Former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo was caught on camera on Friday, January 22, giving a Nazi salute and bawling “WHITE POWER!” as he finished his set at Dimebash – an annual festival held in Hollywood in tribute to the late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell. That actually happened – see a clip below.
Despite his insistence that he is not a racist, he has a history of similar behaviour – back in 1995 he made the bizarre below speech about rap music.
In the days following the Dimebash incident, here’s how the metal world reacted…
Phil Anselmo himself – January 27
“Ok folks, I’ll own this one,” he wrote in a since-deleted comment to the YouTube video of his salute, “but dammit, I was joking, and the ‘inside joke of the night’ was because we were drinking fucking white wine, hahaha… Of all fucking things. Some of y’all need to thicken up your skin. There’s plenty of fuckers to pick on with a more realistic agenda. I fucking love everyone, I fucking loathe everyone, and that’s that. No apologies from me. PHA ’16”
Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn calls Anselmo a ‘big bully’ – January 29
Flynn released the below video criticising Anselmo, saying, “I was there, and I could tell you for a fact that there wasn’t a chardonnay or a pinot grigio in sight backstage. In fact, the only thing you were drinking, Phil Anselmo, was Becks German beer. Maybe that’s where the joke came from.”
Recalling his memories of the night and Anselmo’s reputation among friends, Flynn added: “I was only onstage when we were playing [Pantera’s] ‘A New Level’ and you were sieg heil-ing after the ‘and power’ like you’ve done forever now. And nobody calls you on it. No bands call you on it. I’ve talked to people on so many tours. ‘Yeah, Anselmo’s up there sieg heil-ing and mouthing the words ‘white power.’ ‘Why don’t you call him on it?’ ‘Oh, because I love Pantera, man, and who wants to start shit with him?’ Exactly. Who wants to start shit with you? You’re a big bully. A big, scary dude. But enough’s enough.”
Speaking directly to the camera, Flynn criticised those who have defended Anselmo. “If you weren’t offended by that, fuck you. There’s no place for that in metal, and if there is a place for that in metal, count me out. Goodbye, Phil Anselmo. I’ll never be playing another Pantera song again as long as I live.”
All Shall Perish call his actions ‘a stain on the legacy of Pantera’ – January 29
Darkest Hour guitarist Mike Schleibaum says “racism has no place in metal” – January 29
Phil Anselmo says he’s “1000% apologetic” – January 30
“Philip H Anselmo here,” he says in a video uploaded to YouTube, “and I’m here to basically respond to all the heat I’ve been getting that I deserve completely. I was at the Dimebash and it was extremely late at night, there was heavy-duty talk between myself and those who love Dime. Heavy emotions were flowing, jokes were made backstage, that transpired upon the stage, and it was ugly, it was uncalled for, and anyone who knows me and my true nature knows that I don’t believe in any of that.
“I don’t want to be part of any group,” he continues, “I’m an individual and I am a thousand percent apologetic to anyone that took offence to what I said, because you should have taken offence to what I said. And I am so sorry. I hope you give me another chance… I love all of you. Anyone who knows me knows that I love all of you. Bless you.”
The Bloodline’s Travis Neal: “Fuck you Phil and fuck your apology!” – January 30
Pantera’s Chris Kontos gives evidence of white wine; says Flynn and Anselmo both “full of crap” – January 30
Sebastian Bach: “People who say ‘white power’ are pussies” – January 31
This is what the Skid Row frontman had to say:
New Evanescence guitarist Jen Majura: “as a half-Asian living in Germany, I just have to say something now” – January 31
“You can’t be on stage and behave like that,” she said, “with that greeting and ‘white power.’ And then, even afterwards, telling something about white wine? That’s lame. That’s lame. That’s stupid. And it’s not correct to behave like this. So if this is his real opinion and his real way of thinking, I just have one thing to say: Phil Anselmo, fuck you!”
Hymns’ Adam Crosier: “Philip isn’t that guy” – February 1
“I know what Philip said was inappropriate,” he told Blabbermouth, “I’m not denying that. But I know Philip’s personality/character and know that he isn’t ‘that guy.’ He honestly is very far from that ugly of a person. I think he has just made some mistakes in the past and obviously at the Dimebash — which added together may paint an ugly picture of his personality. It’s very unfortunate, because he truly is a very compassionate and loving person.”
Anthrax’s Scott Ian: ‘Philip’s actions were vile’ – February 1
“Friends,” Ian posted on his website, “Hate speech. Racism. Inflammatory rhetoric. All dangerous no matter what the context. I have ZERO TOLERANCE for any of this and to not speak out against them is as dangerous as the acts themselves. Philip’s actions were vile and that should be the focus here, anything else is just noise. Philip has apologized and I would like to offer him the opportunity to really show how much he loves everyone by making a donation to the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Peace, Scott”