PHILIP ANSELMO Doesn't Regret Quitting High School: 'There Was Nothing More For Me To Learn'

July 3, 2014

Niclas Müller-Hansen of recently conducted an interview with former PANTERA and current DOWN singer Philip Anselmo. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. You quit school in 12th grade. Have you ever regretted not getting an education?

Phil: No, there was nothing more for me to learn. I was advanced because I was smart when I applied myself and I had four credits left, which meant I could get there early in the day and leave at noon. The credits were two PEs, mythology, which I adore and love and wish I would've studied more of and geometry. I had a terrible teacher in geometry. She hated me, I fucking hated her and it was like a makeup class. I was doing, at the time, four or five a week gigs at night and getting home at six in the fucking morning, so for me, my homework was on stage. Don't get me wrong — there are certain subjects, like history and mythology, that I wished I had applied myself more and had a better foundation. I enjoy history especially and literary works that you still read. If you look at the fucking Bible and the way it's written, it's very powerful. The text and certain use of antiquate and archaic language is powerful and I love it! I'm a wordsmith, so it's intriguing. Were your parents okay with you quitting school?

Phil: They hated it! They fucking hated it! I remember I came home and said, "I'm fucking quitting school!" and on the very next day my mom was on her way to work and she leans in my doorway and says, "This is the saddest day of my life." My stepfather kicked my door in and goes, "You better start looking for a job if you're not gonna go to school!" I fucking had a job; I played gigs. I was making zero money, but I was, like, "Have a little faith in me, will ya!" She doesn't complain too much now that I've bought her a house with a pool and a car. I can understand it though. "Hey mom, I'm gonna be a rock star!" and she's like "No, you're not." [Laughs] After all the stuff you've been through and experienced, if you had a chance to go back in time and give some advice to your younger self when you quit school to become a rock and roller, what would it be?

Phil: I would say, knowing what I know now, stay off the drinking. Quit fucking drinking so much and take better care of your body. Make sure your core is strong, keep your back strong, because you don't wanna go through what you went through when you injured yourself and made every rookie mistake in the book with drugs, escapism and all of that. You don't play music, initially, to get chicks and drugs. You do it because you love music. That's the big reminder. I would definitely say. Do it for the love of music and everything else will fall in line eventually, or not. Take the chance, be a lifer, or at least grind it out till you find out.

Read the entire interview at

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