Phil Anselmo in 2009

Philip Hansen "Phil" Anselmo (born June 30, 1968, in New Orleans, Louisiana) is an American musician who is best known as the frontman for the heavy metal band Pantera. He is currently the frontman for the Louisiana-based metal act Down. He is also the owner of Housecore Records.

Early Life in NOLAEdit

Anselmo grew up in the inner city of New Orleans. He attended Grace King High School located in Metairie. His father owns and operates a restaurant in Metairie called Anselmo's. Anselmo has a younger brother, Joseph Anselmo, and a half-sister, Mary Colclough, who was credited as a backup singer on the Southern Isolation EP. Anselmo has a pet rottweiler named Dracula.

Anselmo has said in various interviews that he was very quiet and secluded as a child. He spent some time working on fishing boats as a young man. During a 2002 Ozzfest interview with the radio show Opie and Anthony, Anselmo shared a story that, at the age of 15, he started a fire in his home to scare his sister but accidentally burned the house down in the process.

While a teenager, Anselmo joined the band Samhain (not to be confused with Glenn Danzig's band Samhain). From the early to mid '80s, Anselmo was a member of the band Razor White. While they did have some original material, they mainly played Judas Priest covers.

Career in MusicEdit



Anselmo in 1986

Pantera was an unsigned glam metal band, with three self-released albums to their name. In 1986 it was decided by the band to replace singer Terrence Lee, who was primarily a glam metal singer, because they were heading in a different direction musically. Seeking a new frontman to continue on this heavier path, the band was led to 19-year-old Anselmo. In 1987 after several meetings, Anselmo was added to the Pantera lineup. The band were so impressed with Anselmo that they re-recorded some of Terrence Lee's vocals for their latest release. Anselmo relocated to Texas to record Power Metal, which was released in 1988 on the band's own record label Metal Magic Records. Following the release of Power Metal, the band dropped its glam image and adopted a more casual look. The band was signed to a record label by a scout who was stranded due to a hurricane. The band saw the scout at the venue and were disheartened when he left mid-set. It turned out that the scout had left to phone the record label and to tell them to sign Pantera as soon as possible. Pantera recorded the album Cowboys From Hell in 1990, and a long tour began. The band documented portions of this tour on their first home video, Cowboys from Hell: The Videos, released in 1991.


Anselmo's signature look, circa 1992-1994

In 1992 Pantera recorded Vulgar Display of Power. That same year Pantera released a promo titled Hostile Mixes that contained four songs, three of which were remixes. The first two remixes were done by Justin K. Broadrick of Godflesh and the last was done by J. G. Thirlwell of Foetus. In 1994 Pantera released Far Beyond Driven, which debuted at #1. In late June Anselmo was charged with assault following an altercation with a security guard when fans were prevented from getting on stage. Anselmo was released on $5,000 bail the next day. The trial was delayed three times. In May 1995 he apologized in court, pleaded guilty to attempted assault, and was sentenced to 100 hours of community service.

In 1996 Pantera released their fourth studio album titled The Great Southern Trendkill. Anselmo recorded the vocal tracks for this album in New Orleans, while the other members of Pantera recorded in Texas. In 1997 Pantera released their first and only official live album titled Official Live: 101 Proof. This album contained two new tracks, "I Can't Hide" and "Where You Come From." In 2000 Pantera released their final studio album titled Reinventing The Steel. In 2003 Pantera released a best-of album titled The Best of Pantera: Far Beyond the Great Southern Cowboys' Vulgar Hits! (Reinventing Hell: The Best of Pantera in Europe). The album featured songs from all five studio albums, also including three cover tracks, "Planet Caravan" and "Hole In The Sky," written by Black Sabbath; and Cat Scratch Fever, written by Ted Nugent. A bonus DVD was also made, containing all the band's music videos. Later that year Pantera disbanded over communication problems and accusations that Anselmo had abandoned the band.

Following the breakup, Anselmo devoted much of his time to a longtime side project, Superjoint Ritual. Having heard this, the Abbott brothers (Dimebag & Vinnie) formed Damageplan with former Halford guitarist Pat Lachman on vocals and Bob Zilla on bass. Some fans blame Anselmo for the Pantera's disbandment, because of statements in the heavy metal press. Anselmo has accused journalists of twisting the facts, publishing what they think sells best. Also, the Abbotts publicly called Superjoint Ritual "Superarmdope Ritual." Pantera bassist Rex Brown, widely known as being the one neutral voice in the matter, has blamed both sides for the split.

