Former PANTERA and current DOWN/SUPERJOINT frontman Phil Anselmo spoke to the “If I Ruled The World” podcast about the title of the sophomore album from his PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS project, “Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue”, and how it relates to his his physical and mental state at the age of 50.
He said (hear audio below): “Speaking from my own experience, in my youngest, strongest body, I ruptured a lower disc at about the age of 24, and just up to this past January, I’ve been at war with it. So chronic pain meets every medication that you can get from a doctor or not, I’ve done ’em all. So that has been a battle, man. And if you mix the chronic pain and the Hydrocodone, which is another catalyst for another drug, which would be Xanax — it commonly goes hand in hand — that is a toxic brew in the brain, man. So it’s a war. And I’ve gotta say now — shoot, man, I am nine months clean and I haven’t had a drink in almost three years. Man, I’m feeling better and better.”
Anselmo said that being sober for his 50th birthday on June 30 made it a far more enjoyable experience than some of his previous birthdays.
“My 50th was better than my 30th and 40th by lightyears, man,” he said. “Just peace of mind and knowing I wasn’t gonna wake up the next day with a hangover — that’s a good feeling, man, every day.”
Philip also talked about the challenges in overcoming the physical ailments he has suffered from as a result of the damage to his back, neck, and knees sustained over two decades of touring.
“It is hard work and dedication to get back to a physical point that you’re happy with,” he said. “But, man, I’m down to 175 [pounds] from 220 a year ago. 175 — I’m light heavyweight right now, man. I’ve been kayaking and rocking the bag for 12 rounds. So I can do all that, man. So I know I just know that the physical part is… I know it’s a battle and all that, but it’s also doable.”