PANTERA/DOWN vocalist Philip Anselmo recently spoke to Loudwire about the moment he knew PANTERA was over and how he misses having a friendship with the band’s drummer, Vinnie Paul Abbott.
“It is unfortunate,” Anselmo said about the rift between him and Vinnie Paul (see video below).
“I am a music fan. I hate reading about fucking my favorite bands arguing or inner turmoil or anything like that, especially under these circumstances. It’s kind of unfair to the fans.
“I’m sick of the fence riding, or the fence in general, because it took all of us to break the band up.
“The truth is, when I was doing terribly, and I realized that PANTERA was dissolving and [Vinnie Paul and PANTERA guitarist ‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott] had moved on and they were doing [a new band called] DAMAGEPLAN, the first thing I did was call Vince. And he was, like, ‘Man, this is what we’re doing.’ He was actually pretty cool about it. And he said, ‘It’s good to hear from you.’ And I said, ‘What do you think, man? I wanna talk to Darrell.’ He goes, ‘Man, I don’t know. He’s really upset with you.’ And I called [Darrell]. And he was short, he was to the point. He said, ‘We’re sick of waitin’ for you. We’re gonna go ahead and do DAMAGEPLAN.’ And that day I knew PANTERA was over.”
Anselmo also spoke about whether there he has publicly tried to reach out to Vinnie Paul in an effort to bury the hatchet. He said: “There was no public attempt, really; it was just [me being asked about it in] interviews. It was really just interviews.
“He’s surrounded by security guards. Man, if I showed my face, Jesus Christ…
“I don’t know why he’s scared of me. He’s got this fear. I think it all comes from deep love, really. ‘Cause when you love something, or somebody, so much and things go backwards, that if you love ’em that much, then eventually the word ‘hate’ comes in, and you can hate ’em even worse. So…
“I know the dude loves me. I know he does. And I miss him.”
Anselmo was asked how he feels about hearing Vinnie Paul state over and over again in interviews that he is not interesting in having any kind of personal relationship with Philip and former PANTERA bassist Rex Brown.
“I don’t even pay attention to that,” Anselmo replied. “I don’t even know that that happened. I don’t pay attention. He’s the captain of his own ship — that’s that — and I’m heading in my direction.”
Dimebag’s longtime girlfriend Rita Haney in 2011 called on Vinnie and 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.