After Vinnie Paul slammed Superjoint Ritual, saying Anselmo could not even keep his eyes open, Anselmo replied, "I just hear a big and sad yellowbelly crybaby fuckin' knowing that his meal ticket is in a different fuckin' band. ...You would have to know those guys to really understand where I was coming from, they're scared of their own fuckin' shadows. And, all that said, I wish them the best of fuckin' luck, I still love 'em." Anselmo had engaged in a war of words with Dimebag since the fall of Pantera, culminating in the statement "Dimebag deserves to be beaten severely" in the December 2004 edition of the UK's Metal Hammer magazine. Initially, he denied making the statement, but later changed his story in a VH1 Behind The Music special on Pantera, claiming that the comment had been lighthearted and made off the record. However, Vinnie Paul told the press that he had heard the audio files of the interview and that Anselmo had not been coerced by the Metal Hammer journalist into making the statement, nor had he been misquoted.

In December 2004 "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott was shot and killed while performing with Damageplan. In a 2010 interview with Metal Hammer magazine, Anselmo indicated that he was not turned away by the Abbott family as previously reported, but was worried his presence would have caused drama and thus did not attend. Anselmo said in the article that he regrets not attending, and that nobody would have objected.

In a lengthy and emotional video posted on the website community YouTube, Anselmo describes his regret over his previous behavior, and has written and recorded music dealing with the loss of Dimebag on the new Down record, Down III: Over the Under. The band has dedicated their song "Lifer" to Dimebag.


Down has been Anselmo's main recording and touring band since 2006.

Down is an American heavy metal band formed in 1991 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The band is a supergroup, its various lineups consisting of members and former members of Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar, Eyehategod and Kingdom of Sorrow.

Since its inception, Down has released three studio albums and has gone on hiatus twice to focus on the members' respective bands.

Other Musical ProjectsEdit

Arson AnthemEdit

Arson Anthem is a Southern hardcore punk project whose lineup is as follows: Mike Williams (vocals; Eyehategod), Phil Anselmo (guitar; Pantera, Down, Superjoint Ritual), Hank III (drums; solo, Assjack, Superjoint Ritual), and Collin Yeo (bass guitar).

After losing everything in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Mike Williams moved into Anselmo's spare apartment. The two spent countless hours listening to Phil’s collection of early hardcore bands. They began jamming with Hank III and Collin Yeo, who were united by their desire to have a hardcore/crust punk band of their own.


In 2001 a side project named Amicuss was listed on the website This band never came to fruition.

The information listed on the website read:

Amicuss, a black metal side project featuring Pantera front man Phil Anselmo, Amen vocalist Casey Chaos and Killjoy of Necrophagia, are rumored to be planning to hit the studio sometime this year with producer Ross Robinson (Korn, Slipknot) to record a full length album. Casey Chaos recently commented on the band stating that it may feature some members of Slipknot as well. Although unconfirmed at present, it seems that the member of Slipknot whom they may have in mind is band drummer Joey Jordison/#1. Meanwhile, Casey recently commented on what to expect from the album stating: "This is going to be a real violent release, just take all of the elements from black metal music and take it to the fullest extreme."

Christ InversionEdit

Christ Inversion was formed in 1994. The group was a short-lived blackened death metal project formed by Anselmo. Most of their lyrics were based on horror films and Satanism. The band recorded two demos and then disbanded without ever recording a full-length album. The first demo was renamed and re-released in 2004 by Funeral in Hell Records. The second demo is set for re-release on Anselmo's own Housecore Records in October 2008. On the band's MySpace profile, they describe their sound as "the venomous vomit of Satan!" and cite Venom, Celtic Frost, and Satan as influences.


The idea for Eibon was conceived in the summer of 1998, when Maniac (of Mayhem) and Killjoy (of Necrophagia) decided they wanted to work together. Soon after, Fenriz (of Darkthrone), Satyr (of Satyricon), and Anselmo joined, and the nucleus of the band was formed. Their MySpace page lists their influences as Venom, Celtic Frost, Bathory, Mercyful Fate, Slayer, and Possessed. Maniac soon left to focus on Mayhem, but the others continued to occasionally record. The band has since disbanded due to the tour schedules of their primary bands. Their unfinished album has been dubbed by fans as "Eibon - The greatest black metal album never released". In 2000 one complete track titled 'Mirror Soul Jesus' was released on the compilation album "Moonfog 2000: A Different Perspective," released by Moonfog Productions. Another track, simply called "Rough Mix," can be heard on their MySpace page.


