In a brand new interview with Loudwire.com, former PANTERA and current DOWN frontman Philip Anselmo was asked if he had any communication with ex-PANTERA drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott while they were both working on the PANTERA 20th-anniversary reissues and taking care of other PANTERA business in the years following the murder of the band’s guitarist, and Vinnie‘s brother, “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott. “I still speak with [bassist] Rex [Brown],” he said. “The Vince thing is unfortunate. I cannot judge where Vinnie‘s head is at. Anyone who witnessed their own brother being shot to death in front of them, you cannot … I will not judge him or his frame of mind. I deal with it. I cannot and will not lay in this past. I have to move on. Like we all do, for the health of our own minds. Either way, I will not judge Vince. But to answer this question, this lady [business manager] is the go between for all of us. The only time me and Vince are in close proximity is through joint e-mails. We all get the same e-mail regarding what will be on re-release, this and that, we all give our opinions and she takes it from there. That’s as close as I get to Vince, but Rex and I are still close.”
On the topic of Dimebag and where Philip‘s head and his heart are nearly eight years after te guitarist’s death, Anselmo said. “I probably think about him every friggin’ day. Music is music is music, but he was a gigantic part of my growth as a musician and a part of my life, a brother, a person that I loved. I loved him. Dimebag, I can’t say enough. I mentioned it before. I am the type that cannot stay put in living in the past and solely in the past. It’s not healthy and it doesn’t feel right. Yes, I’ve moved on, for the health of my own goddamn brain, but there s a part of me that will never come to fucking grips like anyone who loses someone to murder. You can’t come to a full circle. He will come up in conversation. There are memories of him everywhere. It’s all over the walls and the studio. I don’t like to dwell on the negative. I get to remember all the fantastic shit the guy brought to my life and to other people’s lives. He was an all-around beautiful motherfucker with those piercing blue eyes, eyes that I can see now in my head. They were truthful, loving and caring, and he was insanely talented.”
“Dimebag” Darrell Abbott was co-founder and lead guitarist for PANTERA. When PANTERA broke up in 2003, Dimebag and his brother Vinnie Paul formed DAMAGEPLAN. On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was shot and killed onstage by Nathan Gale. He was 38 years old.