Former PANTERA and current DOWN frontman Philip Anselmo was interviewed by Metal Hammer magazine at this year’s Download festival, which took place June 13-15 at Donington Park in Leicestershire, United Kingdom. You can now watch the chat below.
On what it’s like to perform PANTERA songs with the band’s former bassist, Rex Brown, again:
Anselmo: “To be back on stage with Rex is always a pleasure, always so much fun, because we love each other, we love each other so much. And we’ve been through so much together, because we stuck together during the hardest parts of life. We’ve both battled addictions together and come out just fine, apparently. And also, it goes without saying that the death of Dimebag [late PANTERA guitarist Darrell Abbott] was, and is, horrific… horrific. However, with the help and aid of my brother Rex, we see it through. Every year it gets harder and harder and harder, because we see bands that have been together for a long time playing great, great sets. And we’re sitting there always just thinking, ‘Man, if Dimebag were alive, we could be doing the same thing.’ And it’s a hard, hard thing to swallow… sometimes. Because, really, you’ve gotta put one foot in front of the other and go on with life and live and be productive. And I do shows and gigs and records with DOWN, and that’s very fulfilling, and we have a hardcore audience. And then I play with the ILLEGALS [Anselmo‘s solo band] and we do exactly what we feel like doing. And every show is different, every show there is a new wrinkle, every show there’s a new something or other, a revisit to former years that the crowd, you know, either can appreciate, living in our era, but we realize also that there are 20-year-old kids that completely missed PANTERA and SUPERJOINT [RITUAL] and all of this type of stuff and the whole experience. And really, to even use PANTERA and SUPERJOINT in the same sentence is blasphemy. They miss PANTERA and PANTERA was… We were a perfect storm at the right time, when people needed us, and we needed them. And we were the type of band that realized that we were zero without the audience support. So at the end of a tirade like this, I just always like to say, the fans are number one, fans are number one, and without them we’d be fucking nothing. And they remember. And they’ve taught their young ones. And the legend of PANTERA continues to grow and grow and grow. And it’s special. It’s special and fantastic.”
On the chances of a PANTERA “reunion,” possibly with Zakk Wylde filling in for Dimebag on guitar:
Anselmo: “The chances of a PANTERA reunion are interesting. There is many things to address, many things to go over on a personal level, many things to touch upon. Can we do those things wihout cooperation? Absolutely not. So, really, when it comes to these types of questions, I will say, when I know something, the rest of you fucking assholes will know something. And believe me, we know, and we feel, that pent-up ‘we need this,’ because those songs that we wrote are not ours anymore; they’re the people’s. It’s the people that know the songs. And if they wanna hear them again, why shouldn’t they? We’ll see.”
Dimebag‘s longtime girlfriend Rita Haney in 2011 called on ex-PANTERA drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott and Philip 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.
Haney told the producers of “Behind The Music Remastered: Pantera” that she forgave the singer after they found themselves unexpectedly face to face at a concert in California.