Vinnie Paul Thinks Phil Anselmo Has Tarnished Pantera’s Image
As many of you know and the rest can assume, former Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul Abbot does not care for former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo. Vinnie Paul has done several interviews since the band’s dissolution implying that Anselmo’s lyrics and satanic punk image were not what Pantera was about (even though they absolutely were), and given that the death of Dimebag Darrell (Pantera’s guitarist and Vinnie’s brother) in 2004 didn’t bring the musicians back together, it’s safe to assume nothing will.
But Vinnie Paul recently came out claiming that Phil has “tarnished the image of Pantera” — the first statement about the singer Vinnie has made since Phil threw a heil and screamed “WHITE POWER!” at this year’s Dimebash.
Speaking to R7 in Brazil, Vinnie said the following:
“I can’t speak for him. 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. But I carry on with what I do, which is Hellyeah, which I’m very, very proud of. And, you know, I can’t control anything that goes on with that dude. I mean, honestly, I haven’t spoken to him since 2000. So there you have it.”
Oof. When asked what the last things he said to Phil were, and whether or not there was hope of a reconciliation, Vinnie Paul said:
“It was a long time ago, bro, I’ll tell you right now… I’m thinking… Probably the last show that we ever did was in Tokyo, at ‘Beast Fest,’ and I might have said ‘Bye’ or something. I don’t know.
“We tried to make amends of things when we were doing Damageplan, and he didn’t want anything to do with it. And then the horrible thing that happened to my brother happened. And, to me, that was the nail in the coffin. Period.”
Hell of a nail, obviously.
So, look, I think that in recent years, fans have begun to notice that Pantera’s image wasn’t always the best one for metal anyway (once more, Phil did himself no favors on that topic as well). In that respect, it does sometime seem like Vinnie Paul has 20/20 hindsight about the band (also, from the snarky dickhead point of view, one could note that Hellyeah and Damageplan did little to help Pantera’s image).
Now, that said, he’s not wrong. Maybe some people will move on from Anselmo giving a shout-out to his skinhead fans, but many never will. Pantera’s use of the Confederate flag can be blown off as celebrating their Southern heritage, but the heil and the ‘White Power!’ chant aren’t tied to anything other than hatred, which immediately shines a weird light on Pantera’s “controversial” image. So while I usually side with Team Phil over Team Vinnie, Vinnie’s got a point here.
Maybe time will heal all wounds and these two guys will make up in the future, but somehow I severely doubt it, and honestly, with everything that’s happened, I’m not sure I’d want them to.