PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS, the project led by the former PANTERA and current DOWN/SUPERJOINT frontman, played a number of PANTERA classics during its January 26 concert at Tropical Butantã in São Paulo, Brazil. Fan-filmed video footage can be seen below.
Anselmo explained his decision to perform PANTERA songs with his solo band during a recent interview with Australia's Heavy magazine.
"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 last 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.
Last month, PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS announced the addition of former CATTLE DECAPITATION bassist/current SCOUR guitarist Derek Engemann to the group's ranks. Engemann — who takes the place of bass comrade Walter Howard (GRIEVED, OPPRESSIVE FORCE, VAGINAL BEAR TRAP) — is making his live debut with THE ILLEGALS on the band's Latin American tour.
In March, PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS will make its way to Australia and New Zealand on the "Thrash Blast Grind" tour with Australian grind practitioners and Housecore Records labelmates KING PARROT. The journey marks Anselmo's first visit to Australia in over five years and includes a headlining set at Slayfest in Perth on March 23. Additional support will be provided by PALM (Japan) and POTION (Australia).
The summer months will find PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS playing a host of European festivals, including Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium, Hellfest in France, and Metaldays in Slovenia, with more performances to be announced in the weeks to come.
PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS' sophomore album, "Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue", was released in January 2018 via Anselmo's Housecore Records in the U.S. and Season Of Mist in other parts of the world. The disc is the follow-up to PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS' debut, "Walk Through Exits Only", which came out in 2013 to mostly positive reviews.