Phil Anselmo Comments on Superjoint's Tour, HHFF, The Illegals And Scour
Last year I spoke with Phi Anselmo in a two-part interview concerning his Housecore Horror Film Festival Housecore Horror Film Festival. He was set to play a reunion show with Superjoint Ritual (now known as Superjoint). Other than the tragic death of his partner and HHFF founder Corey Mitchell at the festival ending, the festival went down without a hitch. Superjoint put on a crushing performance as did the dozens of other bands that played the fest.
A year later, Superjoint is back together on tour opening for Danzig on the Blackest of the Black tour. I caught up with Anselmo at the band’s stop in Austin during only the second date of the tour. Besides talking about the third installment of HHFF that takes place in November in San Antonio and the current tour, we get into some of his other projects including The Illegals, which has a new guitar player. Also, we discuss the band the internet is abuzz with, Scour, a collaboration he has with members of Pig Destroyer and Cattle Decapitation.
Rex_84: How’s the tour going so far?
Philip Anselmo: I think it’s going excellent. A lot fun.
Rex_84: How do you get along with Tommy Victor?
Anselmo: We toured together in 1990, ’91, ‘’92. We’ve known each other for 20-plus years. We get along great. I think we get along great with everybody. I have not yet met Veil of Maya face to face, but all the other bands, so far, have been very, very nice. I get along great with Glenn. I’ve known him just about the same amount of time that I’ve known Tommy and all those guys from Prong. Nothing but brotherhood.
Rex_84: I noticed you no longer use Ritual in your band name. Why did you drop it from your name?
Anselmo: It’s a legal thing and that’s all there is to it. That’s kind of a bad question. It’s not your fault, it’s just a legal thing. Hopefully we’ll straighten it out.
Rex_84: When we last spoke your performance at Housecore Horror Film Fest was a one-time reunion show. Did that performance change the status of your band?
Anselmo: It wasn’t necessarily the performance. It was all of us getting back together, in the room, playing the songs and having a fucking really good time and feeling it. Back in the day, we were all in a really low, miserable, drugged-out place. Low as low gets. Honestly, we couldn’t even appreciate the shows we did back in the day. I don’t have much of a memory of it, really at all. It’s a sad thing. But when we got back together, everything clicked. Everything was fun. We had the members that we wanted. Hank was always, always considered, but Hank right now has busted his ass over the last decade making his own brand and doing his own thing. Before we went out on our first tour after Horror Fest he gave me a call and said, “Much love. I wish I could be there. He gave us basically a blessing. He’s a full-blown supporter. And the same, right back at him. So we are really happy as far as our band goes. It’s fun to play. Shit, if you can enjoy what you do for a living, no matter what it is. When you’re making music and people are digging, why not? It’s fun.
Rex_84: Why is Hank not in the band anymore?
Anselmo: I just told you (laughs). He’s busy. Plus, life has got a hold of him right now. I don’t want to get into his personal stuff but to put it simply, he’s moving from a house he has lived in for a long ass time. That is a process, jack! So he’s still in the real estate game right now.
Rex_84: Housecore Horror Film Fest is coming up next month. How do you feel about this year’s lineup?
Anselmo: I love the lineup this year. I can’t shit you, it’s awesome! From bands to film, we have another strong festival. Fuck! I am really looking forward to it!
Rex_84: I heard you opened for King Diamond back in 1985 on the "Fatal Portrait" tour. Was this prior to your joining Pantera?
Anselmo: Yeah, it sure was. Matter of fact, I opened for Mercyful Fate on the “Don’t Break The Oath” tour. A year later, or whenever King came for his first solo record “Fatal Portrait” my band, back in the day, opened for them. The connection there has always been awesome. I didn’t know the King back then, but when I moved to Texas to join Pantera he also lived in Texas. We got to know each other very well. He is one of the most dynamite guys in the business today and talented and great. I saw him recently. In fact, Down was main support for King Diamond a couple years ago in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was his first time playing his hometown in fifteen years. It was fucking mind-blowing! I’ve seen play through many decades, many, many times and he never sounded better. King Diamond November 13th, Friday the 13th Horror Fest, I am super, super pumped about this cause I know it’s going to be great.
Rex_84: This year’s lineup at HHFF features three of the world’s best death metal bands. First you have two of the best ‘ation bands in Suffocation and Incantation. Then you have Autopsy playing. How do you feel about the death metal groups at this year’s festival?
Anselmo: Dude, I’m going through another…it’s almost like puberty again. Death metal is in my again. Black metal got old for me after a while. All the makeup and dress up and the same, god damn regurgitation over and over. Aside from a handful of bands that I think are very innovative in the black metal community, the whole dress up thing to me is a big turn off. As far as death metal goes, it’s totally ass backwards, I’m a Portal fan, too. They can get away with the image because they are Howard Philip Lovecraft come to life with death metal. I’ll take it any day of the week. Yeah, and the hardcore stage on Saturday is fucking insane, too. Dropdead, Negative Approach, Poison Idea—I don’t want to leave anybody out. It’s a dream come true.
Rex_84: In addition to the festival and Superjoint tour you’re also involved in other projects like Philip H. Anselmo and the Illegals. You recently hired a new guitarist, a friend of mine, Mike DeLeon. I understand you had a short list of names for this guitar spot. What led you to choose him?
Anselmo: Mostly from his association with my drummer, Blue [José Manuel Gonzalez] and my other guitar player/bass player from Superjoint Steve [Taylor]. Steve Taylor was constantly saying, “DeLeon is the guy. DeLeon is the guy. He wants it the most! He wants it the most!” I trust them. I trust their judgment. I trust their intuition. So far, every time DeLeon has come to jam it has been serious grinding. He takes a good beating, man. He’s great. He’s a pleasure to work with.
Rex_84: Can you talk a little about Marzi Montazeri and what happened with him?
Anselmo: Not really. It’s not really worth it, really. What I wanted to do with Marzi anyway was jump start his career, which I did. He’s the type of guy that needs to be the focal point of pretty much anything he does. So he’s got that now and I’m happy for him. More power to him.
Rex_84: Are you writing new material with this band?
Anselmo: Fuck yes! Definitely. It’s fucking SCATHING! It’s going to be absolutely horrible for some. It’s gonna be miserable for others. For others, maybe they’ll get it. It’s fast. I’ll say that. It’s unforgiving, that’s all that I’ll say.
Rex_84: Lastly, you recently announced a new band called Scour with members of Pig Destroyer and Cattle Decapitation.
Anselmo: They asked me to sing on four songs. Everybody is freaking out on it. Really, it’s just another project to broaden the resume, I guess. I’m a free agent. The only bands I tour with are Down and Superjoint. The Illegals when we have the opportunity. But I’ve got a lot of different irons in the fire. Scour is going to be fun. In my opinion, I think I can knock that shit out pretty quick. Then I’ve got two other bands I really wish I could talk about right now. Those are some collaborations with some very respected musicians in the underground. It’s my pleasure to work with them. You will know more about it when word gets out.
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That's my boy, Metal Mike! He told me about this months ago glad it finally came public