Phil Anselmo (Pantera, etc.) has given his first official interview since his infamous “white power” chant and Nazi salute at Dimebash. You can read what he had to say in the latest issue of Decibel below.
“First and foremost, I do take full accountability. I’m not deflecting at all. What I did was insulting, absolutely, and abhorrent, because it did truly upset people, and it hurts my heart that anyone would think that I’m the dreaded ‘R’ word — a racist. Anyone who truly knows me knows that it’s utterly ridiculous. But if I did offend my Jewish friends, people I work with, my associates, other people in bands . .. if I were to upset people in that particular way — that’s why I apologized. That apology is there — and no, you won’t get another one ever again.”
Anselmo then added:
“It’s kinda funny, considering I’ve got a Mexican drummer [Jose “Blue” Gonzalez] and a half-black guitar player. [Kevin Bond]”
“First and foremost, I was absolutely smashed drunk,” he said. “No excuse, but I was. It was late and my mood was mixed because of the situation in general. We were honoring my dead, murdered guitar player and it’s still something that a piece of me has not come to grips with. I know people are reading this in black and white, but it makes my heart ache as I say it. Now, [from] the second I stepped on that stage until the bitter end of that night, there were a couple of kids with an absolute agenda constantly, all night long, calling me the dreaded ‘R’ word. ‘Racist, racist, racist,’ over and over and over-in between songs, during songs, during my stage banter. And I marked it: At 4:35 in the video, you can see my attention slowly beginning to get irked and agitated. By 5:10, you can see me actually eyeballing these people and engaging. They were 70 feet away from me screaming this shit. I even invited them up onstage and dared them to call me that to my fuckin’ face, and I said I would knock them out cold. You can check the video for yourself. Can you hear the kids? No, you can’t. But I most certainly did. And I’ve talked with people who were there who can corroborate because they were standing right next to them.”
He also added:
“Should I have done it? Hell fucking no. Would I take it back? Absolutely. But my sense of humor is dark and my temper is and always has been volatile, so I reacted. I reacted in an ignorant way. I own it. But do I believe in it? That’s ridiculous.”
Anselmo said the whole incident started as a joke about white wine, which apparently started after he kissed Doug Pinnick (KING’S X). Anselmo said the following about that:
“The white wine thing was a running joke backstage after — get this — kissing Doug Pinnick [of KING’S X] on the lips, and he says to me, ‘Whoa — you taste good!’ Because I was drinking a bottle of white wine. I even joked about it with him — ‘white power,’ hahaha. The funny thing about that is that particular room was for certain artists only. Other certain people who were part of the Dimebash were not allowed back there. I guess they felt slighted or in quotation marks — ‘offended.’ So, there was a running gag there, and it carried on even after the incident. What went down onstage was an extension of that, but also a firm reaction to these motherfuckers [up front], who, that’s exactly what they wanted.”
To read the whole interview, head to Decibel.