Frontman Phil Anselmo and band plan to release four EPs of new music
Stream "Witchtripper" at RollingStone.com
Former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo's band Down will release a six-song EP, appropriately titled EP ONE, on September 18th. The first single, "Witchtripper," premiered exclusively here, finds a typically aggressive Anselmo vocal against a twisting, grinding musical backdrop.
Anselmo tells Rolling Stone that like the well-known Pantera songs "Fucking Hostile" and "Psycho Holiday," "Witchtripper" was a song title he had to be goaded into. "Somebody would suggest to me, 'Hey, man, that might make a killer song title.' And at the time I'm like, 'You're out of your fucking mind. There's no way I'm gonna call a song 'Witchtripper,'" he says.
But after digging the riff created by Down guitarist Pepper Keenan and drummer Jimmy Bower, Anselmo decided to give them what they wanted. "I was like, 'OK, check this out, you dicks. 'Witchtripper' you want, 'Witchtripper' you will get,'" he says. "I laid it on them, and sure enough, they were right – it worked, as usual. So there goes the genius of Phil Anselmo. Always doubting, and I'm the last one to get it," he adds, laughing.
EP ONE marks the first new music from the band since 2007's Down III: Over the Under. In the meantime Anselmo has kept himself plenty busy, touring, running his Housecore Records label and working on a solo album. As a result, he decided to let the Down music come organically.
"I have not really put too much pressure on myself with Down, and I think that's the best approach," he says. "Right now I'm looking forward to the public's consumption and letting them hear it. I'm not sure if it's gonna break any ground. I never put any expectation on any friggin' record I do," he says. "We didn't overanalyze anything. We just let the songs kind of unfold, and once it felt right, there was no reason to go back."
Going back to the title, EP ONE is apt because the group plans to release four EPs in total, with the second collection of songs due early next year, around the time of a planned U.S. tour. EPs three and four are scheduled for later in 2013. At least that's the plan, but don't hold Anselmo to that.
"The worst thing anyone could do is to count on Down for holding a bargain on timelines," he says. "All I can say is expect it. I'm sure it'll happen, we haven't let you down before."