Jeff Kerby of KNAC.COM recently conducted an exclusive interview with SUPERJOINT RITUAL bassist Hank Williams III. An excerpt from the interview follows:
KNAC.COM: Right after Dime's murder, you became a spokesperson of sorts for Phil [Anselmo] and SUPERJOINT. How hard was that for you personally? Was it in any way awkward being a part of a band that was played up by many as a "rival" of DAMAGEPLAN?
Hank III: "It was definitely difficult. It is kinda hard for any musician to go through — no musician has ever been taken down like that on stage. For it to have been Dime just made it that much harder to believe. When I woke up that morning though, I knew something was wrong. There were like eighty fuckin' phone calls and sure enough the whole thing was hard to believe. Everyone thought Phil would be in the ground before Dime just because of the way he lives and all…but that really hit Phil hard. Even though there was some bickering going on between the bands, there was going to be a PANTERA reunion tour. You know, he was looking forward to it. They were talking about it. I was even talking to Phil the other day, and he was like, 'My guitar player's dead — what the fuck?' He's just working on himself now though and he's getting ready to get his back straightened out and have that surgery. He will be back though — it could be DOWN or it could be SUPERJOINT or some thing we don't even know about yet. It did fuck us all up though. I'm glad I had my moment though with David Allan Coe and PANTERA — it was great to be able to perform with Dime and Vinnie at their house. That was the biggest night in music for me — country or metal. Just to have those guys together was something else."
KNAC.COM: They said any time there was a barbecue, Dime was cranking up DAVID ALLAN COE or KISS.
Hank III: "Yeah, he loved that shit, man. They had a great relationship. He was a good guy, man. Like I said, I thought he might drink himself to death, instead of somebody without a ticket fuckin' shootin’ him. It was crazy."
KNAC.COM: At what point did your apprehension and anger about what happened to Dime start to affect what you were doing?
Hank III: "The very first time I went to Texas, I was a little affected. I was like, 'I dunno what the fuck is gonna go on.' Yeah, I had my two guys up there with their vests and guns in their pockets and all… but I've probably been back to Texas five times or so since then it happened. No matter what though, you can't escape it. If there is a bullet with your name on it, it's gonna get you man. He was killed in December, and probably by February, I was back out on the road. Like when I do the ASSJACK stuff, I have tunnel vision and can probably only see about four feet in front of the stage. If somebody jumps up on stage, we don't freak out about it. That was the first thing Phil would say when we played, you know, 'Our stage is your stage, so get your fuckin' asses out here!' Now, with that band, in my opinion, it might end up a totally different thing. I don't know if he'll ever feel the same way again — he might. He might just get over it and accept whatever his fate is or it might be a full-on freaked out security issue."
KNAC.COM: Do you think it could ever even be possible for Phil to carry on in a way where the Dime tragedy wasn’t a primary focal point? I mean, it seems like the quote that bothered people the most was the one where he implied that if he wanted something done to Dime, he wouldn‘t necessarily have to be the one to do it — there were other people that would.
Hank III: "Well, he talked a lot of shit, and that can't be denied, but so did DAMAGEPLAN. Part of it is though that when you break up with your brothers that you've been out on the road with, there's gonna be some sore feelings for awhile, and then you get back together. It has happened with everybody from JANE'S ADDICTION to BLACK SABBATH. The problem here though was that this just had a bad twist of fate to it. I mean, Phillip preaches some dark stuff, but did he really want this to happen? No fuckin' way. Not at all. It's just a fucked up fate thing."
KNAC.COM: How much did the uncertainty surrounding Phil have to do with you getting "Straight to Hell" recorded and getting back out on the road — I know you’ve said numerous times that you have to keep working.
Hank III: "Yeah, I’ve always had that mentality of trying to keep myself or my band busy. As far as it goes, Phil does want to get back out on the road — he's getting antsy sitting back at his house. I know he has said he would never go back out on the road, but lately he has said that he might actually get back out there. It's hard to say, man. He's working on himself and what he’s got to deal with — you know, like he knows that even if he tries to forget, there's always gonna be that one mutherfucker…"
KNAC.COM: At every show…
Hank III: "Yeah, it used to be that every time he heard someone yell 'PANTERA' he would take it as a slap in the face. It's like, you can't help that, man. You were in one of the baddest mutherfuckin' bands in the world. Be proud of that. Just because they scream out 'PANTERA' doesn't mean they don't like you. It is definitely going to be interesting to see whatever happens. He's still gonna make music, and I'm just about positive that he's gonna get back out on the road. Now, with what band…who's to say? SUPERJOINT's label just went under the table, so there doesn't have to be a third album. Basically, he could do anything — he could even start his own label. Phil just has so many projects that most people don't even know about."
Read the entire interview at KNAC.COM.