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Interview

Anselmo Says They're Bringing A New Level Of Underground Bands

In part one of my conversation with Philip Anselmo, we revisited major happenings at last year’s Housecore Horror Film Festival and were brought up to date with the inner machinations of this year’s festivities. We touched on a couple of headline acts that will appear this year. This part of the interview we discuss his reunion with Superjoint Ritual. We also throw a bloody bone to the cast of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” parts one and two, who a small number of fans will be able to dine with along with HHFF top dogs Anselmo and true crime author, Corey Mitchell at the original house from the film in Kingsland, Texas. Anselmo also shares his feelings about the passing of Rigor Mortis guitarist Mike Scaccia and the trials and tribulations of Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe, who will assume MC duties for HHFF.

Rex_84: Superjoint Ritual will reunite to play the festival. How did this come about?

Anselmo: A lot of peer pressure, I’ll say (laughs). The last thing on my mind was doing a Superjoint reunion or anything like that but there was a poll taken by the fans on Facebook or some shit like that. I never go on Facebook. It’s not really my style, but I guess there was a poll taken and that was the band people wanted to see me unite/reunite with again this year for the horror fest. Superjoint won, hands down. So we’ll give the people what they want. I’ve gotta say jamming with Superjoint again, which I did a couple weeks ago for a good three or four days, was a blast! It was fun as hell! I think we have an awesome set planned. The only thing obstructing here is that the New Orleans Saints play at 7:30 at night against the Green Bay Packers, so I’ll be jumping off stage and sprinting to the bus to check the score and then going back to (laughs) curate the god damn horror fest. Right after I get off stage. I know nobody else gives a fuck about that, but I thought I’d be truthful. Either way, jamming with Superjoint has been a blast. Jimmy (Bower) is in good spirits. Jamming with Kevin Bond again was a fucking blast! I think it’s going to be fun, straight up!

Rex_84: Going back to the film side of the festival, you and Corey Mitchell will be having a special luncheon with the cast of “ The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” part one and two. How do you feel about that? You get to eat with all of these icons.

Anselmo: At the original house, too. It’s one of those things, being a horror film freak, how in the world to explain that? How do you put into words that this is even going to happen? This is something that’s once in a lifetime. It’s like when would you ever figure this would happen? What a special event! What a treat for the uncompromising horror fan to be part of that! I think that’s really cool, super special, and I know there will be a bus that can only hold so many people transporting whoever buys the special ticket or whatever it is to go on and be a part of this thing. When you ride the bus, it’s like an hour and a half trip, on the way up there they are going to be showing the original Texas Chainsaw on the way up and part two on the way back. That’s awesome on its self. Plus, hanging out with the cast members. I’ve been friends with Billy Mosley, Chop Top, from part two for around a decade now. He’s a super cool motherfucker, man, down to earth as it gets. Dynamite, dynamite guy, Bill Mosley. Just hanging out with him and all of his Chainsaw cohorts is gonna be a blast, man! I’m looking forward to it as a fan, myself, whether I’m a curator of it or not. At the end of the day, the whole reason I’m doing this thing is because I’m a fan of horror films. Does it get any better than that? I’m not sure. That’s a pretty fucking awesome situation! I’m looking forward to it as much as a fan as anybody else.

Rex-84: Maybe they’ll even have a bucket so Grandpa can kill dinner.

Anselmo: I’ll bring the hammer. You know, whatever I can do to help.

Rex_84: Do you have any new films you’ll be showing this year?

Anselmo: Definitely, as far as submissions go for sure. Absolutely. And as far as major films or anything like that, honestly, I really don’t know. Definitely, we’ll be showing some classic films. I don’t have the list in front of me, but some of them are must sees if you’ve never seen them. We’ve got our hands on some good films. Like I said, I don’t have the list in front of me, but picking and going through this list was very exciting because it’s a new year, so it’s not like we’ll be showing anything that we showed last year. It’s all brand new but still old at the same time. For the younger crowd, seeing some of these classic movies that flew under the radar, even back in the day, or for the youngsters out there that try to watch as many classic horror films as possible, I think we’ve got a great lineup. I guess I would say it’s good for horror education, so to speak. So I’m proud of all that stuff. There is always a brand-new short or even full-length that is a submission that will go on to be higher acclaimed and noticed by the general public. Once again, props to the up-and-coming directors. For me, that’s one of the most exciting things seeing what these new directors are doing as far as putting a new spin on horror flicks. I’ve got to say, there are some very, very, very damn good shorts out there. We’ve had some very good submissions, so far, mid-length films. Heck man, even seeing a couple of music videos that are damn good. I’m feeling pretty confident about the whole film lineup this year.

Rex_84: You have the music documentaries, too that look mighty enticing like the Rigor Mortis, Lamb of God, Venom—it all looks killer.

Anselmo: Definitely. I’ll honest, I’m not a giant music-documentary-watching guy. I like bands for what they put on record and what their legacy is live performances and stuff like that, but at the end of the day, like right now on cable TV there is a Motorhead documentary floating around, and for as much as I say I’m not that big of a fan of music documentaries I’ll sit down and watch two seconds of it and then end up watching the whole damn thing (laughs). There I go with my foot in my mouth. Plus, I’ll tell you, I’m very excited about the Rigor Mortis documentary having grown up around those guys and seeing what they’ve been through and actually being very good friends with those guys. I super proud of all of them and for the love of Mike Scaccia and all of that stuff. It’s an important watch. It’s an incredible watch. The Rigor Mortis story is really interesting. Yeah man, I’m looking forward to all of this stuff. Everybody knows how I feel about Venom, so I’ll let that go by the wayside, but not too far.

