Philip Anselmo spoke to the Rock 100.5 The KATT radio station about his decision to play a number of PANTERA songs during the current North American tour with his solo band, PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS.
“That’s really a tribute to Vince [PANTERA drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott] passing and Dime [PANTERA guitarist ‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott] always, and just my time with PANTERA, man,” he said.
“If there’s ever a true blessing in this world, for me, it is PANTERA — incredible band, incredible time, incredible people,” he continued. “And the love I see from people, the sheer joy that I see pouring out of people when we play those songs, it makes me… I don’t wanna say ‘choke up,’ really, but it takes me aback. And sometimes I have to sit for a second and just accept that it is that way. It’s emotional for people; it’s big… It’s blinding sometimes. It’s crazy.”
Up until his death this past June, Vinnie remained on non-speaking terms with Anselmo, whom the drummer indirectly blamed for the death of Dimebag, who was his brother.
Vinnie Paul and Dimebag co-founded PANTERA. When PANTERA broke up in 2003, they formed DAMAGEPLAN. On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was shot and killed onstage by a troubled schizophrenic who believed that the members of PANTERA were stealing his thoughts.
Anselmo is still finding it difficult to accept that his former bandmates are gone. “There’s always gonna be that… especially when it comes to Dimebag, I’ll never understand that; I can’t wrap my head around that,” he told Rock 100.5 The KATT. “So there’s always some anger and plenty of sadness right there. But to play these songs again and just to see the love out of people is just overwhelming, man. It’s awesome.”
Vinnie Paul died of dilated cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart, as well as severe coronary artery disease. His death was the result of chronic weakening of the heart muscle — basically meaning his heart couldn’t pump blood as well as a healthy heart.