Philip Anselmo spoke to Australia's Heavy magazine about his decision to play a number of PANTERA songs during the recent North American tour with his solo band, PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS.
"This past year has been pretty rough as far as the PANTERA camp goes," he said. "So, with Vinnie's [Paul, PANTERA drummer] passing, I figure, this past year, why not play some of the old songs that people wanna hear and have been asking to hear for a long time. So that's been a different spin on the set, man. And once again, I can't say enough about my guys around me… Mike DeLeon, my guitar player, is really a death metal player, and Blue [José Manuel Gonzalez], my drummer, he comes from death metal roots, and everybody expands, but to ask them to do this PANTERA stuff, it was big, man — it was really big. So, big props to them, man."
Asked if performing classic PANTERA songs brings up good memories or bad memories for him, Anselmo said: "When I'm onstage, it's all good. And I will say there have been some bizarre moments. What freaks me out is the younger audience — the kids whose parents grew up as PANTERA fans in the house. It's amazing. Seeing the youngsters come in and go bananas, man — it's inspiring, man. Yeah, you know, strange feelings here and there, but overall, the payoff's been great."
Up until his death this past June, Vinnie remained on non-speaking terms with Anselmo, whom the drummer indirectly blamed for the death of Dimebag, who was his brother.
Vinnie Paul and Dimebag co-founded PANTERA. When PANTERA broke up in 2003, they formed DAMAGEPLAN. On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was shot and killed onstage by a troubled schizophrenic who believed that the members of PANTERA were stealing his thoughts.
Vinnie Paul died of dilated cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart, as well as severe coronary artery disease. His death was the result of chronic weakening of the heart muscle — basically meaning his heart couldn't pump blood as well as a healthy heart.
Vinnie was buried on June 30 next to his brother and their mother, Carolyn, at Moore Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Arlington, Texas.