Philip Anselmo Talks Illegals, Dimebag and Lost Iommi Tracks

(Radio.com) Philip H. Anselmo has always been a band guy, most famously with Pantera, but also with Down. He's also been in the now-defunct Superjoint Ritual, along with a few other projects like Arson Anthem and Christ Inversion. So it was somewhat surprising when he announced plans to tour and record fronting a group called Philip H. Anselmo and the Illegals. He told Radio.com that he decided to go with his own name this time around as a matter of truth in advertising.

"If you're a fan, you know what to expect, to a certain degree. You're not having to buy into a whole new band moniker." And he's quick to note that it isn't a so-called "supergroup," as was the case with bands like Down (which also featured members of Corrosion Of Conformity, Crowbar and Eyehategod) and Superjoint Ritual (which also featured county music royalty Hank Williams III).

"I really wanted to make it a point to get guys that were under the radar instead of putting together another supergroup. We are guys from the underground. Despite my success with Pantera, my heart has always been in the underground of metal and extreme music. That's where I shall dwell."

As Pantera moved from glam to a more thrash sound, they parted ways with original singer Terrence Lee, and hooked up with Anselmo who accelerated their progression: "When the clubs were packed, that was the point when I said, 'Hey, I don't like glam music, I don't like popular rock and roll. I want to do what I want to do.' And when we were packing these clubs, I said, 'I am never wearing a pair of spandex again in my life!' I shaved my head into a mohawk, threw the damn spandex into a pile of flames and never turned back."

He cites Roger Miret of New York hardcore legends Agnostic Front as a major influence. But that scene was a bit foreign to the other guys in Pantera.

"They were more straight shooters, heavy metal guys. Metallica was about as 'heavy' as they got. Dimebag [Darrell], if you look at him, was very much from the school of guitar playing of Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhoads. For me to turn him on to Slayer, who took big cues from their leads from Greg Ginn from Black Flag, it was a bit of a task. But I do remember the day in '87 when I said, 'Dimebag, come here. Listen to this.' And I put on Slayer, Hell Awaits. He sat there, we toked one. It was before his hair was long, it was like he had a big q-tip on his head, and I saw that q-tip start rocking, and I knew right then and there that we broke a little bit of ground."

One thing that all the guys in the band had a love for is Black Sabbath, and Anselmo got the ultimate fan wish when he got the call to record some songs with Sabbath's Tony Iommi for his 2000 solo debut, Iommi. While "Time Is Mine" made the album, two other songs were recorded, and have leaked to YouTube, among other places.

Anselmo notes that the titles that he's seen need some corrections: "They're all out on YouTube, but all the song titles are absolutely wrong. I wrote those songs in three days, I had three days with Tony. I was very, very inspired. The more uptempo song is called 'Inversion Of The Saviors,' and the other song that we did was 'The Day That Never Comes.'" Which, he points out, was "Ten years before Metallica" had a song of the same name.

Having gotten the ultimate metal wish, he's recently paid it forward, inviting a special young guy onstage to jam with him and his band. Read about that here.

Radio.com is an official news provider for antiMusic.com.
Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

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