Former Pantera vocalist fronts Superjoint this summer
Since 1990, Phil Anselmo has been a permanent fixture in the world of modern metal music. Some would even argue that metal would not be what it is today without his contributions.
Over the past two and a half decades, Philip H. Anselmo has toured the world countless times with a slew of different bands and projects: Pantera, Viking Crown, Down, Superjoint Ritual, Southern Isolation, Christ Inversion, Arson Anthem. Despite all of his success over the years he’s consistently remained a man of the people, famously mixing with fans, making himself uniquely accessible, for a person of his level of success.
He eventually pulled everyone involved in the notorious NOLA scene together and formed his own house label, Housecore Records. Ever since, Housecore has since become synonymous with testing the boundaries of convention and the introduction of some of the most extreme artists and music that manages to cross genres and unify otherwise divided subcultures that exist as a result of an ever-broadening form of metal.
At the beginning of June, it was announced that one of his more widely known projects, Superjoint (formerly Superjoint Ritual), would be once again hitting the road in the U.S. after 10 years dormancy. On July 19, Superjoint will tear through the V Club in Huntington with King Parrot, from Australia, and Child Bite, both up-and-coming acts based at Housecore Records. I recently had a chance to talk with Philip about the upcoming “It Takes Guts” tour, among other things. This is what he had to say.
Graffiti: It’s been a while since we last spoke, actually back when Pantera were out with Skid Row. A lot has transpired since then, but we’ll talk a little bit about everything if that’s alright.
Anselmo: Yeah, man. Wow. That was a long, long time ago.
Graffiti: So, we learned that Superjoint is back and hitting the road. I mean, it’s obviously something that had been talked about on Facebook, but now the dates are set. What made you choose now to bring this thing back? I know that Superjoint played your Housecore Horror Festival.
Anselmo: Yeah I was kind of skeptical at first, when we were asked to do that. And believe it or not – rest in peace – it was [true-crime author and Housecore Horror Film Festival co-founder] Corey Mitchell’s idea. Oh man, bless that guy’s heart. I mean he pushed for it and pushed for it, and he got it. The truth is it was fun jammin’, it was a blast to do. You know, I consider myself a kind of free agent, I mean, I do all kinds of stuff. I know I sing in Down, but I’m really into a lot of different projects and this is just something to do because it’s fun, man.
Graffiti: You mentioned that you’ve got a lot of projects going on. You’ve fronted one of the biggest metal bands in the history of the genre. During and after you had Down, Superjoint, and now you’ve got Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals. You’ve always been one who has gone out amongst the fans and commenced mingling with them.
Anselmo: You add this Housecore Horror Festival and all the other conventions that I do, it gives me a chance to go out and sit and talk with people. I love to talk to the people. The fans are great, man. It just feels good. F—, it feels great to be able to just talk to the people. You know, whether it’s music, boxing, or horror flicks, somebody’s got a different take on something and they can always add their knowledge to my repertoire of knowledge. And hopefully I can enlighten them on new bands I’m checking out, a new movie I’ve seen and, you know, vice versa. No matter what though man, it’s always a great experience.
Graffiti: When you’ve done these things – creating different kinds of music – it’s always been about the music and nothing more. There’s nothing gimmicky about the show, it’s just the music and the people you’re doing it with. I mean, you’ve got (guitarist and drummer) Jimmy Bower [EyeHateGod, Down, Superjoint] and his sound behind you
Anselmo: He’s a handsome devil, ain’t he? It’s like, why not Jim Bower? He’s the greatest. He’s one of my best friends of all time. He’s so damn talented. Jim’s an excellent pro drummer, and really, a damn, damn, damn, good f—n’ songwriter, man. I think really underrated, as well. That’s partially his fault because I think that what people really only know him for is his work in EyeHateGod, Down and Superjoint. He does a whole lot of stuff that only those who are close to him are privy to. I’m speaking on his behalf because he’s just a great, great songwriter and, again, so damn talented. He’s such a fun guy to be around, always looking at the bright side of things. It’s healthy, you know? Both Jim and I have seen the darker days and lived the stupid rookie bullshit life, but one thing we made clear in our recovery was that we did not start playing music for the drugs. We did not start this for the fame and the chicks and all that other shit. We played this music because we love it, it’s just something that we do, and it can all be over in the blink of an eye. So us working together with this [Superjoint] thing is just natural. And I can not stress the word ‘fun’ enough. [laughs]
Graffiti: So playing with Superjoint again is a good thing for you?
