Former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo’s band Down will release a six-song EP, now titled Down IV Part 1 The Purple EP, 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.