I have put out in the past from The Sursiks to SYK. It’s pretty eclectic. I love all kinds of music. I like to facilitate as many things as I possibly can but then again there’s always the scene notion because “the heavy metal guy” connections and whatnot. I guess there’s this vague thought out there that just because you’ve done well or have seen some success in one genre then that’s where all of your loyalty lies. That’s not true. Music is vast and my loyalty is to music.”

Speaking of music, Anselmo has a plethora of material ready to go in the near future with new releases from Scour along with the just announced En Minor awaiting release. Talking about En Minor, the vocalist stresses that it’s not what listeners would expect from the metal god:

“It would be what I consider to be ‘Anti-Pop’. It’s not Pop. It’s more acoustic-driven, clean guitar-driven music. We use unorthodox instruments that normally wouldn’t be associated with me at all. But honestly, this band that I’m talking about is probably my oldest project. I’m sitting on three albums. I guess it’s grown up with me over the years.

“I got my first guitar when I was 9 years old and shortly after I started writing my own songs. I was never one to learn other people’s stuff too terribly much. If you fast forward to the mid/late ’80’s right around when cassette 4-tracks were super popular, I started doing all this crazy 4-track shit…really got into it. I actually miss my old 4-track machine terribly. I do, man. I really do. It was so awesome! I made tons of music with that thing so a lot of these songs have grown up with me over the years. I consider it my most natural style? Or the first style? It’s tough to fuckin’ pigeonhole. When you hear it you’ll hear it and you can hate it or love it or not give one flying fuck about it. That’s just fine.”

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our interview where we get into some cool Housecore Bands you should know and talk about the Superjoint revival!

Bill & Phil’s Songs Of Darkness And Despair is out now (Our review is here) as is Superjoint’s Caught Up In The Gears Of Application. Both are available for purchase via Housecore Records here or here or here. Superjoint is currently on tour and will be gracing Massachusetts when they stop by on Saturday, October 14th, and merge with the annual Rock and Shock festival. For tickets and a whole list of where else you can see the band on tour click here.

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