Necrophagia was a death metal band formed in 1983 that went in to hiatus in 1987. In 1997 frontman Killjoy reformed the band with then-Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo (under the pseudonym Anton Crowley) on guitars, Wayne Fabra on drums and Dustin Havnen on bass. This lineup released the album Holocausto de la Morte and the EP Black Blood Vomitorium. Havnen was then replaced by Jared Faulk, with Gorelord frontman Frediablo also joining as a second guitarist, and Opal Enthroned (then Anselmo's wife) joining the band on keyboards. This lineup released the Cannibal Holocaust EP in 2001, before splitting up and leaving Killjoy & Frediablo as the only members for a short time.

Southern IsolationEdit

The band released one EP called Southern Isolation. It oringally contained four songs, but was later re-released with a fifth bonus track. The band consisted of Stephanie Opal Weinstein on vocals and guitars, Anselmo on vocals, backing vocals and guitars, "Big" Ross Karpelman (of Clearlight) on keyboards, and Sid Montz (of Crowbar) on drums.

One rare track called "Faded" has been credited to Southern Isolation on the Manson Family Soundtrack, which is due to be released on Anselmo's Housecore label.

Superjoint RitualEdit

Superjoint Ritual was a New Orleans metal band formed by Anselmo, Joe Fazzio, and Jimmy Bower in the early 1990s, later to be joined by Hank Williams III, and Kevin Bond. Their style can be considered a mix of groove metal and hardcore punk. Bands like Venom, Slayer, Celtic Frost, Voivod, and Darkthrone have also been noted as influences. The name Superjoint Ritual comes from a lyric in the Darkthrone song, "The Pagan Winter." According to Bower, Anselmo wrote 70-80% of the group's music.


Tapeworm is a defunct side project of Nine Inch Nails that existed in various forms from 1995 to roughly 2004. Tapeworm never released any recordings, but was frequently referenced in interviews. The band started as a side project between Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and live-band members Danny Lohner and Charlie Clouser. Over time the group expanded and evolved numerous times to include artists such as Maynard James Keenan, Atticus Ross, Alan Moulder and Phil Anselmo.

In 1999 Lohner reported that three tracks had been completed, and described the various materials featuring Anselmo as "heavy NIN-meets-Pantera" and "mellow Pink Floyd The Wall-type songs."

Viking CrownEdit

Christ Inversion was formed in 1994. The group was a short-lived blackened death metal project formed by Anselmo. Most of their lyrics were based on horror films and Satanism. The band recorded two demos and then disbanded without ever recording a full-length album. The first demo was renamed and re-released in 2004 by Funeral in Hell Records. The second demo is set for re-release on Anselmo's own Housecore Records in October 2008. On the band's MySpace profile, they describe their sound as "the venomous vomit of Satan!" and cite Venom, Celtic Frost, and Satan as influences.

Guest Work and CollaborationsEdit

In 1993 Anselmo produced Crowbar's self titled album and recorded backing vocals on some of the tracks.

In 1996 Anselmo recorded guitars on two songs ("Van Full Of Retards" and a cover of Manowar's "Gloves Of Metal") and contributed vocals/backing vocals on 18 songs for Anal Cunt's 40 More Reasons to Hate Us album.

In 1996 Anselmo recorded backing vocals for tracks on Crowbar's Broken Glass album.

Also in 1996, Anselmo provided vocals on Soilent Green's album Sewn Mouth Secrets. Although not credited, he is given thanks in the liner notes.

In 1998 Anthrax released the album Volume 8: The Threat Is Real. Anselmo provided backing vocals on track 8 ("Killing Box"). Also, his Pantera bandmate Dimebag Darrell played guitar solos on tracks 3 ("Inside Out") and 7 ("Born Again Idiot").

In 1998 Anselmo sang a duet ("By The River") on Vision of Disorder's Imprint album.

In 2000 Tony Iommi released a collaborative album with various well known vocalists. Initially, Anselmo was going to co-create an entire album with Iommi, but due to tour schedules it never happened. Anselmo managed, however, to lay down some tracks for Iommi's album. Iommi and Anselmo wrote and recorded three tracks together, "Time Is Mine," "The Bastard," and a third unknown track. Iommi picked "Time Is Mine" for the album. "The Bastard" was never officially released, but can be found online. The third unknown track is now highly sought after by fans of both artists.

In 2001 Anselmo provided vocals for "HFFK" on Biohazard's Uncivilization album.

On March 6, 2006, Anselmo made an appearance along with Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver bassist Duff McKagan and the surviving members of Alice in Chains at a VH1's Decades Rock Live concert, in honor of fellow Seattle musicians such as Alice in Chains' Layne Staley, Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, and Dimebag Darrell.

In 2008 Anselmo recorded vocals for the Mahakali album by Jarboe. The track is sparse musically, features a raw vocal delivery by Anselmo, and a short spoken-word segment.

