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Phil Anselmo forming coherent sentences again

Phil Anselmo (viad douglas_bicicleta/Flickr)

There was a while when I thought that Phil Anselmo was done. I saw him playing with Superjoint Ritual a few years ago and dude was not in good shape. He looked bloated, was clearly fucked up and was spewing a whole lotta racism between songs. It's no secret that he thinks very highly of himself. And yet, from the looks of a recent appearance he made at Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana during a question and answer session it's clear that he may have changed. He looked good, seemed alert, made some jokes and spoke really fuckin' candidly about his past additions. Blabbermouth transcribed a bunch of quotes. Here is the most striking one:

"That's a tough question right there. Once you close the door and slide that needle in, heroin is the great controller of all — every single goddamn thing you do. The way you sleep, the way you wake up in the morning and your hands reach over pathetically to get your first fix of the day, which gets you out of bed. As a matter of fact, heroin, in a nutshell… When I say it controls everything, I mean everything. People think painkillers and things like that are only numbing out pain?! You take them for long enough, they start numbing out your emotion, man. And once your emotion is numbed out, then you are controlled. It's got you. It's the most important thing in your life, whether it be this tiny little pill or this funny dust. And you're trading your family, your brothers and your sisters, the brothers and sisters you call friends on the street — lifelong friends — you'll stab them in the back, you'll break their hearts, and you won't even know it."

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"You're not getting high anymore. It's fear that controls you. Because once you start chasing your own tail… There's two points here. Especially as a musician, once you start something — a band; something that's from your heart, something that's organic, from you — and I was lucky enough to have this success… I don't know about luck; I broke my back for what I believed in. I bled for my music, man. But heroin… when I say it controls all, I wasn't singing anymore about levels of confidence and power and walking and all these songs of positivity, I was singing about dope. It even comes out in your lyrics, man; it comes out in your music. You go back and listen to it, and it's like, 'Oh, my God.' You lost yourself. Yup, you sure did. You chase your tail. It's fear. The junkie fears the sickness, the illness, 'cause dope-sick ain't fun, bro. It's miserable. And the only thing that cleans it up and fixes it up is more dope. Unless you are genius enough — like I was — to start taking methadone. Once you start taking methadone, it's over for 90 percent of people. They live their lives to wake up at 9 a.m., go to the methadone clinic, their dose and go on about their lives. What happens when [hurricane] Katrina hits and then methadone clinics were closed? I'll tell you what happens. You go into the worst detox — crippling detox… I had a friend of mine who was thrown in jail during Katrina, and he was on… whatever milligram… It doesn't matter how many milligrams you're on; you're on it. He had to detox in jail, and he was so goddamn pathetic, they had to throw him in the hole by himself — take him out of the populace. The only way I can describe coming off methadone is falling from a 50-story building every three minutes of your life. Every three minutes of your life is terrifying. That's why people can't come off. You get me? It's fear. . . Once you start chasing your tail, no matter how great you were, how great you are, or whatever you think… it don't matter what the magazines say, it don't matter what your fans say; it matters what's going on with you. There's two points: high and sick. High and sick. What happens in between? Huh? Fucking zero. Zero. Lest you're out on the road, like me, and you've gotta get up in front of 20,000 people and make a rolicking ass of yourself. And get judged in print — your whole life. Microcosm in some crappy, glossy-page metal magazine. That ain't no epitaph, bro. That ain't no epitaph, ladies and gents. No way."

Here is the entire interview in video format. If you're too lazy to watch, check out Blabbermouth transcription's of the meatier parts of it. Also, don't forget, Phil and his crew in Down have announced a Fall tour with the Melvins.

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