||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2013)|
|Birth name||Philip Hansen Anselmo|
|Also known as||Anton Crowley|
June 30, 1968 |
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
|Genres||Heavy metal, groove metal, extreme metal, hardcore punk|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, songwriter, producer|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, drums|
|Labels||Housecore Records, Atco, Eastwest, Rhino, Roadrunner, Elektra, Warner Brothers, Sanctuary|
|Associated acts||Pantera, Down, Arson Anthem, Superjoint Ritual, Necrophagia, Southern Isolation, Viking Crown, Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals, Christ Inversion, Razor White|
Philip Hansen "Phil" Anselmo (born June 30, 1968) is an American musician who is best known as the former lead singer of the heavy metal band Pantera. He is currently the frontman for the Louisiana-based heavy metal supergroup Down. Philip Anselmo is also the owner of Housecore Records and has been a part of many other projects.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Career
- 3 Active side projects
- 4 Defunct side projects
- 5 Guest appearances
- 6 Influences
- 7 Personal life
- 8 Discography
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Anselmo was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and is of Danish, Italian and French heritage. He attended many schools, the last of which was Grace King High School located in the suburb of Metairie. Anselmo's father, Phil, owned and operated a restaurant in Metairie called Anselmo's, which closed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Anselmo has said in various interviews that he was very quiet and secluded as a child. He spent some time working on fishing boats as a young man. At the age of 14, Anselmo accidentally started a fire in his parent's house while pulling a prank on his sister. The damage resulted in smoke damage to most of the furniture and part of the house needing renovation. While a teenager, Anselmo joined the band Samhain (not to be confused with Glenn Danzig's band Samhain). From the early to mid '80s, Anselmo was a member of the band Razor White. While they did have some original material, they played mainly Judas Priest covers.
Pantera was an unsigned glam metal band, with three self-released albums to their name. In 1986, it was decided by the band to replace singer Terrence Lee, who was primarily a glam metal singer, because they were heading in a different direction musically. Seeking a new frontman to continue on this heavier path, the band was led to 19-year-old Anselmo. In 1987, after several meetings, Anselmo was added to the Pantera lineup. The band was so impressed with Anselmo that they re-recorded some of Terrence Lee's vocals for their latest release. Anselmo relocated to Texas to record Power Metal, which was released in 1988 on the band's own record label, Metal Magic Records. Following the release of Power Metal, the band dropped its glam image and adopted a more casual look. They were signed to a record label by a scout who was stranded due to a hurricane. The band saw the scout at the venue and was disheartened when he left mid-set, but it turned out that the scout had left to phone the record label and to tell them to sign Pantera as soon as possible. Pantera recorded the album Cowboys from Hell in 1990, and a long tour began. The band documented portions of this tour on their first home video, Cowboys from Hell: The Videos, released in 1991.
In 1992, Pantera recorded Vulgar Display of Power. That same year, Pantera released a promo titled Hostile Mixes that contained four songs, three of which were remixes. The first two remixes were done by Justin K. Broadrick of Godflesh and the last by J. G. Thirlwell of Foetus. In 1994, Pantera released Far Beyond Driven, which debuted at #1 in the U.S. In late June, Anselmo was charged with assault following an altercation with a security guard when fans were prevented from getting on stage. Anselmo was released on $5,000 bail the next day. The trial was delayed three times. In May 1995, he apologized in court, pleaded guilty to attempted assault, and was sentenced to 100 hours of community service.
In 1996, Pantera released their fifth studio album with Anselmo, titled The Great Southern Trendkill. Anselmo recorded the vocal tracks for this album in New Orleans while the other members recorded in Texas, primarily due to growing tensions between Anselmo and the rest of the band. In 1997, Pantera released their first and only official live album titled Official Live: 101 Proof. This album contained two new tracks--"I Can't Hide" and "Where You Come From." In 2000, Pantera released their final studio album, titled Reinventing the Steel. After touring to promote the album, Pantera went on hiatus in 2001. In 2003, Pantera released a best-of album, The Best of Pantera: Far Beyond the Great Southern Cowboys' Vulgar Hits! (titled Reinventing Hell: The Best of Pantera in Europe). The album featured songs from five studio albums with Anselmo, and also included three cover tracks, "Planet Caravan" and "Hole in the Sky," written by Black Sabbath; and "Cat Scratch Fever," written by Ted Nugent. A bonus DVD was also made, containing all the band's music videos. Later that year, Pantera disbanded over communication problems and accusations that Anselmo had abandoned the band.