Rex_84: It’s harrowing because at the time I was partially running a website and I sent a writer down to cover the Rigor Mortis show. She was suppose to interview the band (would have been their final interview). She was there when Mike collapsed on stage, which eventually led to his death. That was rough.

Anselmo: It was amazing. We were all home here and we got a text from Bruce almost immediately about what went down. They were on their way to the hospital. I did not want to blow up Bruce’s phone at the time. Being so close to them, having Warbeast on Housecore Records and Casey Orr, the bassist in Rigor Mortis, also played in Warbeast, there was no way I was going to sit and wait, so I did call Bruce. He was at the hospital and we were informed that night. It was a crushing blow. A crushing blow under the weirdest circumstance I can even imagine. It obviously hits home for me because of Dimebag and the way he went. Two different situations, but oddly enough, two of the DFW area’s premiere, most successful and talent guitar players going out on stage. Its, I guess, unprecedented. It’s horrifically unique in that way. All I can say is rest in peace Dimebag and Mike Scaccia and my love for both of them really flows through out just about everything that we do. I know Bruce is definitely a champion for Mike Scaccia. He keeps him in his hart very close to him on a daily basis. On my part, there is really not a day that doesn’t go by when Dimebag doesn’t go through my mind. Bruce and I both have that in common. Plus, Bruce and I have been working together on the hip for five or six years. Five, six, seven years now—time flies so fast for me. Jesus, how many years have gone by? Back in the day, it was like Rigor Mortis versus Pantera type of feeling when I first moved back in 1987 up to Arlington. I was always, always cool with the Rigor Mortis camp, where as the rest of the were kind of in competition with each other. Shit man, I supported Rigor Mortis.

I supported all the underground bands since I possibly could at that time from Texas to Louisiana and all around the world. It’s pretty much the same way I do today. It’s a spot in my heart. It’s a spot in my psyche. If you look at super popular bands: what more can I say about super popular bands that hasn’t already be said. Let’s hear about bands that aren’t getting the big press and aren’t getting the big push. Case in point, once again going back to Portal from Australia for death metal. It’s like, why not, with the position I’m in, why not give props to bands that don’t normally get the props that they should get. Honestly, like Glenn Danzig said years ago, if you call yourself a music outlet, then cover all forms of music. Cover your bases. Don’t just suck up to what’s number one or number two or in the top ten. Music is a lot deeper than that. I’ve chosen my side of the fence a long time ago and I’m a champion of the underground. That’s just how I’m gonna go and I’m gonna go that way until I hit the dirt.

Rex_84: Randy Blythe will be on hand as the MC. Please talk about your decision to have him at the fest?

Anselmo: It wasn’t my decision, but when it was presented to me I think that the trials and tribulations that Randy has been through with the Czech Republic law suite and the criminal investigation—the kid who died stage diving at the show—that’s something I’ve always been supportive over Randy because after I saw the footage, if I were a judge in this case, I would have ruled it an accidental death. I don’t think Randy should have been judged through the court system. It was quite harsh. I could go on forever about that in my opinion. It’s pretty obvious that Randy has been a fan of mine for quite a while. I mentioned this about Gwar and I mentioned it about a couple of bands, but I’ve got nothing but respect for Lamb of God, when it comes to longevity. They are a band that’s been out there humping it and kicking ass for a long time. Whether people want to say they are filling a void or whatever, that’s their opinion, but I think where my biggest respect is they’ve been out there working their asses off, humping it and doing extremely well for themselves. It says an incredible amount about their work ethic and I’m very proud of them. I think it’s going to be a cool thing to have Randy there, so big props to him and I’m super glad he’s going to be there doing his thing!

Rex_84: I have no more questions. Do you have any last words to impart upon people coming out to the fest?

Anselmo: I’ve got one: Be prepared to have a blast. Last year was laid back, fun and awesome. I think this year is going to be even cooler and even more underground to a certain extent. Not to dismiss last year’s bands at all because last year’s bands kicked absolute ass, but we’re bringing a new level of underground bands. We’re bringing a different level of films—more underground, more from-the-heart films that we just didn’t have enough room for last year because there are millions of films out there and thousands, thousands of great ones. You can’t smash them all into one weekend. So I’m very happy this year we got an opportunity to cover films that we couldn’t last year and bring a lot of bands on we couldn’t fit that year. I’m very proud of the lineup, on all levels, especially the special guest performances. And the opportunity to hang with the special guests. All that stuff makes me beyond excited. Really, it’s humbling, honestly. Come on out to the damn fest and we’ll have a blast together. Please, everybody this make this thing as special as we possibly can because it is set up, already, to be a very special event. Just come out and be part of it.

Rex_84's avatar

An avid metal head for over twenty years, Darren Cowan has written for several metal publications and attended concerts throughout various regions of the U.S.

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