In an interview last week for Radio.com’s “Inside Out” series, former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo spends nearly six minutes explaining why you should listen to Manchester indie legends the Smiths. The veteran metal screamer, currently fronting Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals after more than 20 years with rock supergroup Down, affectionately details his favorite Smiths tracks and says the band should appeal to heavy metalers.
“They’re heavy in their own way,” he says. “I always say extreme music comes in all genres. They are an extreme band in the same way the Beatles were extreme, or Queen was extreme. The Smiths should be held in that lofty position as well.”
He adds: “You think you know depression, grimness and self-loathing? Listen to Morrissey!”
Anselmo praises Mozzer’s lyrical androgyny, originality, and ability to write about bleakness “with an edge of humor.” He also calls Johnny Marr a “genius” and an “insane guitar player.”
He even draws the comparison between the Smiths’ “Cemetery Gates” and the 1990 Pantera classic of the same title.
One song he can’t get down with, however? “Frankly Mr. Shankly,” of The Queen Is Dead. Then again, he says, “the Beatles had Octopus’ Garden.'”