Other EndeavorsEdit

Housecore Records and Anton Crowley personaEdit

Anselmo started his own record label called Housecore Records, to release material by his many side projects and from other bands he supported. Anselmo used the name Anton Crowley for many of these projects, it comes from 'Aleister Crowley' (British occultist) and 'Anton LaVey' (Founder and High Priest of the Church of Satan). For a time Housecore was merged with Baphomet Records, owned by Philip's friend and ex bandmate Killjoy of Necrophagia, to form Baphomet/Housecore Records. They have since split.

House of ShockEdit

Anselmo, together with Steve Joseph, Ross Karpelman and Jay Gracianette, started the House of Shock, a Halloween-themed attraction. Initially, it began in Jay Gracianette's backyard, but was later moved to a large warehouse outside New Orleans that has been converted into an interactive haunted house with 300+ volunteer workers. Anselmo plays the role of a part-time actor when his schedule permits.

John Kaplan photo essayEdit

Anselmo was featured in the John Kaplan photo essay, 21, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. The photographer documented the lifestyles of 21-year-old Americans. Two pictures of Anselmo were included, one with a snake draped over his shoulders and the second as his head is being shaved to reveal a tattoo.

The Manson Family movieEdit

Anselmo can be heard in the Jim Van Bebber movie The Manson Family as the voice of Satan. The soundtrack for this movie also contains music from several of Anselmo's bands.

Accusations of racismEdit

Since the mid-90s Anselmo has occasionally been accused of being racist, an accusation that he has denied on numerous occasions.

During a Pantera concert in 1995 at the Montreal Verdun Auditorium, Anselmo gave a speech during a break in the performance. During this speech, Anselmo stated that Pantera was not a racist band, but security personnel and some people who attended the performance found parts of what Anselmo said to be racist.

Personal LifeEdit


Anselmo owns an extensive collection of several thousand horror films and possesses an encylopedic knowledge of horror films and horror culture. Anselmo has an interest in the sport of boxing. He owns hundreds of fight DVDs and used to take a boxing trainer on tour with him. He has written articles as a columnist for the Boxing Insider website. Anselmo is a New Orleans Saints fan.

Heroin overdoseEdit

On July 13, 1996, at the 'Coca-Cola Starplex' in Dallas, Texas, Anselmo went into cardiac arrest due to a heroin overdose after a show. Paramedics revived Anselmo and he issued a press release four days later saying, "I, Philip H. Anselmo...injected a lethal dose of heroin into my arm, and died for four to five minutes".

Anselmo spoke candidly about his past heroin addiction, drug use, and the consequences of Pantera's heavy drinking, during a talk at Loyola University New Orleans in 2009.

Marriage to Stephanie WeinsteinEdit

On October 31, 2001, Philip married his longtime girlfriend Stephanie Opal Weinstein. That same year they created an acoustic band called Southern Isolation. Anselmo and Weinstein divorced in 2004. Later that year Weinstein auctioned off some items that were given to her by Anselmo during their relationship. The comment on Ebay for the items said, "To all of you who question my motives for putting items on eBay — RELAX — these are things that will mean more to you than me. I simply am keeping those possessions and memories that I wanted. There's nothing more to it. Thanks & enjoy!".

Back surgeryEdit

On November 21, 2005, Anselmo underwent surgery to repair several damaged disks in his lower back. The surgery was successful, and after several months of recuperation and rehabilitation Anselmo returned to recording and touring.

According to Anselmo, he had been suffering constant pain due to this injury dating back to the mid-1990s, and the medication he took to lessen the pain caused his slurred speech.

Anselmo has stated that he still occasionally experiences pain due to the back injury but is in much less pain than he was prior to the surgery.

Knee surgeryEdit

In early 2009 Anselmo underwent knee surgery. He made the following statement in regards to the injury:

"It was a semi-torn ACL [anterior cruciate ligament, one of the four major ligaments of the knee] and a semi-torn meniscus [a common knee injury]." Anselmo also stated: "With plans to do some jamming during the healing process, trust me, Down will return."

Musical InfluencesEdit

Anselmo was mainly influenced by Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and Slayer. He pays tribute to two of his favorite bands in the lyrics of the Pantera song "Goddamn Electric", singing "your trust is in whiskey and weed and Black Sabbath;" in the second verse, the lyric is tweaked to "whiskey and weed and Slayer." He is also a fan of The Smiths, whose song of the same name inspired the title for the Pantera song Cemetery Gates. He stated in Rolling Stone magazine, "I adore [the Smiths]: the honesty and great songwriting, and everybody in the band is just a badass."