Phil Anselmo Has Been Off Hard Drugs ‘For 8 Years’

Phil Anselmo, the enigmatic frontman of Down and Pantera, recently spoke out to New York Hard Rock Examiner about this, that, and the other. In an excerpt, chronicled from Blabbermouth, you can start to understand some of the struggles with drugs and loss.

On the DOWN song “Nothing In Return”:

Philip: I was coming off some really tough years in my life. I went through the death of my guitar player, I went through Hurricane Katrina, and then I guess one of the biggest personal wars, besides Dimebag dying, was drug addiction. And chronic pain. Which really goes hand in hand, if you know anybody that suffers from chronic pain and whatnot. At that point, I had come clean, and now it’s 2013 and it’s been eight years for me off hard drugs, so that’s a great feeling. But “Nothing In Return” is about, basically, what you give, you’re gonna give back. And I have been the motherfucker on stage, out-of-my-mind drunk, on drugs, broken up inside, injured, feeling very vulnerable, and for me that’s an uncomfortable feeling. And I’ve said things over the microphone to thousands of people that I had no business fucking saying. Badmouthing other bands, badmouthing this, that, the other thing. And just coming off as a negative person, which I’m not at all. I’m very much a positive person, so when I came clean, I recognized all this, and there were some friends of mine that were still struggling at the time, and I kept really begging them, “Take the step. All you have to do is trust me, listen to me, we’ll get you off drugs, and all the bad anxiety that comes with it, the sickness that comes with detoxing and all that shit, it goes away. You can have your fucking life back, man, y’know?” Basically, that’s my message right there. You can have your fucking life back. Unfortunately, you can talk a blue streak, and talk is cheap when it comes to… once you’ve conquered something and you’re trying to tell someone else about it, they’re going through the tough time, it’s like talking to the brick wall. They’re not hearing you, really. And such is the case a lot of times, and really that’s what the song’s about. Failing, kinda. In my mission to straighten some people up. Because you can’t win every time. You can’t win every time.

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