Max Morin of Bucketlist Music Reviews recently conducted an interview with former PANTERA and current DOWN/SUPERJOINT frontman Philip Anselmo about his PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS project. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow below (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On how he came up with the "Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue" title for the new PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS studio album:
Philip: "Well, I had the song 'Choosing Mental Illness' and then I guess — and this is not to give too much away and I don't think it does — I think a great overview lyrically, thematically throughout the record, I thought that it really encapsulated it. I guess the extension of 'As A Virtue' would come from, for me personally, it means I absolutely and I have since my, gosh, since I was a really young boy, had great anxiety and depression and many, many things. Anyway, not to expound too much on that, but the 'virtue' for me is at least I have music to channel it through. Acknowledging that there a lot of people out there that suffer, that do not know where to place all these negative emotions that do build, absolutely, and tick. People don't know where to put them to make them flip on their head necessarily, like absolutely flip on their head and make it into something positive."
On whether he is releasing some of his heaviest albums to date, not only through PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS, but his extreme grindcore project SCOUR as well:
Philip: "I guess such is the expression only other people will hear other things. I know people that listen to other bands I've either been in or are lying dormant right now. Don't you worry. That's one thing — there is always that contingency of people that think because I did a record like this, that I'm like, going to stay with the screeching voice and something like that. No way, man. Actually, the next release that I am going to put out, I guess in a few couple of months here, is, I would think, once again, the absolute opposite of what we have in 'Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue'. It's really, really different. Different band, but a lot of the same people. A lot of the same people, the general circle. The name of the band is EN MINOR. It's going to be a very different conversation if we talk again and I hope we do after that record is released. People are going to be like 'Man, where is this guy coming from?' That's the great part — by the end of 2018, I'll be pretty tough to corner as far as music goes."
On the recurring issues with his back:
Philip: "Next Wednesday, last day of the month [January 31], I go under and get my second follow-up back surgery. It's been a decade since the first one. It's okay. I love it. I'm glad they're getting me in now. The surgery is going to be great. They are going to nip the final thing in the bud that's been nagging me. I've warned everyone: If they fix this thing like I think they will, I will be heavyweight champ of the world before I'm 60. [Laughs] Once they get that done, it's like truthfully, man, everything, like dates and stuff for ILLEGALS shows, stuff like that, will start to crop up. Now that we know where we're at, what I have in front of me, which is really basic and the bounce-back time is give me a month, I'll be good to go."
On the status of DOWN:
Philip: "I have to focus on this new stuff for the time being because really, to clear it up and make it loud and clear for everyone: DOWN, when DOWN got together, we knew we were a band made up of many other bands. It's always been out of brotherhood and love that when any of our 'real' bands such as C.O.C. and EYEHATEGOD, specifically get on a roll, at the time, even PANTERA, at the time, back in the day. If any of our bands get on a roll, we always make room for that band. A tour like for SUPERJOINT, for what it's worth, when SUPERJOINT is working, there's no real time for DOWN, of course. It's a complete and just, I think, clear, very crystal-clear understanding between all of us that the day will come when things will slow down and we'll feel primed enough and ready for it and moods will alter as they do over time, especially musically. If you play certain songs, no matter what band you're in, if you play those songs enough times and enough nights, in a row, night after night, you're going to want to change tastes here and there. Yes, we will record another DOWN record. Everybody's committed to it. It's just right now, everybody's committed to it."
"Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue" was released on January 26 via Anselmo's Housecore Records in the U.S. and Season Of Mist in other parts of the world. The disc is the follow-up to PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS' debut, "Walk Through Exits Only", which came out in 2013 to mostly positive reviews. Via Blabbermouth