When Metal Bands Fight: Phil Anselmo Vs Vinnie Paul: A Rock And Metal News Special Report Part One

Posted: July 15, 2015 in Rock And Metal News
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Pantera battleThe latest edition of When Metal Bands Fight may be the saddest edition that we have ever done only due to who it is and what has transpired over the years. Back in the early 2000’s, Pantera had ultimately ended without us really knowing for a while. Phil Anselmo had revived his supergroup side project Down as they released an album followed with a tour while Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrell stood still waiting. Next came Phil’s Superjoint Ritual side project and that was all the Abbott brothers could stand to take as they moved on and created Damageplan. For about a year, Phil Anselmo was trading jabs at the Abbott brothers with one infamous interview in Metal Hammer Magazine.  In the December Issue released in 2004, it was reported by Blabbermouth and here is a quote from Phil about Dimebag, “He would attack me, vocally. And just knowing that he was so much smaller than me I could kill him like a fuckin’ piece of vapor, you know, he would turn into vapor — his chin would, at least, if I fuckin’ smacked it. And he knows that. The world should know that. So physically, of course, he deserves to be beaten severely.” Seven days after Blabbermouth reported that quote, Dimebag Darrell was shot several times at a club in Columbus, Ohio. It is still known as the most infamous and tragic death in Heavy Metal history. Phi would try to claim that Metal Hammer Magazine misquoted him and that it wasn’t what he said or meant. Nevertheless, it started the war between Phil Anselmo and Vinnie Paul as shots were fired.

vinnie-paul-1In the March 2008 issue of Guitar World. Dimebag Darrell’s longtime girlfriend Rita Haney fired some shots at Phil blaming him for what happened in Ohio saying, “The bottom line is Phil’s actions led to what happened. The guy wouldn’t have been after Vinnie and Darrell if Pantera had not broken up. It was all due to Phil’s stupid, stupid actions.” While some may justify that comment, whose to say he wouldn’t have done it if Pantera were still together. I only say that because of the theories of why he did it that have been reported. In an interview with Metal Underground in January of 2008, Vinnie commented on whether or not he had been in contact with Phil saying, “No, man. I don’t want to talk to him. I don’t believe anything he says. He’s the master of lies. He says that shit because he wants the fans to believe what he has to say and follow what he does. And they’re like sheep and they will. I don’t want to elaborate on it any further apart from to say: listen to the Metal Hammer interview and you’ll know exactly how he felt about my brother. He can say anything he wants, now on the backside.

phil and vinnyIf Phil was trying to make amends with Vinnie Paul as what was being reported three years before, he certainly didn’t seem like he wanted to in a 2011 interview with Metal-Injection as he made this statement to them, “I’m fine with Rita. Me and Rita have always been cool. Sure, there was a fallout. But the way I look at it is, if it really is affecting someone to where they have to come out and say hateful things about me, untrue things about me, paint bullshit mystique about me, then, in their heart of hearts, they do care about me — that’s the point. Vinnie Paul’s closed-door policy when it comes to me, that’s something he’s gonna have to ride around on his shoulders the rest of his fucking life. I know this: My door is always open, and always has been open — always has been fucking open. And it is a little frustrating when you have a loose end and you’re trying to tighten everything up. But you can’t make everybody fucking happy all of the time — you can’t. So, Vinnie Paul, he has no effect on my life at all — no effect at all. Good job, I’ll say to Vince — you’ve hurt me. And you keep on hurting me. Great job! Where is it getting you? That’s my question to him. My door has always been wide open, and I’ll leave it at that, because I think everybody else knows the rest. It’s fucking pretty A-B-C simple. He doesn’t want to… There is a fear in him of me. That motherfucker is so fucking terrified of me. But somewhere within that terror, somewhere within this invented — and I do say ‘invented’ — scapegoat fucking slapping redneck hatred of his, there is a love bigger than any of that fucking shit, and that’s why he’s acting the way he’s acting. So that’s that.”

imagesDon’t worry because Phil made a response video claiming that Blabbermouth was to blame for the negativity in that last comment saying, “This is Philip H. Anselmo and I just wanna talk to you people out there and all the fans that might be interested in the last video interview that I did that Blabbermouth.com [sic] got ahold of, and they picked one little sentence out of my entire transcript and they made it a headline and they made it look ugly. Really, all I was saying was that I love Vinnie Paul and my door is always open. I may not approve of how he may go about things and this and that in regards to our relationship, but still, the big deal and the bottom line here is, make no doubt and let there be no question, I love Vince, and all of you out there, you know what Blabbermouth is it’s a sensationalist site and they’re looking for as many hits as they can possibly get at anyone’s expense. So take that for it’s worth. I apologize to anyone who I might have offended who read this little headline. But for any of you who were offended, read a little deeper into it, and you’ll understand that I come from love as well. Once again, my choice of words wasn’t the best, but that’s just how I talk. Anyway, I love you all. See you soon on tour.

