EN MINOR, the "depression core" project of Philip Anselmo (PANTERA, DOWN), took part in a special livestream on November 25. The eight-camera, cinematic experience, which can be seen below, found the ensemble performing at the historic Orpheum Theater in New Orleans, Louisiana. Built in 1918, and opened for Vaudeville in 1921, the magnificent Beaux-Arts-style building went on to host silent movies, "talkies," live music, and much more. The auditorium is currently the home of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and is prized for its acoustical purity. The theater is an example of "vertical hall" construction, initially built to provide perfect sight lines and acoustics for Vaudeville shows which didn't have the benefit of amplifiers or modern lighting.
When the event was first announced, Anselmo said: "To play a beautiful room like The Orpheum with all my guys in this particular band, and for the rest of the world to be able to watch, is a dream come true. This is honestly a once-in-a-lifetime gig."
EN MINOR released its full-length debut, "When The Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out", in September via Housecore in the U.S. and Season Of Mist in Europe.
A project inadvertently in the making since Anselmo's earliest days as a child in the French Quarter, EN MINOR is an experimental and eclectic musical endeavor that finds the legendary frontman exploring a softer, graver vocal style, delivering brooding tales of pain, remorse, and sorrow. The band released a self-titled seven-inch EP this summer via Housecore Records, with a proper full-length to see official unveiling in the New Year.
"The initial strains — in the most primitive sense — came about when I was given my first guitar at nine-years old," relays Anselmo of the EN MINOR project. "I didn't have the patience to learn other people's music, so I wrote my own. And some of those early parts are still prevalent in the songs we're working with now. Fast forward to 1988 when I bought my first four-track recorder; those old songs took on a new life and newer songs were written. Heavy metal was at the forefront of my performance-based output, but these little four-track songs were always there. I always had an apprehension about allowing them to be heard though, because they were so different; only a small circle of close friends got to hear them."
By 1993, Anselmo moved back to his hometown of New Orleans and his home became an instant magnet for local musicians and artists. "At ungodly hours, these old four-track songs took on an even newer life jamming with these cats," he says. "We learned a few of the songs and wrote several more, and soon we were recording under the moniker BODY & BLOOD. We wrote more songs, all recorded on a newer model four-track. It was fun. We did it for the vibe. And it was pleasing to break away from multi-tracking studios and heavy metal. Metal music consumed most of our time and lives. Those 'B&B' sessions were damned-near therapeutic."
Without a clear plan for the band, the project remained a periodic therapy session. "We kept things simple and just jammed when everyone was home and played our recordings for friends," he says. "Then I eventually moved again, Hurricane Katrina hit, and life sent all of us in different directions."
In 2012, Anselmo met Stephen "Schteve" Taylor and EN MINOR truly took shape. "He and I began experimenting with some vibey stuff, and soon after began recording the sessions," Anselmo says. "This led to the current incarnation of EN MINOR. Together, we re-worked a few of the old four-track songs and wrote several new ones in short order. These sessions are hypnotic and pulling. And we continue to write songs suitable for this project to this day. Ugly and beautiful, EN MINOR, isn't 'party music.' This is 'kill the party music.'"
EN MINOR is:
Philip H Anselmo: Guitar, Vocals
Stephen Taylor: Guitar
Kevin Bond: Guitar
Steve Bernal: Cello
Jimmy Bower: Drums
Calvin Dover: Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Joiner Dover: Bass
Jose Gonzalez: Additional Percussion