At Spooky Empire in Orlando, Florida, Kinsey had the opportunity to interview the legendary Phil Anselmo of Pantera fame. Be sure to check it out, only at Conventional Relations!
You were in one of the world’s biggest metal bands at such a weird time in history. How would you say Pantera influenced the social culture of that time period: you know, the 80s and the 90s, like the Reagan Era and Bush etc.
Man, I was always a champion for the underdog, the criticized, the ugly, and the strange. I championed all of it. I think at that time, I had my finger on the pulse on a lot of youth out there that felt criticized or marginalized. That was our audience and it made people who normally would would not have been into heavy metal feel accepted. They felt the lyrics and understood what I was saying and how I was saying it. I was very point blank and blatant about what I was saying. I was up front and forreal so I think people appreciated that. I think what I tried to do is take and strip away that bullshit “rockstar untouchable” persona and I just jumped out into the crowd. Really, I’m just the same freaking music nerd grown up, playing in bands, and doing music. So as far as on a social level, I think it made the outcasts feel in control of a space and area.
In regards to all of your albums and your history with Pantera and your other bands too, do you have a preference of which one meant the most to you or did they all mean the same to you for different reasons?
Each band for me, musically, has to have its own identity. I love to play music with different groups of people. Different feels with different drummers.
Different creative outlets.
Absolutely. And the best thing is when you have a single guy from each band that is totally on the same page as you. It makes it that much more fruitful: the writing of the music and the vision for the songs and the vision for band. So I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by some older than me and some twenty years younger than me. Play with different people: it makes you healthy and it makes you well rounded.
How did you get into acting?
I’m not an actor.
You’re not an actor? You’re just yourself?
I’m just hanging out.
Going back to Pantera, what do you think is the most heaviest song you’ve done or created with Pantera?
That’s all subjective man. That’s so freaking subjective.
Does it change by the day?
Well it just depends on the listener. To me music is like food. You either love it, you hate it, or you’re pretty indifferent to it. So each record, depends on who’s listening it. But I think for Pantera, it’s a toss up between “Far Beyond Driven” and the last record I did with Pantera, “Reinventing the Steel.”
My personal favorite Pantera song is “Fucking Hostile.” That song gets me so freaking amped. Those are good albums! “Fucking Hostile” is the first Pantera song I ever heard. It makes me feel like “Girl power, yeah!” Like I can do anything.
Is there anything else you want to add?
Not really, just thanks for coming to talk to me. It was a pleasure meeting you and talking to you. I wish you continued success.