Former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo said 2018 had been the best year of his life after having put his addiction issues behind him and undergoing back surgery.

He recalled how different he felt from the person who’d written last year's Phillp H. Anselmo & the Illegals album Choosing Mental Illness as a Virtue, and said there were better options than using opiates like he had in the past.

“I think this year, 2018, has been my favorite year I’ve ever lived, the best year I’ve ever lived,” Anselmo said in a Fantasm interview recorded in the fall but only recently uploaded. “I’ve had my second back surgery. I am fucking rid of the medical pill mill fucking industry. I am fucking clean as a whistle. I haven’t had a drink in almost three years. And I'm 50, and I feel better than I did at 30 and 40. I can hit 12 rounds on the fucking bag and a kayak up and down the river. And that's shit I would have never dreamed.”

You can listen to the interview below.

Discussing the material he’d previously written, he said he "was in a tremendously different place. … I think about the place I have been, which is absolutely a 30-year chronic pain sentence that came with every type of addiction in the world. And, man, the opiate creates such a falseness and such a failure of … It creates wrecked motivation.”

He added that “you are distraught, and it's for no damn good reason. There are alternatives out there that fucking work and work better. I suggest people look into it.”

In 2017, Anselmo reflected that he’d made his body “filthy with alcohol and dope for most of my life,” and that he’d stopped drinking. “My body feels like I woke up in a car wreck every day of my life anyway, so to put a hangover on top of it?" he reflected. "And the only thing that’s going to beat it is more booze? I’m defeated. All hail the hangover — the thing that knocked Phil Anselmo on his ass!”

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