PHILIP ANSELMO Says Media Went Out Of Its Way To Create Rift Between Members Of PANTERA

On May 8, Tina Smash of the Jacksonville, North Carolina radio station Rock 105.5 conducted an interview with former PANTERA and current DOWN frontman Philip Anselmo. You can now listen to the entire 23-minute chat in the YouTube clip below. A couple of excerpts follow.

On whether he has had a chance to make amends with his former PANTERA bandmates in the years following guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott‘s murder:

Anselmo: “I have not had that luxury of speaking with one Vinnie Paul [Abbott, Dimebag‘s brother and former PANTERA drummer]. And you know, really, that’s his call. My door is wide open. I’m the type of person that there is no way I could live my life with this loose end, this grudge, this wide-open wound. I like to at least have some semblance of burying the hatchet, so to speak, or at least just talking out our differences, or at least having the freaking opportunity to talk to the guy. But, you know, he’s made his decisions. I, in my biggest heart and hopes and wishes, I wish that one day he would decide to actually talk to me so we could work this out. I think it would be very, very healthy for both of us. I know it would definitely be for me. And honestly, I told Vince this via e-mail before. I said, ‘Dude, if it takes me standing there and letting you punch me in the face repeatedly over and over again, I’ll let you. I don’t care. I mean, I’ve got enough scars in my forehead, I could be a pro wrestler. It’s like, dude, go for it. As long as we can talk afterwards.’ And it just hasn’t happened, man. It’s frustrating, but like I say, my door is wide open. . . All I can do is really let him do what he has to do, support what he does and just let Vince heal the way Vince needs to heal — if he is healing. I’m not sure.”

On whether a “miscommunication” in an interview he gave to a magazine — referring to a 2004 Metal Hammer interview in which Anselmo said of Dimebag, “Physically, of course, he deserves to be beaten severely” — led to the rift between him and the Abbott brothers:

Anselmo: “Yeah, the media really, really, really went out of their way to create this fantastic rift between the [members of the] band. Which already there was a falling out. I was in a real bad way with chronic pain just eating me alive, and then with the drug problems, which I’m wide open to speak about all that fucking crap — I have no problem talking about. It is a big misunderstanding, in my opinion. I just think that just like, take, for instance, [the web site] You have a guy, the main writer there, his name is Mike Florio, he’ll take something a player says, completely out of context to the entire paragraph of what he said, but he’ll grab one little sentence that he says not knowing what air it was spoken in. When you read something in black and white, it comes out black and white — plain and simple, to the point. But you cannot read sense of humor, you can’t read context and how it was really said. So this guy, he’s a wind-up artist, and he knows what he’s doing, and he does it to get a million hits, which gets a million hits. So I think in the same sense, we were put in that situation, that whatever freaking magazine put out the article, they grabbed a line that I said… They don’t know me from Adam. I say things off the cuff, I have my own sense of humor, the way I say things, and it was taken completely out of context, and I will stand by that until I hit the dirt myself. Believe me, man, I’ve never in my life raised my hand in anger to any of those guys in that band. Talk is talk, action is action. It’s a mess.”

On losing a part of his family with the murder of Dimebag and the breakdown of his relationship with Vinnie Paul:

Anselmo: “It’s the truth. It’s very, very true, but you know what?! Vince lost a part of his family, too. And he also watched his brother get shot right in front of him. So I cannot even imagine the plethora of emotion that runs through the guy. And I don’t think anybody in their right mind could judge Vince in that light, man, because that is a dramatic, horrific thing that I would not wish on anybody, man. I think people ought to feel for Vince when it comes to that. There is a contingency out there that… I’ve read here and there… People are like, ‘Vince, get over it. Get over it. Make up with Phil.’ This and that. I’ve read that contingency. I’ve read where, of course, I’m an asshole, etc. etc. etc. And really, that’s just people talking shit that they don’t really know what the heck they’re talking about. Vince has to go through what he has to go through. But in my biggest hopes of all hopes, I would love to sit down and talk with the guy and really just hash out whatever demons we have to hash out and move on… move on one way or the other.”

On how people love to hate:

Anselmo: “Because it’s easy to hate. To love is not the ‘tough-guy’ way. That’s bullshit in my book, man. I come with love first. When I meet people, I want to like people right off the bat. I’m a people person. I come with love. It’s so easy to hate. It’s just a natural thing and it’s pretty boring, actually.”