Hardrock Haven's Steve Patrick recently conducted an interview with former PANTERA and current DOWN singer Philip Anselmo. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.Hardrock Haven: I know you and Rex [Brown, ex-PANTERA bassist] are on good terms, but did anything have to happen to get you two onstage together again with ANTHRAX at the Revolver Golden Gods awards? Anselmo: No man, me and Rex are totally cool. Me and Rex are fine. Absolutely cool with each other. Hardrock Haven: How did you guys arrive at the decision to play "This Love"? Anselmo: Really, it was picked by the ANTHRAX guys, I think. You know what?! Honestly, I think it was… We had an opportunity to pick one song and I think the day we got in we went over a few different songs and checked it out, but what really changed the game was… honestly, I was on my way to the gig when everybody's phone started blowing up about Jeff Hanneman's death and I think right then and there all I could think is my love for SLAYER and my love for Hanneman, you know? It was a perfect song, so that night we executed it. Hardrock Haven: Will [PANTERA's] "Far Beyond Driven" get the deluxe reissue treatment like "Cowboys" and "Vulgar" have recently? Anselmo: Well, I know it's in the works. I know that it's been talked about and it's definitely gonna happen. And as far as content inside of the record, I'm not positive of that yet because I think it's still being kicked around, but there is some very cool stuff that's being talked about and it's definitely gonna happen, for sure. Hardrock Haven: Good, that's a nice thing to keep going. I'm sure a whole new generation are buying these reissues and getting introduced to PANTERA. Anselmo: What's funny is I heard… I read a percentage from our management, from PANTERA management, the other day that the most t-shirt sales and product sales are 52% between the ages of 15 and 25, so that in itself is friggin' amazing and definitely points to a brand new generation of people getting into PANTERA, so that's amazing, man. It really is amazing. Hardrock Haven: Is it ever surreal for you to be becoming somewhat of an elder statesman in the metal community? Anselmo: Yeah, man, it is surreal. It is. It's very surreal. You know, in my wildest imagination as a young man I would have never thought that we'd be having this conversation today in 2013. It's always surreal and it's always… it feels like a blessing. It's something that makes you feel very grateful. And I've said it before, and I know any band can say this about their fan base, but I still gotta go out on a limb here…and the limb is pretty sturdy…when I say that PANTERA has the greatest fans on this friggin' planet, man. I gotta point to one thing, I think that the mere fact that 15 year olds today are getting into PANTERA… you gotta give that over to great parenting. C'mon, let's hear it for the parents out there. Hardrock Haven: I'm from Columbus, Ohio and obviously that's where the whole Dime tragedy went down. I just want to thank you for playing shows in Columbus after that happened… I think the earliest was when DOWN opened for METALLICA… but I know that meant a great deal to a lot of local metal fans that you didn't blame the whole town for what happened. Anselmo: Well, man, listen… the act of one crazy person does not reflect on a town or entire community… and I know this. The entire Ohio area was instrumental in PANTERA's growth when we were just starting out and everywhere from Dayton to, obviously, Columbus… and all the surrounding… Cleveland and all these places. It was very, very… incredible audiences and great, great, I guess one of the first audiences that really clicked and got what we were doing. Because when we first came out in 1990 and toured the U.S. and stuff, we got a lot of folded arms and cold, long stares. People not really sure what they were looking at, but once again, Ohio was one of the first states that really opened their arms to us. That won't go forgotten and, once again, one guy… one bad apple cannot ruin this particular bunch. It's uh… [sighs] It makes my heart hurt to even be addressing this, but really I want the people of Columbus to know that I hold no grudge against them at all, man. Not at all. It was one crazy fucker and that's understood. Read the entire interview at Hardrock Haven.
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