Following the breakup, Anselmo devoted much of his time to a longtime side project, Superjoint Ritual. Having heard this, the Abbott brothers of Pantera (guitarist Dimebag Darrell and drummer Vinnie Paul) formed Damageplan with former Halford guitarist Pat Lachman on vocals and Bob Zilla on bass. Some fans blame Anselmo for Pantera's breakup, because of statements in the heavy metal press. Anselmo has accused journalists of twisting the facts, publishing what they think sells best. Pantera bassist Rex Brown, widely known as being the one neutral voice in the matter, has blamed both sides for the band's breakup.
After Vinnie Paul slammed Superjoint Ritual, saying Anselmo could not even keep his eyes open, Anselmo replied, "I just hear a big and sad yellowbelly crybaby fuckin' knowing that his meal ticket is in a different fuckin' band ... You would have to know those guys to really understand where I was coming from. They're scared of their own fuckin' shadows. And, all that said, I wish them the best of fuckin' luck. I still love 'em." Anselmo had engaged in a war of words with Dimebag since the fall of Pantera, culminating in the statement "Dimebag deserves to be beaten severely" in the December 2004 edition of the UK's Metal Hammer magazine. Initially, he denied making the statement, but later changed his story in a VH1 Behind the Music special on Pantera, claiming that the comment had been lighthearted and made off the record. However, Vinnie Paul told the press that he had heard the audio files of the interview and that Anselmo had not been misquoted.
In December 2004, Dimebag Darrell was shot and killed while performing with Damageplan at the Alrosa Villa nightclub in Columbus, Ohio. At the request of Dimebag's family, Anselmo did not attend his funeral.
In a lengthy and emotional video posted on Down's official website, Anselmo describes his regret over his previous behavior, and has written and recorded music dealing with the loss of Dimebag on the new Down record, Down III: Over the Under. The band has dedicated their song "Lifer" to Dimebag. Anselmo has since stated that he wishes to restart his friendship with Vinnie Paul but a reconciliation effort is unlikely due to lingering tensions between the two.
Down has been Anselmo's main recording and touring band since 2006.
Down is an American heavy metal band formed in 1991 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The band consists of members and former members of Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar and Eyehategod.
Since its inception, Down has released five studio albums, one live album and has gone on hiatus twice to focus on the members' respective bands.
Superjoint Ritual was a New Orleans metal band formed by Anselmo, Joe Fazzio, and Jimmy Bower in the early 1990s, later to be joined by Hank Williams III, and Kevin Bond. Their style can be considered a mix of groove metal and hardcore punk. Bands like Venom, Slayer, Celtic Frost, Voivod, and Darkthrone have also been noted as influences. The name Superjoint Ritual comes from a lyric in the Darkthrone song, "The Pagan Winter". According to Bower, Anselmo wrote 70-80% of the group's music. During their time together they released two full-length albums on Sanctuary Records, Use Once and Destroy in 2002 and A Lethal Dose of American Hatred in 2003.
Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals
During 2011-2012, Anselmo wrote and recorded a solo album, titled Walk Through Exits Only. The album was released on July 16, 2013.
Active side projects
Arson Anthem is a Southern hardcore punk project that originated when Eyehategod singer Mike Williams moved into Anselmo's spare apartment after losing all his possessions in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The two spent countless hours listening to Anselmo’s collection of early hardcore bands. They began jamming with Hank III and Collin Yeo, who were united by their desire to have a hardcore/crust punk band of their own. The Arson Anthem lineup features Mike Williams on vocals, Phil Anselmo on guitar, Hank III on drums, and Collin Yeo on bass.
Defunct side projects
Christ Inversion was formed in 1994. The group was a short-lived black metal project formed by Anselmo where he played guitar under the name "Anton Crowley". Most of their lyrics were based on horror films and Satanism. The band recorded two demos in 1994 and 1995 respectively and then disbanded without ever recording a full-length album. Many years later, songs from the first demo were put on an 8-track compilation and released through Anselmo's own Housecore Records on October 28, 2008.
The band released one EP called Southern Isolation. It originally contained four songs, but was later re-released with a fifth bonus track. The band consisted of Stephanie Opal Weinstein on vocals and guitars, Anselmo on vocals, backing vocals and guitars, "Big" Ross Karpelman (of Clearlight) on keyboards, and Sid Montz (of Crowbar) on drums.
