PHILIP ANSELMO Says Dealing With DIMEBAG's Death 'Gets Harder And Harder' Each Year

In a brand new interview with AOL's Noisecreep, former PANTERA singer Philip Anselmo was asked about the upcoming 20th-anniversary remastered edition of the band's 1990 album "Cowboys From Hell", which will include bonus tracks and new artwork. "I just did some liner notes for that," he said. 'It dredged up a lot of memories and me thinking, 'My God, 99 percent of the songs on 'Cowboys' were written in 1989, and we were prepared for that record.' Production-wise, [late PANTERA guitarist] Dimebag [Darrell Abbott] really brought a roaring guitar tone. He always had that, even back in the day.

"The way records sound or sounded back then was also production, which was in transition, with Terry Date producing and Vinnie Paul [Abbott, drums] and his studio prowess, if you will. They made some marked advancements as far as capturing guitar sounds go.

"We were songwriters, but we were also ... that threatening edge was there. It wasn't found in a typical metal band. We knew what we were onto.

"I will say it. I said it before, I don't think PANTERA truly found their sound 'till [1992's] 'Vulgar' ['Display Of Power'], but 'Cowboys' was a fantastic precursor."

Regarding his involvement on the upcoming "Cowboys" reissue, Philip said, "They asked me to [write the liner notes for it]. I jotted notes and sent them back, and they said, 'Well, if Phil is writing this, let's get more out of him.' So they came back, asked for me. It ended up being a lengthy write-up.

"It has to be approved by all of us."

When asked how he is deal witn Dimebag's loss five years after the guitarist was murdered while performing with his band DAMAGEPLAN in Columbus, Ohio, Anselmo said, "I will say that with each passing year, it gets harder and harder and harder. This year was really rough. This past December was excruciating.

"When I look around today and see what an impact that we made, and where heavy metal is at today, and I think of what could have been? What should have been? It's very hard. It's hard to come to grips with it. However, with that said, I am a man who likes to live in the now.

"All I can do is — like everyone else, like you, like any other fans, and anyone walking the streets that has love in their heart for what PANTERA has done — is sit back finally and listen to it as a fan.

"Pride is a tough thing in and of itself. To be proud of yourself is fine and all, but there is a certain amount of pride there. But regret does hover over the whole thing within my emotions. But I am living in the now.

"All I can do is love him and cherish these memories and know that no matter what is said, no matter what has been believed, or no matter what the conception is in anyone's little mind out there, I was there. I lived it — from the practice room, of every jam session, of every writing session, of every song.

"Those are my songs. Those are my words. That in itself can't be beat. You can't beat it.

"What an experience."

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