Phil Anselmo Says Getting Off Hard Drugs Has Helped Him as a Performer and a Person
Things are going great for Phil Anselmo at the moment, as he is touring with his band Down, heading up his Housecore Records label and preparing for his first solo album. But there was a time not long ago where the quantity and quality of the work he's currently doing would likely not have been possible.
The legendary Pantera singer tells the New York Hard Rock Examiner, "It's been eight years for me off hard drugs, so that's a great feeling." Anselmo says the Down song 'Nothing in Return' is based off of his experiences with sobriety and adds, "It's basically about what you give, you're gonna give back. And I have been the motherf---er onstage, out of my mind drunk, on drugs, broken up inside, injured, feeling very vulnerable, and for me that's an uncomfortable feeling. And I've said things over the microphone to thousands of people that I had no business f---ing saying -- badmouthing other bands, badmouthing this, that and the other thing -- and just coming off as a negative person, which I'm not at all."
The vocalist says that his positivity began to shine through as he got sober and he began to realize he could help other friends who were struggling with their own addictions. He recalls, "I kept really begging them, 'Take the step. All you have to do is trust me. Listen to me. We'll get you off drugs and all the bad anxiety that comes with it, the sickness that comes from detoxing and all that s---, it goes away. You can have your f---ing life back man, you know?'"
While that's his message in general to those dealing with addiction, Anselmo knows that sometimes getting his words to connect is not the easiest thing to do. He adds, "Once you've conquered something and you're trying to tell someone else about it, they're going through the tough time, it's like talking to the brick wall. They're not hearing you really, and such is the case a lot of times … You can't win every time."