One rare track called "Faded" has been credited to Southern Isolation on the Manson Family Soundtrack, which is due to be released on Anselmo's Housecore label.
Viking Crown was a short-lived and essentially solo side project started by Anselmo in the mid-90s. The members of the band are Anselmo (under the pseudonym Anton Crowley) on guitars, bass and drums; Killjoy on vocals; and Opal Enthroned (Stephanie Opal Weinstein) on keyboards. On their first album Unorthodox Steps of Ritual, Anselmo played every instrument and laid down his own vocals. The band never performed live.
Eibon was a very short-lived supergroup which Anselmo participated in from 1998 to 2000. The group featured Killjoy, Fenriz, Satyr, and Maniac. The project has been put on indefinite hiatus and to date has only released a single track, Mirror Soul Jesus, which appeared on the Moonfog 2000: A Different Perspective compilation in 2000. The band is on Satyr's record label 'Moonfog Productions'.
In 1996, Anselmo recorded guitars on two songs ("Van Full of Retards" and a cover of Manowar's "Gloves of Metal") and contributed vocals/backing vocals on 18 songs for Anal Cunt's 40 More Reasons to Hate Us album.
In 1996, Anselmo recorded backing vocals for tracks on Crowbar's Broken Glass album.
Also in 1996, Anselmo provided vocals on Soilent Green's album Sewn Mouth Secrets. Although not credited, he is given thanks in the liner notes.
In 1998, Anthrax released the album Volume 8: The Threat Is Real. Anselmo provided backing vocals on track 8 ("Killing Box"). Also, his Pantera bandmate Dimebag Darrell played guitar solos on tracks 3 ("Inside Out") and 7 ("Born Again Idiot").
In 2000, Tony Iommi released a collaborative album with various well known vocalists. Initially, Anselmo was going to co-create an entire album with Iommi, but due to tour schedules it never happened. Anselmo managed, however, to lay down some tracks for Iommi's album. Iommi and Anselmo wrote and recorded three tracks together, "Time Is Mine", "The Bastard", and a third unknown track. Iommi picked "Time Is Mine" for the album. "The Bastard" was never officially released, but can be found online. The third unknown track is now highly sought after by fans of both artists.
On March 6, 2006, Anselmo made an appearance along with Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver bassist Duff McKagan and the surviving members of Alice in Chains at a VH1's Decades Rock Live concert, in honor of fellow Seattle musicians such as Alice in Chains' Layne Staley and Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart
In 2008, Anselmo recorded vocals for the Mahakali album by Jarboe. The track is sparse musically, features a raw vocal delivery by Anselmo, and a short spoken-word segment.
Anton Crowley persona
In the mid-90s, Anselmo began to record for several side projects under the pseudonym Anton Crowley, most notably with Viking Crown. The name Anton Crowley is taken from Aleister Crowley (British occultist) and Anton LaVey (Founder and High Priest of the Church of Satan).
In 1997, Necrophagia frontman Killjoy reformed his band with Phil Anselmo on guitars. Using the Anton Crowley name, Anselmo appeared on the 1998 Holocausto de la Morte album, the 1999 Black Blood Vomitorium EP, and finally the 2001 Cannibal Holocaust EP, which featured Opal Enthroned (then Anselmo's wife) on keyboards. Anselmo left the band in 2001.
Anselmo started his own record label called Housecore Records sometime in 2001. The name derived from Anselmo's home being described as more of a "hang out" where many local friends and musicians would stay and record music together. Housecore also features in tattoo form on Anselmo's arm (Anselmo's told fans via live webcam that it was his first and favourite tattoo). Anselmo's primary objective is to release much older unreleased material and material from his many side projects. After gaining permission from Pantera's label, Elektra, he merged Housecore with his long time friend and Necrophagia band mate Killjoy's label, Baphomet Records. The newly named "Baphomet/Housecore Records" secured distribution deals with Relapse Records in August 2001. Anselmo stated "What you're going to get here with Baphomet/Housecore, it's going to be different. It's going to be a fresh approach. It's going to be a lot of home made shit, not all major label-produced monstrosities. I just got permission from Elektra to independently put out all the bands that I've ever fucking done. Each band that I'm involved in outside of Pantera is a way for me to express and develop different outlets that are very much a part of me. With Pantera it's only one side of me. I love to write and create music, and the side bands are very different from Pantera. They also show the flexibility in me as a musician; Pantera's very important in my life, but there's many other things that keep this boy here content". After only three releases, Anselmo and Killjoy severed business ties, thus returning Anselmo's label to its original name, Housecore Records. Housecore is now actively releasing material by Anselmo and by bands he is producing and supporting.
