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Phil Anselmo on Long-Rumored Tapeworm Project: ‘It Was Really Just Two Songs’

Philip Anselmo
Jo Hale, Getty Images

Philip Anselmo has always had his hands in lots of metal pots over the years. From Pantera to Superjoint Ritual to Down to Christ Inversion to Arson Anthem, he has always kept busy. Years ago, he was part of what was rumored to be a supergroup of sorts called Tapeworm, featuring Trent Reznor and Tool‘s Maynard James Keenan. The fruits of that project’s labor never saw the light of day or delighted fan ears, despite considerable buzz. So, what is up with this long-gestating project and/or material, if anything?

Well, Anselmo cleared up some pervasive rumors about the nature of the group, telling Rolling Stone, “Actually, it was really me and Danny Lohner, who was in Nine Inch Nails at the time we did Tapeworm. Danny Lohner and I are still very tight, and we always talk about doing different projects together. I think he’s gearing up to lay a bunch of material on me in the near future.”

But what about Tapeworm? Turns out it was not really a full-fledged entity as much as it was a pair of songs called ‘Ignorant’ and ‘Be Kind to Them.’

Anselmo continued, “But with the Tapeworm, it was really just two songs. Danny had pre-programmed and did all of his magic that he does — which is really outstanding work — beforehand, and said, ‘Hey man, here’s the music. Write what you want.’ And these songs never saw the light of day.”

When asked why, the vocalist stated, “It was one of those things where schedules never met and it wasn’t a true possibility. We were both tied to different record labels at the time. It was just a logistics nightmare. Either way, it was and is very interesting music. I think there was one aggressive-type song, called ‘Ignorant.’ I’m not sure if I want people to hear it today or tomorrow, but in the next 10 years or so, I don’t mind if it’s heard.”

As for the other track, Anselmo explains, “There was another song called ‘Be Kind to Them,’ and that song was more atmospheric, more of a blues-type track. It would be Nine Inch Nails’ take on blues. It’s the type of thing where Danny — who is also a great producer — he’ll ask you to sing something 20 different ways, 20 different times. Then he’ll take it and run with it, and build what he wants out of it. Take certain textures and add them to vocals, and then the really beautiful orchestrations in the background.”

Whether he realizes it or not, Anselmo opened up a crazy can of worms. Who wouldn’t want to hear these tracks?

Next: Phil Anselmo Addresses Arson Anthem's Future

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