PHILIP ANSELMO On PANTERA: ‘The Media Has A Whole Lot To Do With Destroying Our Relationship’

On May 8, Fitz Madrid, afternoon DJ at the Phoenix, Arizona radio station 98 KUPD, conducted an interview with Philip Anselmo (DOWN, PANTERA, ARSON ANTHEM, SUPERJOINT RITUAL). You can now listen to the chat in two parts at this location. A couple of excerpts follow.

On whether there is any truth to rumors that a PANTERA reunion is possible with Zakk Wylde filling in for the late “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott on guitar or if it’s all just wishful thinking on fans’ part:

Anselmo: “Wishful thinking. And I hate to say that, too. You know, really… I would… Put it this way: my door is always open. I love those guys, I love… Put it this way: I miss that PANTERA feel, the feeling of walking out on that stage and performing those songs and having that massive audience just turn into this swirling whirlpool of bodies. That is something that is missable, for sure. Believe me, man, if that were a truth, I would tell you, but man, the truth of it all is it’s pretty mich wishful thinking at this point.”

On whether a PANTERA reunion is made impossible by the fact that some of the other suriving members of the band are less open to it than he is:

Anselmo: “There has been a great distance since Darrell‘s murder. I think Vinnie [Paul Abbott, Dimebag‘s brother and PANTERA drummer] is in his own place. I can’t speak for the man and I cannot speak for what is going on in his mind, but there are still wide-open wounds and I guess we have taken different paths to some form of recovery that is healthy for us, so I’m not sure where he’s at in his mind. But, once again, I have nothing but love for Vince. I think the media has a whole lot to do with destroying our relationship. But, you know, the media does, the media does, the media does. And in this day and age, with computers and what-not, you get instantaneous quotes, lines, messages, what-not, tweets and Twitter, etc. etc. etc. Someone could blog, someone could comment, someone could just say, ‘This is rumored… PANTERA are getting back together,’ what-not, it’ll go as a truth or come out as a ‘perhaps,’ maybe it’s areal rumor, this type of thing. Either way, before any of that ever has to happen, Vince and I would have to sit down, hash out whatever problems, whatever demons may exist, and thus far, that day has not come. And, once again, I will say, my door is wide open.”

On why he feels the metal press has seemingly gone out of its way to vilify him over the years:

Anselmo: “Well, like I say, the media does what the media does, and if you get a writer out there who has a hard-on for you, or what-not, because he gets extra hits on his little web site, or whatever, just by… It kind of reminds me of Mike Florio from He’s the king of writing the wind-up article to where there’ll be some basis of fact that can be taken out of context, he’ll grab one little line out of a sentence that a player will say, and he’ll post it as a headline. Kind of the same thing has happened to me a thousand different times where they’ll take something I’d say way out of context and blow it up. And, I guess, if the hot ticket is that I’m an asshole or the biggest dick in the world you’ll ever meet, then fine, go ahead and write and about it. That ain’t gonna change my day; my life keeps rolling, Jack. But the point is, I think it’s more puff, because really, I get along with everybody I meet, I would say, a great percentage of the time — 99.9 percent of the freakin’ time — so it’s like, if I’m an asshole or what-not, just have the balls to come up and at least tell me, ‘Hey, man, you’re an asshole.’ But I’d like to know, ‘OK, which Phil Anselmo are you talking about here?’ Because you know it, I know it, we all know it, we’re gonna grow up. I’m not 24, I’m not 34, I’m freaking 44 years old. It’s like, ‘Man, are you talking about something I said when I was 20-something years old? Or something I may have done when I was…?’ We’re not the same people that we were when we were younger men or what-not, to a certain degree, but at the same time, you keep your values. I’m no different as far as what I love in life; I still love boxing, I still love horror films, I’m still that guy, I still love underground music, and I will exhort these undergrounders to come on out and keep playing. That’s my thing. People see what they wanna see, man. Put it this way: I can remember reading comments about how I was… whatever… I’m such a dick, and really, the only reason why this person was writing these comments is because they’re into goth-imaged music — MISFITS, DANZIG, stuff like that — and little do they know, me and Glenn Danzig are good fucking friends. It’s just people and it’s the nature of the fucking beast. And like David Lee Roth said 30-something years ago, once your head gets tall enough so that it sticks over the fence, that’s when people are gonna start humming coconuts at it, and that’s just the nature of the goddamn beast.”