Shinedown’s Brent Smith Doesn’t Think Phil Anselmo is Racist, Says His Dimebash Apology Was “Sincere”


Groove metal legends Pantera are the hot item these days with their reunion and upcoming tour dates but it wasn’t long ago that frontman Phil Anselmo was under some pretty heavy fire for racist and white supremacists behaviors at a concert in 2016. At a Dimebag Darrell tribute event, Dimebash, Anselmo was captured on video making a Nazi salute and yelling “white power.”

Obviously, Anselmo’s actions caused a ton of outcry and his various projects, which did not include Pantera at the time, lost support from many fans. Since the band announced their reunion (or tribute, whatever you insist on calling it), many public figures have weighed in on the sincerity of it, as well as their feelings on Anselmo, with Shinedown singer Brent Smith being the latest.

On the Talk Toomey podcast, Smith gave a lengthy statement about the cancelation of multiple scheduled Pantera appearances over the Dimebash incident.

The reality is that Phil, when what happened happened, he addressed it to the best of his ability. Most people, I believe, when he addressed it, believed that he was being sincere. When I watched what he said, and I saw the video — and believe me, man, I’ll be honest with you, I was somebody that when I saw the video, the way that it was presented, it’s not good; it’s not. The fact of the matter is, the way that I see these types of things is how are you gonna grow if there’s a constant level of just giving no one an opportunity to say that they made a mistake, that they genuinely made a mistake. And with Phil, if you look at it, I think point blank, in a lot of those interviews that he did, in a lot of those segments, he was, like, ‘I would never, ever do anything that supported white supremacy or anything.’ He made a lot of strong points that he said what he was doing and his gesture was towards the wine and what have you. A lot of people called B.S. on it and this and that and the other, but to go at it and to be as strong-willed as he was and to have a lot of the backing from people saying that ‘this man is not a racist. This man, that’s not who he is.’”

Smith then goes on a tangent about racism in American society, but he refuses to actually say the word racism. And then he suggests that music will fix the issue, which is a strangely optimistic and unsourced belief from a grown man.

“There’s gonna be certain people, because you also don’t know how they were raised, how they were brought up, how they’re gonna feel about it, and that’s why it’s called society. And I think we’re all doing our best to move past… Especially in this country. Look, in the United States, it’s always going to be something that we’re gonna have to talk about. Will it ever be at a place in America where we’ll all be able to get past it? I think there’s a threshold inside of all of it. You don’t wanna forget it because you’re doomed to repeat it. And I think what we all have to focus on as a society from all walks of life is that in 2023 and beyond and for all time, it should not matter whether you’re a man or a woman, whether you’re younger, whether you’re older, the color of your skin, that’s irrelevant. We’re all the same inside. Your religion, that’s totally up to you. That’s what makes you an individual. That’s what makes you human. That’s what makes you who you are. And we’re all on this planet together. And I think in a lot of ways music is medicine.”

He ends the thought by reminding us that he just really loves Pantera and that it’s music about strength and determination.

“I know a lot of people have been waiting for Pantera for a long, long time, and the defiance of that music… Another thing that people should think about, Pantera music — I know this for a fact — has saved a lot of lives. It has. And that’s another thing to get brought up. It was born out of chaos, but it had a message and it was built on strength and perseverance.

“I go back to ‘Vulgar Display Of Power.’ It’s probably, in my opinion, definitely in the top 20 of the greatest albums ever recorded — in my personal opinion.”

Whether you care about the Pantera reunion or not, you’ll be hearing about it for at least another year.

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