Men in the metal industry are not known to wear their hearts on their sleeves, with the tough image and all that. One of the biggest as*holes is Phil Anselmo who has been rubbing people the wrong way since the beginning of time. Whether it was his former Pantera bandmates or humanity in general, the guy always looks like he’s got a major chip on his shoulder for no apparent reason.
In January of this year, Anselmo came under the radar again for his antics during a tribute concert for Dimebag Darrell. A video went viral of him giving the notorious salute while shouting “White Power”. When confronted at the time, he gave one of the most lamest reasons – there was white wine at the back and he was just drunk on it. Rob Flynn from Machine Head called bullsh*t and Dime’s brother and fellow bandmate, Vinnie Paul expressed his disappointment. Anselmo then came out with a video of his own, looking mournful and insisting he is in no way a racist. However, he faced serious backlash from the worldwide metal community and his band Down was turned away from performing at festivals.
Now, Phil Anselmo has come out with an explosive interview with Rolling Stone Magazine. What he has to say is something we could never expect from him. What reaction this interview will have is yet to be seen, but it’s definitely something you don’t hear often from men who wear their masculinity with pride.
He says he also identifies with marginalized peoples because of his upbringing. He grew up in New Orleans’ French Quarter – “That’s a diverse fucking crowd of people,” he says – and he was raised by a single mother who “dated black men and whatever and they were in my house that I lived in – they spent the night and all that – and all I had was fucking love for them.” His nanny, when he was young, he says, was a transgender woman who was assigned male at birth named Wilma. “I loved her,” he says repeatedly. He points out that he uses the past tense when talking about her not because he no longer loves her but because she is now dead.
“But when people constantly talk about being a victim or something, there are going to be certain points where I have to step back and go, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa.’ Especially when people shout and scream about us living in a rape culture and men are this evil product. … Guess who was molested his entire child-fucking-hood by numerous people, both men and women. …” He pauses, and lowers his chin to make eye contact. “Me.” He pauses again and sharpens his glare. “Me.”
“Maybe because I’m almost 50 and I don’t give a fuck anymore. But it happened. I never blamed the world for it like I’m seeing kids today do, putting everybody in one box. And the same thing goes for race and all this shit.”
The topic then turns to Vinnie Paul’s comment after that infamous video emerged: “He’s done a lot of things that tarnish the image of what Pantera was back then and what it stood for and what it was all about. And it’s sad.”
Anselmo recoils at first when thinking about Paul’s comments but soon turns dismissive. “Yeah, I saw that he said that but anything out of that dude’s mouth is…ugh…it seems sour,” he says. “I don’t have anything in common with that guy at all.” He pauses to find his words. “But Vince better be caref-…” He stops mid-word and seamlessly switches sentiments. “One day I’m really not gonna care about whatever the legacy of Pantera (is). It’s great that we had such an awesome fan base and still continue to have this awesome fan base, but there will be probably be a whole lot of ’em that would be perhaps a little disappointed in my assessment of the whole situation. So I’ll just leave it at that. And that’s why I’m not going to speak about it, and even though I know when this interview comes out, people are going to say, ‘Well, you almost went off on that’. And yeah, almost. Operative word.”
Catch the entire interview by Rolling Stone Magazine with Phil Anselmo. You don’t want to miss this!