Jack Antonio conducted an interview with former PANTERA and current DOWN frontman Philip Anselmo on the December 22 episode of "Do You Know Jack?" radio show on Insane Realm Radio. You can now listen to the chat using the Mixcloud player below.
Asked about how his tribute to late SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman at the Revolver Golden Gods awards ceremony on May 2 — where Anselmo performed with ANTHRAX — Philip said: "I was in town [Los Angeles] strictly for that awards ceremony. And I swear, man, we were on the way for soundcheck when everybody's phone started blowing up around me. I don't have a fucking phone and I will not submit to them. But everybody's phone started blowing up and all I kept hearing was, 'Oh, no. Oh, no.' And I asked, I said, 'What the fuck's going on?' And they said Jeff Hanneman had just passed."
He continued: "The relationship between myself and the PANTERA guys and SLAYER goes way, way, way back, and that was some harsh news to get hit with, especially an hour out of soundcheck for that event that particular evening. So, really, I was so upset when I got there that it was Charlie Benante [ANTHRAX drummer], who had the clear head, and he said, 'You know what, man?! When we play this song [PANTERA's 'This Love']…' And Rex [Brown, former PANTERA bassist] jammed, by the way, too — Rex played with us that night. So Charlie said, 'Man, we've got to do some sort of homage for Jeff,' and all of us were, like, 'Of course. No doubt, no doubt.' And we realized we only had 'X' amount of time on stage, so to put in a little bit of [SLAYER's] 'Raining Blood' in his memory was such a small token, but at the same time, we meant it — every damn one of us on that fucking stage meant it with all of our heart. Because ANTHRAX and SLAYER, they had toured together several times and know each other since the early, early, early '80s. And, I guess, our relationship, being in PANTERA, with ANTHRAX started in the late '80s… as well as SLAYER… So, really, it was like a family member had died. And, I guess, in that short span of time, between finding out the news and actually getting up on stage and acting on that news, we did the best that we could. But still…
"It makes me sad in my heart to even talk about losing Jeff Hanneman, man. SLAYER's gotta be one of the biggest MVPs in my life… The dude was a fucking beast, man. And he will be crazy, crazy missed, man."
Hanneman passed away on May 2 from liver failure at the age of 49.
Members of SLAYER released a statement on May 9 saying that Hanneman died of alcohol-related cirrhosis.
Hanneman had actually not been playing with SLAYER for more than two years since he contracted necrotizing fasciitis, also known as flesh-eating disease, from a spider bite in his backyard in January 2011. The infection ravaged the flesh and tissues of Hanneman's arm, leading to numerous surgeries, skin grafts and intense periods of rehab that forced him into semi-retirement and left him near death at several points.
Hanneman's last appearance with SLAYER was in April 2011, when he played an encore with the band at the "Big Four" concert in Indio, California.