Fuck … Fuck … FUCK! OK, I am a nervous freakin’ wreck. I have interviewed Chuck Billy of Testament, Don Tardy of Obituary, and Richard Christie of Charred Walls of the Damned, but now I am about to talk with Bill Moseley and Phil Anselmo.
Bill Moseley. Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, House of 1,000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects, Repo: The Genetic Opera, The Devil’s Carnival – he is one of the most kickass horror actors in the business today. And, Phil Anselmo. Really? If you read SkullsnBones.com, you know who the hell he is. He is the high-water mark of metal vocalists against whom all others will be judged, the pure definition of heavy metal badassedness, and, well, there’s Pantera. ‘Nuff said.
Anyway, Bill and Phil have recently released a ridiculously great new EP entitled Songs of Darkness and Despair. It is five songs of pure, twisted amazing-ness. Moseley takes on vocals and is the lyricist, and Anselmo wrote the tunes and lined up the ridiculous talent that plays on it, including “Squizzy“ from King Parrot, and Kevin Bond and “Blue” Gonzalez from Superjoint. And then Anselmo and his maniacal mind mixed it all into this spectacular, spooky soundtrack to an imaginary western film directed by Guillermo del Toro on LSD.
Bill Moseley: Hey, man, how’s it going?
Phil Anselmo: What’s up, brother?
Before we start talking about Songs of Darkness and Despair, I have to say it was cool to realize that I have a couple of things in common with both of you. Bill, I know you went to Yale, and I spent the last 10 years living in New Haven. And, Phil, I left Connecticut to move to New Orleans, which just so happens to be your stomping grounds. (The next six minutes were filled with the three of us listing addresses and pizza places we all like. Very cool to find out that I live in Phil’s old neighborhood here in the Marigny.)
So, congrats on the new EP. I have to say, the response has been very positive over all online.
Moseley: Thanks. Yeah, that does mean a lot to us. I had written these lyrics and sent them to Phil and said, “Do you think (you) can do anything with these,” and I think he knocked it out of the ball park musically.
Anselmo: The truth is, Bill had written such awesome lyrics. I just knew that they had to have some killer tracks behind them.
For me, the songs have a very cool Tom Waits/Nick Cave/Captain Beefheart feel to them. Not exactly what someone would expect from you, Phil.
Anselmo: Well, I think the lyrics pretty much dictated the music that needed to play behind them, if you know what I mean. Who knew this guy could sing, God damn it!
Well, for anyone who’s seen Repo: The Genetic Opera, you know that not only can Bill sing, but he’s pretty damned good at it.
Moseley: Thanks. That means a lot.
Did you feel a lot of pressure, Phil, for really only having three days to get this project recorded?
Anselmo: Well, I have to give all props to Stephen “The Big Man” Berrigan! he was the brains behind it all and was the one person that made this all come together.
Not to mention the great talent that you got to play on it. “Squizzy” from King Parrot. Kevin and “Blue” from Superjoint.
Anselmo: Yeah, man! I swear “Squizzy” came in after a monstrous night out partying and laid it down perfectly. There are times even now when I go back and listen to it and I can’t remember who played what guitar solo.
Any chance of live dates?
Moseley: Yeah, we’ve talked about it possibly happening if we can get everything aligned right with everyone’s schedules.
Well, you know… You have Kevin and “Blue” already. Sounds like this would be a great opening act for Superjoint.
Anselmo: Hmm …. you know I never realized that. That’s a pretty interesting idea, brother.
Thanks for the time, gentlemen. It’s been both an honor and a pleasure.
Anselmo: No, man. Thank you.
Moseley: Thank you very much. We appreciate you taking the time to talk to us about something we loved doing.