Former PANTERA and current DOWN frontman Philip Anselmo was interviewed for the cover story in the March 2013 issue of Revolver magazine. During the in-depth chat, the singer spoke about reconnecting with Sterling Winfield, co-producer of PANTERA‘s 2000 album, “Reinventing The Steel”. “I didn’t know there was a rift between Sterling and I until I spoke with him several months ago,” Anselmo said of the first time they’d talked in 12 years. “He chose sides at one point, and picked Vinnie Paul‘s [Abbott, former PANTERA drummer] side, which is a psychotic side.”
He continued: “I feel bad for Vince. People should pity the guy. I wasn’t there when Dimebag [late PANTERA guitarist and Vinnie Paul‘s brother, “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, who was killed on stage while performing with DAMAGEPLAN in December 2004] was murdered, but he sure as fuck was. That’s his flesh and blood, murdered right in front of him. It’s a shame that Vince never reached out to Rex [Brown, former PANTERA bassist] and I. I think the healing process would have been beneficial to him, instead of his knee-jerk reaction to fear, and his therapy through tit bars and whiskey.”
Returning to his story about Winfield, Anselmo explained: “He said that he drank heavily after Dimebag‘s death. He admitted that he hated my guts but then he got sober. Over his first two years of sobriety, he realized that these bad feelings towards me were unfounded completely.”
Anselmo also reflected on PANTERA‘s downfall, telling Revolver: “One guy can’t break up a band. After we broke up, why was Rex with me and not with Dimebag and Vince? You have to understand, it goes all four ways when a band breaks up. Yes, I made mistakes. Yes, there was a lack of communication on both sides and some of it is my fault — a lot of it is my fault.”
Anselmo, whose comments in the U.K. music press about how Dimebag should be “beaten severely” were unfairly linked to some of the guitarist’s shooter’s motive, stated about his former bandmate: “Two mornings ago, the first thing I thought of when I woke up was Dimebag. I think about Dime a lot. Last year was very rough. I don’t know what it was about last year, but I got into a severe depression about the loss of Darrell and what it meant and how huge it is. How heinous it is for him not to be here and to go out the way he did. There are still a few days to go [before the eighth anniversary of Dimebag‘s death] [the interview was conducted in early December 2012. — Ed.], and hopefully it’s just not as bad as last year. But if it is, so be it.
“Dimebag was a lifer,” Anselmo continued. “He was meant to be this guitar hero. He was born for it. We would have made amends. I would like to think he would be proud of me for pulling myself out of the muck, the abyss. I’m not a believer in the afterlife. I think this is our shot. But I guess, in an atavistic way, you hope that the fallen one’s mighty spirit is looking down and smiling on you. I just choose to remember the positive things. He was almost like the perfect counterpoint to me. We may have clashed to a certain extent, but we would always find a happy medium, It was a vital relationship that I miss greatiy.”
“PANTERA had an almost supernatural freakin’ alchemic chemistry, not of this world,” he added. “I have not felt it since. DOWN has its own chemistry, but it’s not PANTERA.”