Down Interview (Phil Anselmo)

«With the amount of music being stolen, who the fuck wants to sit down and concentrate on a full album?»

13/05/2013 @ 13:29
On the occasion of Down's show in Greece for Heavy By The Sea Festival this summer, talked to one of the most important musicians in metal music scene, Phil Anselmo (although we don't know at first that he was the one who was going to answer to the questions). Album number IV in Down's discography isn't going to be a full-length record. It is scheduled to be a series of EP, instead. The first one, "Purple", showed signs of stagnancy and left us hoping for something more inspired in the future, something that can make a difference. On the other hand, on stage, they remain one of the most powerful bands out there. Here’s what Philip Hansen Anselmo had to say.

DownFor more than a year now, Patrick Bruders (also of Crowbar) is your bassist, taking the place of Rex Brown, who was in the band from 1998 to 2011. How has that change affected your sound and the balances of the band?
The bass playing is better and tighter. Plus the band gets along with Pat easily.

How come you decided to release a series of EPs? Are the reasons commercial, practical or artistic? More and more bands seem to take an interest in EPs lately...
With the amount of music being stolen via the computer these days, who the fuck wants to sit down and concentrate on a full album?  It's boring. Plus, we all (in Down) have other bands and obligations.

Phil Anselmo (Down)You are going to visit Athens... What were your impressions from your last show (in Rockwave Festival when you jammed with Mastodon)? Do you have any stories from your stay here?
No, but the gig was cool.

Can you give us any clues on the setlist that we are going to listen in Athens this summer?
Some new stuff, some old stuff. Nothing out of the ordinary.

You are going to open for Slayer. What’s your opinion on Slayer's music?
I love Slayer. My favorite record is "Hell Awaits".

DownYou are known for your passionate shows. After all, your songs demand extreme energy on stage. Honestly, is it possible to exceed yourself on stage every night during a long tour and be sober at the same time?
I'm not 'sober'...but I only drink a little beer now and hard booze. Shows are shows, I do what I do... Passion is part of the work, so it comes naturally.

Are there some times when, as musicians, you feel the need to play softer, more melodic music?
It's not a 'need', it's a mood. I love all sorts of music, so when I'm in the mood, depending on the mood or the situation, then I'll decide what kind of music to play.

Down are a big name in the music scene with albums such as "NOLA" to be considered classics after so many years. So, is there any relatively new band that you like that you would like to crown 'the next Down'?
There is no 'next Down', no matter how hard bands may try. But there are many bands out there in this world that are doing some great things in music. And music is a personal preference-type thing, so people have their choices as to what they want to listen to. That's the beauty of originality within music.

Phil Anselmo (Down)What have you been listening to lately?
Anything Portal has put out, from early demoes to their most recent ("Vexovoid"), Virus from Norway, Deathspell Omega from France ("Paracletus" LP), Swans, Hymns, Ancient VVisdom and new Voivod.

Which is your favorite Down song?
Impossible question to answer.

If you were to cover a famous pop song and make it sound heavy -like your music- which would that be?
Interesting question... I'm not sure about a 'pop' song, but there are many older songs that we in Down have discussed covering, so I can't really give away any surprises!

Phil Anselmo (Down)What plans do you have for the future?
I have a solo record coming out here in the US in July called "Walk Through Exits Only".  I'll tour some for that, then directly back to work with Down.  Then record new Down.  I am also throwing the first annual 'Housecore Horror Film Festival' in Austin Texas this October, with many movies, bands, famous horror directors etc.. and then i begin the rigors of writing my book.

The last words are yours to say anything you want to your fans here in Greece.
HAIL all brothers and sisters of Greece!!!! Come to the show, and lets have fucking fun!