Phil Anselmo: I can’t let go of music, nor should I. I’m playing guitar with Arson Anthem and our second album will be out this year, sometime in early June. The record is called Insecurity Notoriety. Mike (Williams) from Eyehategod sings and Hank III plays drums. Arson Anthem is something I love to do. I love playing guitar and writing guitar parts and I need to keep jamming. I’ve got a fire in my belly. By the end of the year, Down might be writing new stuff. I see many things in the future and it’s good to have things to look forward to.
Have your vinyl sales accounted for a significant part of your business?
Yes, and I’m glad. I would print vinyl anyway, but vinyl sales are up. The fact that kids want tangible, collectible items in their hands is a good feeling. It’s a world where you can go download free music, that mentality is strong. But there’s nothing like just holding on to a copy of a record. I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, but when my generation was growing up I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a record.
Several of the bands on your roster appeared on the soundtrack of cult horror filmmaker Jim Van Bebber’s film The Manson Family. I know Van Bebber accompanied Down on a European tour to film a DVD. What is the status of that project?
That’s been put on and off for so long. There are a lot of mixed emotions. I think what Down wanted to capture through Jim’s lens was our comeback as a band. I had just gone through back surgery and that was a personal triumph, to get back there six months out. As far as I know the deal (for the film) is not complete.
Can you see your label collaborating with Van Bebber on any future projects?
That’s tough to say. I just finished The Manson Family soundtrack. But Jim gets pulled in a lot of different directions and so do I. We’ve wanted to put it (the record) out for a while. I’m very happy with it. Hopefully it will be out on Housecore in late August or the first day of September.
A lot had been written this year about the fifth anniversary of Dime’s passing. Is it difficult to revisit what’s one of the most difficult experiences of your life?
Each year gets harder. This was a very tough year and a very tough December. When an artist dies that means so much to people he doesn’t go away. You still hear about Elvis. We hear about Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Layne Staley. The list is long and it’s a sad one. It is hard for me? I respect the love. I know I will never have another person like this in my life…Dimebag Darrell. To know that there is no tomorrow with him in it is crushing. He was a man of the world and a man of the people. He was very real, very vibrant.
So it get tougher every year. I keep my Pantera and Dimebag to me. That’s Phil’s stuff. I have so many recordings that the world will never hear…well, I can’t say ever. I have recordings of us doing the most ridiculous things. Traditional thinking would be to shrink wrap it and sell it, but Housecore is a new chapter, a new page.