Former Pantera singer brings Illegal activity to Wooly’s

Published on July 29th, 2013 | by Joe Lawler

Singer for Pantera. That’s really all Phil Anselmo needs to put on his resume to display his importance to the metal scene. But he’s also done vocals for Down, Superjoint Ritual and recently started his first solo project. Phil Anselmo & The Illegals. He plays Wooly’s on Friday for only the band’s second show ever, and spent some time answering questions over the phone.

Q: Over the last decade you’ve performed with several bands. What made you decide to go solo on “Walk Through Exits Only”?

Really, to dispel the confusion, man. I didn’t want to start another band with a full time title or name or anything like that. The only thing I’m working on tangibly these days are Down and my solo stuff. I figured it was better to put my name on this one and keep the record straight.

Q: Did you find the creative process to be different working on the solo material versus other band stuff?

Well, I think  with  any record the creative process is always a little different. For this one the mere fact that when I sat down to write I was highly inspired and ended up writing every damn song from the ground up. I really stuck to that intensity. There was no deviation from that plan, no real variation until we got into the practice room.

I always knew who the guitar player would be, Marzi Montazeri. When I recorded the record I play up to his strong points and incorporated a lot of what he brings sonically to the music. Marzi brings a whole lot to the table and I wanted him to shine. I let him put his fingerprints on this thing. Normally I’m the type of guy that will I guess e a riff first guy. As a rule I usually sing against a riff, however on this record I found the rhythm within certain phrases and sang those directly on top of the riff. It felt right at the time.

Q: How did you start working Marzi?

I’ve known Marzi since the late 80s. He was introduced to me by Dimebag (murdered Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell). Dimebag always talked about Marzi being a bad ass guy. He was in Superjoint for a short period of time, but this is a far cry from Superjoint, riffing wise.

Q: (At the time of the interview) The tour hasn’t started yet, do you have any idea what the live show will be like?

I’m a no-frills type guy, always have been. It’s very realistic, just us and the band and the crowd, as it should be. My biggest thing is making sure each show has its own stamp of originality and is spontaneous. I like every show to be different. I expect every night to have its own flavor, so to speak.

Q: How will you be splitting your time between The Illegals and Down?

With The Illegals I’m looking at perhaps a fall run, after that I damn well know one of these final months of this year will be nose to the grindstone with new Down. The most encouraging thing I can say is we’ve done some pre-pre work on new stuff and have some awesome riffs int eh bag already. Once we’re really started it shouldn’t be too long before we’re doing another EP.

Phil Anselmo & The Illegals

With Author & Punisher, Warbeast and Green Death

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Wooly’s, 504 E. Locust St.

Cost: $25

Info: or

About the Author

Joe Lawler covers music and more for Juice Magazine. E-mail him at or follow his updates on Twitter @JoeLawler

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