77_photoAccording to Ultimate-guitar.com, Rex Brown, who was the bassist for Pantera weighed in on the issue of the war between Phil and Vinny giving us a little insight into how Vinnie Paul is during a press tour for his autobiography in March of 2013 saying, “When you read the book, you will understand his persona and his way of going about things. I’m not trying to hack Vinnie at all – I have a lot of empathy for him – but in the long run, the guy carries a lot of hatred with him that it’s not right… I don’t carry around this terrible vendetta against people.” Acccording to Phil, there was an effort made to patch things up as he told wikimetal Brazil, “Honestly — and I’ve spoken with Zakk about it as well — we’re very aware of the public perception out there, but honestly, until I speak with Vinnie Paul, which has not yet happened, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen, nothing can happen. Honestly, I tell you, my phone is on the hook, my e-mail is wide open, my door is wide open. I would love to talk with Vince. Honestly, if there were no more bad feelings and we could talk, and we could come to an understanding, I think it would mean not only a lot for me and myself — it would mean the world to me — but it would mean a great deal to the fans out there as well. I think people don’t want to see this arguing anymore. It’s time for some peace. It’s time for some brotherhood. And honestly, we should be setting an example instead of being the opposite. And I’ll just say that my door is wide open, and so far, Vinnie’s door is closed, and it’s a shame.”

Horns Up Rocks Pantera Phil Anselmo Vinnie PaulVinnie Paul of course gave his response to what Phil said when he told Envision Radio Networks Hangar 18, “I just don’t have any interest in it, man. I’m happy doing what I do, I’m enjoying being in a band where everybody really enjoys being around each other, likes each other. And I just don’t have any interest in living in the past, man. I wanna move forward in my life and that’s all there is to it.” 21 days later, Phil talked to Loudwire.com and they asked him, if he was ever alone with Vinnie Paul on a one on one situation, what would he say to him and here is his response:

Well, first and foremost, I’d tell him I love him. I love the guy — as different as both of us are individually, we’re very different people. But the same can be said for all of us in Pantera. Rex [Brown] and I are very different people. Dimebag and everybody [were] very different people.

I would let Vince Paul know that I love him very much, and I would apologize to him for his misinterpretation in not understanding where I was coming from in my lowest point in our career. And then I would definitely touch upon how much lack of communication played a big role in our breaking up. A lot of that is on my back, which I’ve completely f—in’ owned up to. But I’m not sure the rest of them have owned up to their side of things, especially Vince, when it comes to communication.

At least in my life, I cannot hold onto grudges. It’s a waste of energy, a waste of time. And really, and I feel strongly about this, after we lost Dimebag in such a horrific way, I just cannot help but feel that Vinnie Paul’s entire healing process could have been helped a lot more had he reached out to Rex and I, and we could have healed somehow together — whether you want to call it ‘healing’ or not. But if we would have really focused together on this thing and come out of it as brothers — because we are brothers — in certain ways we could have formed an even stronger bond together. But that did not happen and I think it’s hurt us.

Put it this way, I don’t ever expect Vince to bend or break on his stance at all, I really don’t. But if ever given the chance, man, to get straight back to your f—in’ question, I would just really give him all the apologies, I’d tell him I love him and then I would say, ‘Look, let’s get down to differences now. You’re gonna have to hear my side of it. Take it or leave it, because you can leave it – you’ve already locked it out for x amount of years. What’s the harm in hearing me out one on one, away from everybody? What’s the harm?’

I have no anger toward Vince. No one can question a person — really he saw Darrell get shot. That’s a scarring thing for anybody. I wish it can be seen for what it is and that blame did not have to fall on anyone’s head or any circumstance. Because really it was a psychopath who had a hard-on for Pantera and it’s very well-known fact between Rex and I, between my family and myself — we all had to go through a lot of soul searching — but it could have been Rex, it could have been me, it could have been Vince. It was Darrell that was murdered and it’s just the way it happened. I could say, “I wish it would have been me’” or anything like that — I can say a million f—in’ things, man, and it still would not bring Dime back.

So this is always gonna be a tough thing to talk about, and I really wish instead of talking about it in this interview, Vince and I can be talking about it together and just ironing this thing out. I’ll end it with this: I don’t think this is fair to the Pantera fans. I really don’t. When you’re a fan of a band, you don’t wanna hear about them fighting. You don’t want to hear about their negativity. You don’t want to read that s–t. You don’t want to f—in’ hear about that crap.

I think it would mean a whole lot to a whole lot of people if one day Vince and I and Rex could all sit in the same room and work things out to the best of [our] abilities. I think everyone would breathe a great big sigh of relief, but the sad thing is I just don’t see it happening. 

Tune in later for Part two of When Metal Bands Fight: Vinnie Paul Vs Phil Anselmo

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