Former PANTERA and current DOWN singer Philip Anselmo spoke to Artisan News about what is has been like joining Revolver Golden Gods tourmates BLACK LABEL SOCIETY on stage at the last couple of shows to perform the PANTERA classic “I’m Broken” as an encore.
“It’s like a special-occasion type of thing, you know?!” Anselmo said.
“Being in throat for DOWN is a whole different thing than PANTERA, so it’s, like…. Ahhhh….
“I wish I could do it every night, but… I can’t. Alright, alright, alright… I would have to go to bed real early… I’m not doing myself any favors either chain smoking, so…
“[Zakk and I have] been talking about it. We talked about it a few weeks before the tour. He’s, like, ‘Phil, which one you wanna do, bro?’ And I’m, like, ‘I’ll let you decide there, Zachary.’ But I heard them soundchecking, and I knew what they were working on, and it was a pleasure jumping up there.
“Zakk, if he ain’t one of the damn nicest motherfuckers in this rock and roll business, I don’t know who is.”
During a September 2013 interview with Artisan News, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY mainman Zakk Wylde was asked about the possibility of a hypothetical PANTERA reunion with him filling in for the late “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott on guitar. “It’d be up to [former PANTERA members] Vinnie [Paul Abbott, drums], Phil and Rex [Brown, bass] — they’re the guys that make everything happen,” he said. “So if they were all gonna do it and honor Dimebag and [if they said to me], ‘Zakk, would you wanna honor Dime and do Dime‘s parts?’ Of course, I was a pallbearer for him — I laid him to rest — so, of course, I’d say, it would be a beautiful way to honor him and stuff like that. And to celebrate all things PANTERA and what they achieved. ‘Cause they changed the game, as far as extreme metal goes. I mean, they’re the kings of it. But it’s up to the fellows. Then it would just be me woodsheddin’ 25-8, learning all of Dime‘s parts, you know what I mean?! Yeah, but like I said, as far as I’m concerned, it would just be honoring Dime. Like with the Yankees, you honor… everybody’s wearing Thurman Munson‘s ’15’ for that day, just because we’re honoring Thurman‘s greatness. So it’s the same thing, man.”
Asked about the likelihood of a PANTERA “reunion” with Wylde filling in for Dimebag, Vinnie Paul told the Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas radio station 97.1 The Eagle Rocks in March 2012: “I spent two hours with Zakk, sitting down — a really great talk about… [Zakk] calls [Dimebag] ‘the old man.’ I mean, [Zakk] and my brother were so tight. If [a PANTERA reformation] ever were to happen, [Zakk] would be the guy [to step in for Dimebag]. But I honestly think, out of respect for my brother, we should just leave the 14 amazing years PANTERA had be. We’re all happy doing our own thing. We have to continue living and do other things.”
Dimebag‘s longtime girlfriend Rita Haney in 2011 called on Vinnie and Anselmo to settle their differences in honor of Dimebag, who was shot and killed by a crazed gunman while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at a Columbus, Ohio rock club in December 2004.
Vinnie, who is Dimebag‘s brother, and Anselmo have not spoken since PANTERA split in 2003. But the relationship got even more acrimonious when Vinnie indirectly blamed Philip for Dimebag‘s death, suggesting that some remarks the vocalist had made about Dimebag in print just weeks earlier might have incited Dimebag‘s killer.
Speaking to Fuse News, Anselmo said about the possibility of a PANTERA reunion with Wylde filling in for Dimebag: “For me, really, I think it would mean a lot for Rex and Vince and myself to sit down and, I guess, bury the hatchet where we can be on more friendly terms. And, you know, I think it would mean a lot to the fans.”
He added: “Without Vince, there’s not any PANTERA reunion at all; it’s useless. But he damn well knows my door’s wide open. He needs to bust out the keys and unlock his, man. I’m waiting, but I’m not holding my breath.”
“I’m Broken” performance featuring BLACK LABEL SOCIETY and Philip Anselmo – May 10 at Best Buy Theater in New York City: