Article by: Virginia Calcagni
On May 15th“one of the most influential heavy metal albums of the 1990s,” will be re-released to celebrate the 20thanniversary of the album. The album will have unreleased live performances, backstage footage, and more.
Craig from The Rock 106.9 WCCC interviewed Phil Anselmo (lead singer of Pantera,) about the upcoming re-release, what the future of Pantera looks like, and his band Down.
In the 1980s Pantera became one of the most influential bands in the metal music genre since then a lot of things have changed. Anselmo reflects on the 20 years since Vulgar Display of Power was released.
“The anticipation was gigantic, it is like when we were really heads down in this thing we were so focused, so very, very focused on this record,” said Anselmo. “ I’m not sure if any of us ever really in vision the magnitude of what it would become, I know I personally don’t expect anything to be given to me ever, you know I’m not that kind of guy, expect the worst first, you know man it is always surprising and it’s an honor it really is.”
Pantera started releasing albums in the early 80s, but it wasn’t until Anselmo entered the group in the mid 80s that they went from a “glam metal sound,” to a heavier route with a full long lasting line up consisting of: Phil Anselmo, Vinny Paul, Darrell “Dimebag” Abbott, and Rex Brown. Even though Cowboys from hell was not the first album out under the name of Pantera it is considered by some to be their debut album, with Vulgar Display of Power as their second. Piss is one of the songs that were recorded during the making of the album that was stored away, and just being heard for the first time by the public.
“You know that is what makes Piss very very unique man? Pantera did not, that is one thing we did not do we did not fuck around when it came to the studio we wrote songs and we trimmed fat and that was that,” said Anselmo. “So point being getting back to the piss song it is amazing that it is even there because it is probably the only true Pantera group song that we did completely together that is left out there,” Anselmo continued. “I think for collectors and for anyone that is a massive Pantera fan just the mere fact that it was found and it is out there for public consumption you know that is a plus for them.”
One of the questions that hang on most Pantera fans tongues as well as blogs and forums is: Is there a chance that Pantera will ever tour together under the name of Pantera again, especially with the idea of having to replace one of the best guitarists that the metal world has ever seen in Darrell “Dimebag” Abbott.
“We would have to sit down and really hash out a lot of stuff go through a lot of personal talking hashing out demons whatever, whatever, whatever before that even happens so right now it is all just speculation, but I will say this, as far as I sit on this whole subject my door is wide friggen open,” said Anselmo. “Those guys they know where to find me I’m an e-mail away from all of them and that is really the only connection I have with Vinny right now is through e-mailed because we get cc’d together on these e-mails to make these decisions on what is actually going to be part of a content of any re-release, so he know s how to get in contact with me, and like I said I am a wide open door.”
With the idea of a reunion also comes the fact that someone would have to play guitar for the band, and fill the huge shoes of ‘Dimebag.’
“See in my opinion there is really no one who can fill that particular spot, you know you have got to think about it man, before I joined the band those guys had put out what three four I think it was three records on their own which shows incredible initiative I don’t care what anybody thinks of the content of the record”, said Anselmo.
Anselmo goes on to talk about the tight knit group that was Pantera even before he entered the band.
“The chemistry between Darryl, Vince, and Rex was amazing and it was an amazing thing to be around just to see these guys play man, they were so crab ass tight man just so tight even thinking about who would be a replacement guitar player, and I have heard a few names pop in out there it is hard for me to fathom,” said Anselmo. “The bridge needs to be built first. The shores are there, a big, big wide lake, it is a shame but that is how it sits.”
As far on what Anselmo is working on currently he said that his band Down has a new EP that is just waiting on some artwork to come through. He continued to say that the comments on what fans can expect from the album would be ‘classic’ Down.
On top of a new EP from Down Anselmo comments on the contents of the re-release of Vulgar Display of Power.
“I know we have some live performances that are defiantly unreleased from this old gig and I guess it was a festival type gig in Italy and it is pretty damn good man it turned out really well sounds good great crowd,” said Anselmo.“ As far as back stage stuff I have yet to see that but I would not doubt that in the slightest, we were the back stage.”