Down frontman reflects on his own attitude as he condemns doomsayers who’ve been predicting the death of metal for decades

Phil Anselmo

Down, not out: Anselmo

Phil Anselmo has reached a point in his life where he’d rather have friends than enemies, he reflects.

And that attitude appears in the lyrics he’s written for Down’s upcoming EP.

But he takes time to fire back at negative voices who have been predicting the end of heavy metal music since before he rose to the big-time with Pantera in the 1990s.

Anselmo says of his words on the six-track release: “I write to basically give an outline, and let the listener garner for themselves how they want to apply their own rules and regulations to the track.

“I find one of the biggest realities of life is that no two men, no two cultures, no two belief systems are really the same. There’s a lot lyrically where I’m kind of at odds with mankind’s relationship with mankind.

“Such is history – but these days, instead of ruffling feathers, I’d rather have friends than enemies, any day.

“It’s easy to make an enemy. It’s easy to be negative. It’s easy to slip into that but it’s tough to come with love.”

Anselmo blames what he calls “thug-worship” for many of the violent crimes he sees around him today, adding: “It makes me wonder: what the fuck are those people thinking? You take somebody’s life, you’re 16 years old and you’re fucked. I guess when I sat down to write this record, that’s where my head was at.”

One group of people who find it easy to be negative are those who continue to say metal music is doomed, Anselmo says.

“We’ve been hearing metal is dying for about 20 years. When I was in Pantera, heavy metal was dead. ‘There’s this new brand of music called nu metal that’s gonna take over the world’ – ha! Look what happened.

“Heavy metal is never fucking dead, man. I would take a lo-fi fucking rough-shit recorded of a great band over some over-produced sleek fucking product that sells a million any fucking day at this point in my life.”

Down haven’t yet named the EP but have confirmed the titles of its tracks: Levitation, Witchtripper, The Misfortune Teller, The Curse Is a Lie, Open Coffins, This Work is Timeless.

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