House of Shock
Anselmo, together with Steve Joseph, Ross Karpelman and Jay Gracianette, started the House of Shock, a Halloween-themed attraction. Initially, it began in Jay Gracianette's backyard, but was later moved to a large warehouse outside New Orleans that has been converted into an interactive haunted house with 300+ volunteer workers. The attraction has raised money for the Children's Hospital of New Orleans, the Parish Police Bullet Proof Vest Fund, and the Greater New Orleans Riding Rehabilitation Center. Anselmo played the role of a part-time actor when his schedule permitted. Anselmo is no longer involved with the attraction.
John Kaplan photo essay
Anselmo was featured in the John Kaplan photo essay, 21, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. The photographer documented the lifestyles of 21-year-old Americans. Two pictures of Anselmo were included, one with a snake draped over his shoulders and the second as his head is being shaved to reveal a tattoo.
The Manson Family movie
Metal Grasshopper web series
Anselmo is currently involved in a YouTube comedy series with comedian Dave Hill, called Metal Grasshopper where he instructs Hill on how to be metal. As the title suggests, Anselmo plays the Keye Luke/Philip Ahn to Hill's David Carradine but with a much more humorous slant to it.
Anselmo has a wide range of musical influences from Classic Rock to Black Metal. He was mainly influenced by Black Sabbath, Black Flag, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Slayer, Hellhammer and Venom. He pays tribute to two of his favorite bands in the lyrics of the Pantera song "Goddamn Electric", singing "your trust is in whiskey and weed and Black Sabbath"; in the second verse, the lyric is tweaked to "whiskey and weed and Slayer". Anselmo states that his main vocal influence is Iron Maiden singer, Bruce Dickinson.
Anselmo is currently in a relationship with Kate Richardson, who also helps with the running of his record label, Housecore Records. Anselmo currently resides in a rural property in Louisiana. He keeps a number of animals, including dogs, cats, chickens and a variety of birds. Anselmo had a pet rottweiler named Dracula that died in 2009.
Anselmo owns an extensive collection of several thousand horror films and possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of horror films and horror culture. Anselmo has an interest in the sport of boxing. He owns hundreds of fight DVDs and used to take a boxing trainer on tour with him. He has written articles as a columnist for the Boxing Insider website. Anselmo is a New Orleans Saints fan. Anselmo has interviewed Saints player Jeremy Shockey and has helped to coach a youth team at the request of Saints team ambassador Michael Lewis during a visit to the teams practice facility.
On July 13, 1996, at the 'Coca-Cola Starplex' in Dallas, Texas, Anselmo went into cardiac arrest due to a heroin overdose after a show. Paramedics revived Anselmo and he issued a press release four days later saying, "I, Philip H. Anselmo...injected a lethal dose of heroin into my arm, and died for four to five minutes".
According to Anselmo, he had been suffering constant pain due to a back injury dating back to the mid-1990s. To ease the pain, he drank heavily, abused painkillers and muscle relaxants, and used heroin. The medication affected his onstage performances and caused slurred speech.
Since 2005, Anselmo has stopped using hard drugs, initially so that he could be cleared for surgery on his back.
On November 21, 2005, Anselmo underwent surgery to repair severe damage to his back caused by degenerative disc disease. The surgery was successful, and after several months of recuperation and rehabilitation Anselmo returned to recording and touring. Anselmo has stated that he still occasionally experiences pain due to the back injury but much less than prior to the surgery.
In early 2009, Anselmo underwent knee surgery. He made the following statement in regards to the injury:
"It was a semi-torn ACL [anterior cruciate ligament, one of the four major ligaments of the knee] and a semi-torn meniscus [a common knee injury]." Anselmo also stated: "With plans to do some jamming during the healing process, trust me, Down will return." Anselmo originally acquired the injury at a gig prior to the Monsters of Rock festival in England in 1994, after jumping from a speaker cabinet.
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- Noisy Mothers, ITV, Summer 1994