Former PANTERA and current DOWN and SUPERJOINT singer Philip Anselmo was interviewed on a recent edition of "The Classic Metal Show", which is heard live on Saturdays from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. EST at TheClassicMetalShow.com. You can now listen to the chat below.
Asked about a recent claim by John Reese, the producer behind the annual Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, that Reese has approached the three surviving members of PANTERA about resurrecting the band for an appearance at the event, Anselmo said: "Well, I'll just go out and say that if that promoter did reach out, then he is in a long line of promoters that have reached. But the truth is, it's not happening, man."
He continued: "My feelings are slightly complex on the whole thing. I know Rex [Brown, former PANTERA bassist] is up for it. I'm always flexible on the situation, but I know Vince [Vinnie Paul Abbott, former PANTERA drummer] wants no part of it, and therein lies the problem. It's, like, okay, do we do this without Vince too? It's, like, man, I don't think so. I don't think so. And then, also, do we do it at all? Do we do it without [late PANTERA guitarist] Dimebag? Is it really fair? Is it really something people want to see? And I know that there's a contingency of people that may say, 'Yes, we do wanna see it,' with this guitar player, or that guitar player, depending on the contingency. And then, of course, there's the contingency that feels like it's not PANTERA without Dimebag, and I can respect both, or all three, opinions out there. But in the long run, it's gonna be up to us. But the answer right now is it's not happening."
After the interviewer brought up the point that PANTERA accomplished everything it needed to accomplish and that there is no reason for the surviving members of the band to resurrect the group without Dimebag, Anselmo said: "I hear you on that, and once again, I reiterate: I totally and completely respect and understand that position. And that's why this is a… It's a very complex thing to think about. It's, like, you know… Would the money be amazing? Maybe so. Probably so. But, also, there's this word called 'integrity' as well out there that resonates with me big time, man. It's, like, I've got Housecore Records, I've got my horror fest, I've got DOWN, I've got SUPERJOINT, I've got THE ILLEGALS… I've got my own thing going, man. I've done what I believe is the most healthy thing to do, and move on, and move on to different things in life that fill it up with happiness and fulfillment. Nothing in this world could take the place of PANTERA and every fantastic memory and accomplishment that we have done over the years. Nothing in this world could take that place. I'm not trying to fill the void, I'm trying to move on with my life, and I think, really, that's the healthy thing to do, instead of moving backwards, or living backwards, if you can feel me on that."
Anselmo also commented on the fact that both and Vinnie Paul have been criticized for leaving PANTERA behind and not doing enough to please the band's fans who are pining for a reunion.
"Well, that's one thing I've learned, especially in this day and age of comments sections and… the worst format in the world of… I've just gotta say, it's a format built for cowards," he said. "I respect people that will leave a comment that is informative, or realistic, or on topic, but there's too many web sites out there that will print out the wind-up headline just for clicks, just for comments, and, really, at the end of the day, it's a bunch of masturbation that means something. Because printing something in the comments section is about as good as prayer, if you ask me — you're praying to an invisible entity that has proven nothing, in my opinion. It's, like, your comments mean nothing, and they'll be gone in a week. It's too much of a negative format out there."
He continued: "Vince and I both receive the criticism. All that criticism still… it's not gonna affect us, man. We're gonna keep doing what we're gonna do. And I respect what Vince is doing by moving forward in his life. I think that's very healthy for him. And I've gotta do what I have to do. And that's all she wrote, goddamnit."
Dimebag's longtime girlfriend Rita Haney in 2011 called on 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.
Vinnie, who has played in HELLYEAH for the past decade, has steadfastly refused to even consider "reuniting" PANTERA with anyone else filling in on guitar, telling Brazil's "Wikimetal": "The bottom is they call it a reunion, and that means to bring the original members back, and we can't bring Dime back, and he was such a huge part of PANTERA. I don't wanna damage or tarnish the legacy of him or the band. We had 14 amazing years together and it's time for everybody to move on. And I have definitely moved on in my life. I don't live in the past. I like to live for today and what's coming up tomorrow, and I love what we're doing with HELLYEAH. And that's my focus and that's my goal, man."