Puff of the 99X radio station in Shreveport, Louisiana recently conducted an interview with former PANTERA and current DOWN vocalist Philip Anselmo. The chat is now available for streaming using the SoundCloud widget below.
Asked about the persistent Internet rumors about the possibility of a PANTERA reunion with Zakk Wylde (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, OZZY OSBOURNE) filling in for the late "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott on guitar, Anselmo said: "This is something that… it started out as an Internet rumor, for sure. But rumors sometimes grow legs, so to speak. And with that, I've gotta say that I've actually spoken to Zakk Wylde about this, and he seems to be very open to the idea. And I know Rex [Brown, former PANTERA bassist] is open to the idea, to a certain degree. But right now Vinnie Paul [Abbott, former PANTERA drummer] is the captain of his own ship, and he's decided to keep, basically, a vow a silence forever concerning myself and Rex. You know, that's his decision, and I can't think for Vince, and I can't make decisions for Vince. But, really, as a music fan… forget reunion shows, forget making records or whatever… as a music fan, I hate reading about my favorite band not getting along; it hurts my heart. Because if I'm a fan of a band, that means I'm a fan of everybody in the band. So when I read, myself, about bands not getting along, it bothers me, really, as a fan."
He continued: "Really, what I'm trying to say is one day, it would mean the world to me, and I'm sure to Rex, if Vince would let us back into his life, let us talk through our differences, and let the public know that at least we're speaking, at least we have some form of camaraderie again, and that we're on decent terms. Because right now, I think that it would mean a lot to all the PANTERA fans out there if we were to do that as well. And right now, it's just very difficult to gauge any of that, because things are the way they are. I believe that my door, Rex's door… our doors are open, and Vince's is locked, and that's just the way it is, and until things change, then I guess that's just how it's going to be. And it's a shame."
Dimebag's longtime girlfriend Rita Haney in 2011 called on Vinnie Paul Abbott and Anselmo to settle their differences in honor of Dimebag, who was shot and killed by a crazed gunman while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at a Columbus, Ohio rock club in December 2004.
Vinnie, who is Dimebag's brother, and Anselmo have not spoken since PANTERA split in 2003. But the relationship got even more acrimonious when Vinnie indirectly blamed Philip for Dimebag's death, suggesting that some remarks the vocalist had made about Dimebag in print just weeks earlier might have incited Dimebag's killer.