Interview: Joey Siler, the man behind the animated ‘Cooking Hostile with Phil Anselmo’

UPDATE 10.25.13: Here it is, Episode 1 of Cooking Hostile! Mike Muir is also up in this bitch!

[dropcap]P[/dropcap]arodies are pretty commonplace on the Internet and, let’s be honest, most of them suck. It takes something truly original to stand out these days, and Cooking Hostile with Phil Anselmo does just that. The two-and-a-half minute short debuted this past June, and quickly became a viral sensation on YouTube where it’s garnered more than half-million views.

The premise is completely off the wall: Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo has a cooking show. “We’re bringing cooking to a New Level!” the voiceover screams as a cartooned Anselmo chases a small pig across a stove with a chainsaw as Pantera’s “I’m Broken” plays in the background.

Then the short takes snippets of some of the band’s best known songs and changes the lyrics to ones that are more cooking-centric. For example, check out this verse set to “Domination” from Pantera’s major label debut Cowboys From Hell: “Black bean soup and the rice you will add in the end/This preparation’s for two, so call you a friend – time to cook the rolls!”

There’s also a play on titles like “Cemetery Gates” becoming “Cemetery Crepes.”

The brilliant mind behind Cooking Hostile with Phil Anselmo is Gainesville, Florida’s Joey Siler, who also fronts the Pantera tribute band Good Friends & A Bottle of Whiskey. The group provided all the music and, obviously, lyrics to the short. Tomorrow, a full, 10 minute episode will debut on YouTube. Vanyaland caught up with Siler after band practice yesterday and he talked about how he came up with the idea, Anselmo’s reaction, and what to expect from tomorrow‘s episode.

Michael Christopher: You’re obviously a huge Pantera fan — when did you get into the band?

Joey Siler: Back in 1994 when Far Beyond Driven came out, a friend of mine I was riding with put in the CD and I loved it and had to go out and purchase the album that week. A few weeks later I had the Vulgar Display of Power album and Pantera quickly became one of my favorite bands.

How did you come up with the idea to do Cooking Hostile?

I was just joking around at band practice after we got done jamming “5 Minutes Alone” and I told the guys, “What if Phil had his own cooking show and I changed the lyrics to ‘5 minutes on low?’” Everyone got a good laugh out of it. It was nothing more than a joke but I had recently got into doing animation as a hobby at the beginning of this year and had messed around with making a few animations and decided to come up with some ideas for the Cooking with Phil Anselmo video.

During the next week I picked a few Pantera songs and worked on changing the lyrics up and showed the guys and they thought it was hilarious so we laid down the tracks and I started working on the animation. The whole project was probably done in about four weeks.

Did you have any idea it would become this massive viral thing?

No, not at all. We thought Pantera fans would get a good laugh out of it but had no clue it would be this big.

Cooking Hostile

The short debuted in June but it’s taken this long to get a full, 10 minute episode together, which has to be a testament to how much work goes into it. Can you walk me through the process?

I can tell you I have much more respect for people that work in animation after working on this project. It’s very time consuming and I have real job with a 40-hour work week, so it all had to be done in my spare time. That’s the main reason it has taken so long. After I saw the interest in the first one I decided to take a lot more time on the next one and make it the best I could for what I have to work with.

As for the process, I start with writing out the lyrics to the song I want to parody first and then record the music and vocals. Then I usually sketch out the scene to give me a general idea to help with the animation process.

Phil said in an interview that it was, “Fucking hilarious, fucking fantastic,” and gave it, “two big thumbs up.” What was it like when you heard that?

It was just great to hear he wasn’t suing us! [laughs] But really, Phil seems to have a great sense of humor and it was awesome to just to know he had seen it and got a good laugh out of it. We couldn’t have asked for a better response.

The original short is playing at Phil’s Housecore Horror Film Festival tomorrow night in Austin. How did that come about?

Corey Mitchell, who created the Festival with Phil, actually contacted me on YouTube asking me if I would be interested in allowing the original short for Phil and his Film Festival. I’m honored to part of it.

Not to give it all away, but what can you tell us about the upcoming episode?

Well, Phil does get out of the kitchen in the next episode to do a little grocery shopping. There are also a few other musical guests that will make an appearance.

This is being dubbed as ‘Episode 1,’ leading us to hope for another. Do you see it happening?

I definitely have plenty of ideas to do another episode if this next one does well. So we will see what happens. The Food Network does lack one thing: metal! So maybe they will pick it up [laughs].

Let me hit you with a few quick ones on Pantera; what’s your favorite song and album?

“25 Years” off of Far Beyond Driven. I love the intensity of the end part to that song. As for favorite album I would have to say Vulgar Display of Power.

Hardest song to sing?

“Fucking Hostile” is a tough one. Definitely like to put that one towards the beginning of our set. Just recently added “Cemetery Gates” to our set and those last three, high “gates” can be hard to hit also.

Best time you’ve seen them live?

Got to see them live in Jacksonville, Florida back in ‘96 when The Great Southern Trendkill came out. They had the audio for “Suicide Note Pt. I” playing and then jumped right into playing “Suicide Note Pt. 2” to open up the set — great show.

On a scale of 1 to 10, one being weaker than Black Label Society deluded thinking that they are an actual biker gang and 10 being “Stronger Than All,” how big are you on the oft-talked about reunion with Zakk Wylde on guitar?

I would say a negative two. I’m sure some would not agree with me but I don’t think it would be a good idea. In my opinion without Dimebag it just wouldn’t be Pantera.

Pantera Band 2