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Phil Anselmo Talks Pointless Horror Remakes and Three Reasons Pantera Succeeded

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So with "Battalion of Zero," that's after the fall, starting from the ground up. There has to be some people who are also concerned about the lack of actual face-to-face talking in society. In this world of comment sections, there are a lot of supposedly brave-ass people who talk a lot of smack. For me it's a lot of chicken-shit, a lot of them. It's not educational at all; it's stunting people.

And "Bedroom Destroyer," it really goes hand in hand with the next track, "Bedridden." It's about me, being a procrastinating-ass motherfucker, knowing I have a thousand things to do and I don't know where to start. And it freezes me and I'm stuck in my fucking bed, smoking cigarettes, fucking around with computer, fucking around with lyrics, fucking around with anything but the task at hand.

It's really about me screaming at me. [Laughs] Once I get frustrated at myself, I say, "Here I am, I've turned into the bedroom destroyer and I want to strangle myself." But it's my fault.

The Housecore Horror Film Festival has a hardcore lineup of bands and films. When we started talking about it, I was like, "We could actually do this, since we have bands, like Housecore bands." I could also get some New Orleans and Dallas bands, so it seemed really doable and also smaller than it has turned out to be.

But once word got out that we were actually doing a horror fest, that's when directors and bands and people in the industry really started crawling out of the woodwork and began to offer their services. It was like, for a first year, overwhelming at times. We just want to make sure our i's are dotted and t's are crossed, and that everyone has a great time.

So as a big horror movie buff, what are some of the ultimate classics for you? Oh, now you're opening a can of worms. I love everything from silent black-and-white films to the later black-and-white films to the '70s, '80s, and some '90s. Some modern work is okay. But really my heart lies in '60s and '70s horror, whether it's American, Italian, or French. But to get specific, we could talk for two hours about just that.

Well I know you're not a fan of remakes, as you told me at the Golden God Awards. I hate them! They're terrible. We're in the generation of remakes. But on that same note, I can't lump all remakes together. Here's something that bothers me a little bit: Why did they call the latest The Thing The Thing? What they did was put together a really good prequel with what John Carpenter did with the original -- which I guess wasn't the original The Thing, that was a '50s film.

But my point is John Carpenter really made an excellent movie. What they should've done with this new one was [admit] that it was a prequel. I don't care how many articles or websites say that it is a prequel, it should be announced within the title, that somehow it is a prequel. I thought they did a great job with the story. And it ended the way the John Carpenter [version] began.

But for me, classics, you gotta look to Mario Bavo and all that atmospheric beautiful lighting. And to me, the older, really great character actors. Today, there's really no Boris Karloff, who was a master.

You know, people know him really only for Frankenstein and during that period, but if you saw the old Dark House, pretty much made directly after Frankenstein, the Karloff role is still equally as amazing as more than the butler. He's an incredible, incredible actor.

And guys like Henry Daniell and Christopher Lee, who's still with us. There's movies made in the late '60s and early '70s that get no credit at all, like House with the Laughing Windows. That one is fantastic. These are movies that I really want to turn people onto. I want people to see these fucking films, man.

I love turning people on to anything, be it music or horror or another passion of mine.

We get submissions from amateur or newer -- I don't really want to call them amateurs -- unknown directors would be a better call.. They aren't remaking anything or rehashing the same old paint-by-numbers Evil Dead-type -- fucking campers in the woods getting attacked by crazy rednecks, supernatural monsters. You know what I'm saying? It feels good to see these submissions, and I look forward to showing them.

Are you thinking of scoring any horror films or acting in any in the future? You've had interesting projects involved with horror. Honestly, I'm the type of guy that has absolutely zero aspiration to be an actor. Zero. Unless it's comedy or something like that; that I can wing off the fucking cuff. And I definitely do not want to direct a horror movie. I like to watch them, straight up. No directing.

