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Superjoint's Phil Anselmo

Philip Anselmo Debuts First Track From En Minor Project, Explains Why It’s Currently “Necessary” For Him To Play Pantera Songs Live


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Philip H. Anselmo of Pantera, Down, Superjoint, etc. fame has unveiled the first single from his long-gestating project En Minor. Jokingly self-described as ‘depression core’, the music represents a far more somber side of Anselmo than often seen.

A 7″ single featuring the below track “On The Floor” and the song “There’s A Long Way To Go” will be released this Friday, August 02nd via his Housecore Records label. A full-length debut album is tentatively expected to follow later this year.

On top of that, the band will also be making their live debut this month at One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans, LA on August 14th with their second show scheduled for August 16th as part of the 2019 ‘Psycho Las Vegas‘ festival at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.

The origins of En Minor stretch back to the 80s with Anselmo joined in the band by his Superjoint, etc. bandmates guitarist Stephen Taylor, guitarist Kevin Bond and drummer Jimmy Bower. Calvin (keyboards) and Joiner Dover (bass) and cellist Steve Bernal are also among the roster.

Anselmo recently spoke with Revolver about En Minor and its origins and during the conversation also addressed his move to performing Pantera exclusive sets with his backing band the Illegals as of late. The group will once again be doing that later this fall, opening the final leg of Slayer‘s farewell tour alongside Primus and Ministry.

When asked what led him to decide to revisit the songs from his previous band, Anselmo replied:

“We were about a month out from touring this album when Vince Paul passed away and that was horrific and so unexpected. It was something that stopped me dead in my tracks. I was in my kitchen and I just dropped to the floor and just had to breathe for a little while.

That’s when the big plea for us to do more Pantera songs became irresistible. The tribute had to be then. It had to be right. And I never thought it would be the Illegals. Clearly the mission for us was to be a sweaty hole-in-the wall death-metal band. I’ve got to say huge props to them for learning the Pantera material. They didn’t even flinch, man, and just went for it.

The vibe from most of the shows have been so fucking great, man. And what really tickles me is seeing the young bloods out in the audience, freaking out on the Pantera stuff. And you know it’s their parents who got them into Pantera.”

When asked if the covers sets will continue in the future or are just for the time being, he offered:

“I’d like it to be just for now. For me, Pantera was Pantera and there’s no substitute. So playing those songs, I didn’t mind doing it for a one-off thing here and there with a group of guys — we used to do it in Metal Masters, [with] Kerry King and the Anthrax guys. But I wasn’t going to learn a set of Pantera with another band. I didn’t feel entitled to do that. It’s not like I feel entitled now. I feel now it’s necessary.”

When asked if Vinnie Paul‘s death last year made him look back differently at his time in Pantera and the bitter aftermath that followed, he stated:

“The only thing I can say is, if I could go visit a 20-something-year-old version of myself, I would say, ‘Put the fucking bottle down, son.’ Treat your body like an elite athlete and make sure that there is a very clear communication between myself and the rest of my band.

It’s a frustrating thing because my lower back injury was so fucking bad, it was torture from the second my eyes opened until I fell asleep. I made every rookie mistake in the book. I ended up sleepwalking through the fucking day because I didn’t want to exist.

It felt like my skeleton had betrayed me. It was a common lower injury, a blown-out disc. It was just at the wrong time — [1994’s] Far Beyond Driven was just getting wrapped up. And once I got that phone call, “Hey, your record’s No. 1,” I knew what was going to happen — world tour after tour after tour. That was the big dream anyway. And I couldn’t do it, man.

Neurosurgery was still barbaric at that time. I had to wait until 2006 to have any surgery at all and by then three discs had blown. I had the second surgery in 2018. I’m doing tons better now. You’re thrust into a circumstance and I wouldn’t wish that on anybody, man.”

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