Death Of Pantera Bandmate Stopped Anselmo In His Tracks


Philip Anselmo says that the death of his former Pantera bandmate Vinnie Paul Abbott stopped him dead in his tracks but also inspired him to pay tribute to the drummer by performing more Pantera songs on tour.

Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals hit the road for a European tour and included some Pantera songs in their set. Anselmo explained the reasons during an interview with Revolver.

He told the publication, "We were about a month out from touring when Vince Paul passed away and that was horrific and so unexpected. It was something that stopped me dead in my tracks. I was in my kitchen and I just dropped to the floor and just had to breathe for a little while.

"That's when the big plea for us to do more Pantera songs became irresistible. The tribute had to be then. It had to be right. And I never thought it would be The Illegals.

"Clearly the mission for us was to be a sweaty hole-in-the wall death-metal band. I've got to say huge props to them for learning the Pantera material. They didn't even flinch, man, and just went for it.

"The vibe from most of the shows have been so f***ing great, man, and what really tickles me is seeing the young bloods out in the audience, freaking out on the Pantera stuff. And you know it's their parents who got them into Pantera."

Anselmo was also asked if Vinnie Paul's death made him view their history together any differently and he responded, "The only thing I can say is, if I could go visit a 20-something-year-old version of myself, I would say, 'Put the f***ing bottle down, son.' Treat your body like an elite athlete and make sure that there is a very clear communication between myself and the rest of my band.

"It's a frustrating thing because my lower back injury was so f***ing bad, it was torture from the second my eyes opened until I fell asleep. I made every rookie mistake in the book. I ended up sleepwalking through the f***ing day because I didn't want to exist. It felt like my skeleton had betrayed me. It was a common lower injury, a blown-out disc.

"It was just at the wrong time, 'Far Beyond Driven' was just getting wrapped up. And once I got that phone call, 'Hey, your record's No. 1,' I knew what was going to happen; world tour after tour after tour. That was the big dream anyway. And I couldn't do it, man. Neurosurgery was still barbaric at that time. I had to wait until 2006 to have any surgery at all and by then three discs had blown. I had the second surgery in 2018. I'm doing tons better now. You're thrust into a circumstance and I wouldn't wish that on anybody, man."

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