Anselmo: Oh yeah. I mean, those guys are all just, again, fun. And the same thing goes for Kevin Bond.
Graffiti: Yeah, while we’re talking about Kevin, I know that not everyone has attached to this.
Anselmo: Yeah, we’ve gone through like three different bass players, the most prominent being Hank III, of course – I’ll just say that right now Hank is in the middle of a very important part of his life where he needs to focus on Hank – We all love him and only want the best for him. It’s nothing bad, by the way, it’s just a pain in the ass for him right now. He’s healthy and great, so no worries there. He’s honestly just really busy and doesn’t really have time to be a part of this Superjoint experience, which leads me to Stephen [Taylor] and Blue [Joey Gonzalez]. Obviously Blue is in Warbeast and also plays in the Illegals with me, as does Stephen. Those guys are f—-n’ awesome. And once again, down right handsome devils Kevin Bond, with those child-bearing hips. I’m tellin’ you man, we are a group of handsome f—-n’ devils!
Graffiti: Then this is the live line-up for this summer’s ‘It Takes Guts’ tour?
Anselmo: Oh yeah, 100 percent, brother.
Graffiti: It’s really cool that you’ve chosen Child Bite to take out with you. ‘Strange Waste’ is one of the best albums, I think, you [Housecore Records] have put out this year.
Anselmo: True. And wait ’til you hear the next one. We’ve still got the mixing to do on that one, but it’s f—-n’ great man. They’re on their own f—-n’ planet. They are such great musicians and such great songwriters. They keep growing, and growing, and growing. But yeah, again, I need to find time to get that record mixed. It’s gonna be called ‘Negative Noise’. I’m glad you love ’em. I just saw ’em live about a month ago and they’re just a strong, strong band, man. They’ve got a lot of punk rock in ’em and I love that about them.
Graffiti: You’ve started Housecore Records and put a lot of great music out that you really believe in and obviously feel deserves to be heard, and many of those bands are intricately involved with each other and yourself, even. You have the Housecore Horror Film Festival and include bands like Child Bite and King Parrot, in addition to many other Housecore bands, when you’re putting on these special events or tours. It’s something that obviously truly important to you, so do you see this thing as a true family?
Anselmo: Absolutely, man. There’s no better support than your own people. For a guy like me, with Superjoint, we could’ve taken along any up-and-coming band but it’s like ‘Why not support your own?’ You know? And it’s also such a great f—–g bill, man. It’s all about bands that don’t rely on any type of hype other than the music. So if you’re comin’ for a fashion show then you’re out of luck. I’ll go ahead and tell ya, it’s all raw … great live bands. I mean, King f—-g Parrot destroys every night! Then you’ve got us, who are like the older ugly uncles! [laughs] Every night, man, it’s just like this ugly f—-n’ revolution. You know, that’s why we call it the ‘It Takes Guts’ tour, because all but a handful of us have these guts. And I do mean the belly! Why have a six pack when you can have the whole f—-n’ keg?
Graffiti: You know, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to put a Phil Anselmo and the Ugly Uncles record out in the future.
Anselmo: [laughs] That’s a good one! We might have to do that!
Graffiti: You’re doing this with Superjoint and then you go right back out in August with Down. You’re going to be a busy man.
Anselmo: Oh shit, yeah man. Let’s seeI’m gonna fly to Canada to do one show with Down, then I’m on another plane to France for Hellfest with Superjoint. Then I come back home and do some more dates with Down, and then some more things with Superjoint again. There’s just so much going on that I’m gonna be busy from now to probably December. This is definitely the most busy I’ve been this year, for sure.
Graffiti: You know, I was kind of intrigued by the routing of this tour. I mean, it’s been a while since you were in Huntington.
Anselmo: Yeah man, you know, that’s really a part of the magic of it for us. The secondary and tertiary markets don’t necessarily get a lot of the cool shows all of the time, and I want to do it. I want to do these shows. A lot of these things can be hit or miss, though I think personally it’s been more hit. The people that come out to the shows, the enthusiasm of the audiences are just f—-n’ great. Maybe it’s because there is some kind of void there, and a hunger. There are gonna be people who weren’t old enough to come out back when Superjoint was last out like this. I love doing this shit and doing it for them. It’s just exciting all the way around, really.