Phil Anselmo Denies Drug Rumours And Talks About Pantera
Band Photo: Damageplan (?)
Phil Anselmo, former frontman of Pantera and Superjoint Ritual and current vocalist of Down and guitarist for Arson Anthem recently did an in depth interview with AntiQuiet, during which he spoke about his days in Pantera, feud with the Abbott brothers and the rumours that he is back on drugs. Some excerpts are as follows:
Antiquiet: I don’t mean to dredge up old bullshit, but I want to talk about something you’ve encountered firsthand. When you had that beef with Dime and Vin, us fans got the word through fuckin’ Metal Hammer and the music journalists, who of course tend to… you know, pull the juicy quotes out, to keep the circus going, to get attention, to sell magazines.
So let’s say things were different and the journalists minded other business, and you guys had space to work it out on your own. Do you think things might have turned out differently?
Phil Anselmo: Well… it’s kind of a moot point here. But if you’re talking in… imaginary terms, if you’re talking what ifs, theoretically, yeah. Rex and I actually talk about it a lot and we know… Pantera could have kept going.
The interview that sparked off everybody’s imagination… Little to everyone’s knowledge, the guy who asked me that- it was supposed to be off the record- he asked me straight out what would happen if [we] got into a fight- a physical thing. First of all, that never would have happened. Second of all, theoretically, once again- obviously, I would have the advantage over them. So I put it in a [certain] way, like a million motherfuckers do every day- boxers, et cetera- you know, they say they’re going to do terrible, horrible things to each other, and then after everything clears, they shake hands and hug each other and it’s done.
But if things are put as an absolute, and it’s just black and white, it’s just read and it’s taken that way, and it’s very unfortunate that it was. Because, as I’ve said before, Pantera was a mighty force man.
Antiquiet: Damn right.
Phil Anselmo: And not only do I miss those days, and Dimebag and Vinnie, and the whole crew, and the whole vibe, and the pride that was behind it, and the validity that was behind it- as I’ve said before, Rex and I… We always said that we would have all of us gotten into one room and argued and screamed… And a lot of it would have been my fault, but at the time I was a wounded duck. I needed back surgery so bad, it was pathetic. And I’ve uh… I’ve made some bad choices.
Antiquiet: I’ve gotten into beefs with my friends and shit, people I grew up with, and it’s one thing to have it out with people you love-
Phil Anselmo: Yeah, but not in front of the entire world.
Antiquiet: Yeah, see that’s what I’m trying to get at man. ‘Cause I figure when you’re talking through other people, when the whole world is watching, and putting their two cents in, it’s gotta make it harder to keep shit together.
Phil Anselmo: Well yeah, it does. But… (long pause) It’s done with, and that’s over.
Antiquiet: So man, I’ve gotta ask you about something. We’ve seen some interviews with you recently, that honestly made us worry about you. Sometimes you seem out of it, and some of the fans are saying you’re back on the drugs, some are saying it’s medication. So do you just want to set the record straight?
Phil Anselmo: I never heard that I was back on drugs, that’s fuckin’ ridiculous. That’s fuckin’ stupid. But fuck everybody, really. I’m livin’ my life, I’m doing exactly what the fuck I want to do… I’m not out to fuckin’ impress, I don’t give a shit man. And people- I mean look, I’ve been… gay, my neck’s been broken from stage diving, I’ve been everything- a satanist, a white supremacist…
Antiquiet: (laughing) Yeah, I know man. Well, I ask ’cause I worry. As a fan. I don’t wanna see you go anywhere, I want my fuckin’ kids to see you live one day.
Phil Anselmo: I’m fuckin’ stronger that fuckin’ most fuckin’ men my age. And I don’t even drink.
It’s just… after back surgery, you never know, one day is a good day, shit- you can have a good week- and then, there’ll be a weather change or some shit like that, and you might go through some pain. Pain, pain, you know it’s… Me and pain are intimate. But through physical therapy, and yoga, and pilates, and all this shit [I've learned how to] make the pain at least tolerable. You stretch that fuckin’ shit out man. You get up off your ass and fuckin’ get up and- every day- set thirty minutes aside, and fuckin’ stretch that shit out and it changes the whole fuckin’ day.
Antiquiet: You getting by without painkillers? Or do they still have you on that brutal Soma shit?
Phil Anselmo: I’m on one drug, and it’s called Lyrica. And what that does is it’s an anti-seizure medicine. And a lot of people are on this drug who have sciatic pain, or pain like I have- which is sciatic, but it’s from after the surgery, sometimes when the nerves reconnect, they reconnect wrong. And that was my case pretty much.
It’s three times a day, and I’m sick of that shit too. I’m tired of all this crap. But it does help, it quells the pain, just a little. You can always feel it though, there’s numbness in my left foot since the surgery. But the stretching and all gets the blood circulating, and blood circulation an incredibly important fuckin’ thing.
I also box like ten rounds a day when I’m at home, hitting the bag, and just working on things. So… You can’t do that sorta thing loaded, or back on the drugs or junk or whatever. So let all the fuckin’ naysayers fuckin’ take a walk in my fuckin’ shoes. They can be sweating and saying I give up, after ten minutes of my workout.
Things are so much better though. I could tell- directly after surgery I could tell- that the doctor had fixed what was killing me for so long. He fixed it. Three ruptured discs, you know? So anyway, I sit here with titanium in my back, telling you that the more work you put in, the better you’ll feel. However, it’s still, three years later, a day to day thing. It really is. You know, a turn of the weather, or a drop in pressure, God knows. You know… It is what it is though.
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