Phil Anselmo’s Guilty Pleasure Rock Band

We all have that one band, which is why we don’t want anyone to see our playlist. We mostly listen to them when we feel emotional or just sing along to their music in the shower — but a true metalhead shouldn’t enjoy other genres like pop, rap, and hip-hop, right? While many don’t believe this is true, some are still ashamed of listening to artists from other genres. As a result, these artists end up being their guilty pleasures.

Phil Anselmo is one of those metal icons with a stern appearance and an I-don’t-listen-to-anything-but-metal attitude. However, it turns out that he was also an ’80s rock fan in the early days of his music career. In a previous interview, Anselmo had frankly admitted that he liked listening to KISS and Van Halen. He then said he started hanging out with different crowds while growing up and discovered other names in the scene. Apparently, the Smiths and U2 were also among them.

However, there was also another British rock act Phil Anselmo loved that might surprise his fans. In a 2020 interview with Metal Hammer, the metal icon revealed that this band also inspired him and confused his teenage metalhead friends, as they didn’t understand why Anselmo listened to the band’s music. Still, the Pantera frontman wasn’t unapologetic for listening to his guilty pleasure band: the Cure.

In his conversation, Phil Anselmo admitted that the Cure wasn’t a band everyone immediately liked after listening, but he still loved them while leaving his social circle confused. Although some of his friends thought it didn’t make sense that Anselmo loved the Cure’s music, he didn’t feel any guilt about listening to the band. In fact, the singer revealed that most of them were open-minded enough to understand the reason why.

According to Phil Anselmo, his fans probably can’t hear an evident influence from the Cure and Robert Smith in his albums. However, he revealed that he had a vault of unreleased recordings that weren’t really similar to the band’s music but had the same mellow and atmospheric sound as the Cure. At the time of this interview, Anselmo was working on a side project called En Minor, which was influenced by the classic 1980s gothic rock period, and of course, the Cure.

Here is what Phil Anselmo said about the Cure:

“Like the Smiths, another band I love, the Cure isn’t a band for everyone, and certainly some of my teenage metalhead buddies back then were confused, to say the least, as to why I’d listen to them. But if they were supposed to be a guilty pleasure, I didn’t feel very guilty about listening to them. And most of my friends were open‑minded enough to understand why I would like them and what I could hear in them.”

He then continued, revealing he has some unreleased efforts inspired by the Cure’s atmospheric sound:

“People might not necessarily hear any direct influence from Robert Smith in the albums I’ve made, but I’ve been sitting on a great wealth of four-track recordings that the world has never heard, and I think I’ve made some music among them that, while not similar to The Cure, is in the same vein in terms of mellow, atmospheric music.”

So, Phil Anselmo likes to listen to the Cure’s music and feels no guilt about listening to them, although the band can be seen as his guilty pleasure rock band. Months after the Metal Hammer interview, Anselmo and his En Minor released a single and their first full-length album, titled ‘When the Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out.’ The album was a nod to the Cure’s music, as well as other artists like U2, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, the Birthday Party, and David Bowie.