You record a lot of bands in your home recording studio, Nodferatu's Lair. When I talked with Warbeast's Bruce Corbitt awhile back, he was telling me how much he learned from you, specifically all of the old-school techniques of doing your own echoes and delays and cupping his hand around his mouth to make each vocal sound a little different than the last. Do you stick with that old-school recording style, or do you have some favorite modern equipment as well? I'm an old-school guy, man. But you cannot ignore the modern ways of recording either. I've seen benefits in both. I definitely have a fucking great respect for recording on tape with Pantera, not to mention a lot of other bands I've been in -- Christ Inversion . . . God, I've been in so many fucking bands that have recorded on tape, it gets redundant. But still, I have no problem with today's modern technology.

You can use it to your advantage without completely going the digital route. You can mic your drums up very real style without triggers, and still get great drum sounds. As far as tones go on guitars or bass, I'm still old school with that too.

Also, I don't like to copy what has been already done. Each recording session is different and you learn something new each time. Even with vocals, like how Bruce mentioned. I don't like to leave it to pure effects. You can do things with a microphone that can sound tripped out with no effects at all.

I'm just passing along the knowledge that I have -- and I'm not saying it's the best or the worst; it's just my knowledge But I will continue to do it and expand. But I have an open mind when it comes to creating music man. Music is a vast motherfucking world.

Going back to Pantera days, what were the three biggest correct choices you made as a young adult that if you hadn't made, Pantera as we know it today would've never been a band? Well, honestly, a lot of hard work. I was in a band in New Orleans by the age of 13, and doing my first gigs. Eventually I got into a band with older guys . . . I was always the youngest guy, somehow. I'll put it like this: I used to come home from school, and practice Judas Priest's Unleash the Beast live record, and sing it a couple times over before my folks got home from work. And uh, all that practice just right there helped me mature quicker than some of my musician peers, and it showed.

Eventually with the band I was in, I was still in high school and we were doing gigs five nights a week, five one-hour sets a night. So really I did my homework on fucking stage, whether it was Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Slayer, Motorhead songs . . . It paid off in the end because it brought me flexibility. And this is really before black and death metal bands took off.

So when I first joined Pantera, it came about because we were playing the same circuit. I mean, New Orleans is only an hour from Dallas by airplane, so we were playing the same places really. We had always heard about Pantera because they were supposed to be "the band" that was going to be the next big band.

And we all knew about Dimebag being a great guitar player. Word got out that their lead singer of many years, Terry Glaze, left the band, and they needed a fucking singer. My name came up and they got in touch with me, and I went and tried out one night. We jammed, it was a brief but awesome experience. Four days later I'm back in New Orleans. Dimebag called me up and said, "What do you think?"

I asked, "About what?" He said they had a gig in Shreveport and asked if I wanted to come jam. So I said, "Let's do this." I had a tiny bag with a couple T-shirts and a couple pair of underwear and shorts, and that's about it. [Laughs] And I guess also some vinyl I tried to hang on to under my arm, man . . . And I flew to Dallas, and the rest is fucking history. For me, it took a lot of hard work way before I got into Pantera.

When I got to Pantera, they were going through a really gigantic rebuilding phase, you know? After Terry Glaze quit, they didn't stop. They had about five replacement singers, their crowd dwindled, and it was tough. Once again I was just another new singer to the area. So we really had to rebuild the fan base that Pantera had at a young age. They had really early success with Glaze.

Case in point: they sold out this place called the Bronco Bull back in the day, and it was over 1,500 to 2,000 people, which is a big achievement, especially considering I was just playing clubs in Louisiana that just held 50 fucking people. So to rebuild that fanbase was a challenge. And then also to reshape the band was an even bigger challenge. I had my idea of what heavy should be, and they had their idea of what heavy was. So, there was a lot of education between the four of us, and a lot of growing up between the four of us to even get to a point where we actually did destroy the myth of the club band.

And the club band back in the '80s was to dress and look like Motley Crue, or you don't have a gig. So for me, this was one of the toughest times of my fucking life, because I was playing that part and I fucking hated it, honestly.

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Lauren Wise has worked as a rock/heavy metal journalist for 15 years. She contributes to Noisey and LA Weekly, edits books, and drinks whiskey.
Contact: Lauren Wise