Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo has faced some harsh criticism recently. Last month at a show to celebrate the former band member Dimebag Darrell in a tribute to his work with Pantera, a drunken stupor of Phil Anselmo raised his hand in the Nazi salute, shouting “White Power!” some would speculate, but could it be possible that Phil was saying “White Wine!” since he was drunk at the time.
Although Anselmo has apologized for his salute while being intoxicated during that performance, he might be facing some serious public image and career repercussions. The Nazi salute was an inside joke between the band members of Pantera, when the members would drink white wine backstage. Now that Anselmo is the head of Down, a New Orleans sludge metal supergroup that was going to perform at the Dutch metal festival FortaRock in June, is no longer welcomed by the organizers for the festival, according to a Blabbermouth article. Down’s performance at the Dutch Metal festival has been cancelled by the agreement between the organizers who spoke about the decision in a public statement:
“After the recent outbursts by singer Phil Anselmo during the Dimebash event in the U.S., his band DOWN is no longer welcome at FortaRock,” said FortaRock organizers , “There has been close consultation between all parties recent days, since we wanted to make a well informed decision. On that basis, the decision is made to cancel the act. We want to make clear that there is no room for racism or fascism on FortaRock.”
Since Anselmo’s inside joke went live in photos and videos, the frontman released a video stating that he deserves all the negative criticism and harsh comments from his actions. Anselmo has been sincere with his apologies and that how his actions at the end of that tribute to Darrell could have possibly offended anyone that he was not trying to offend in the least. Machine Head’s frontman Robb Flynn is one of the several musicians who have responded to Phillip’s apologetic video saying that his actions were more of a bully and that they were wrong to do, drunk or not in Flynn’s eleven minute video.
Phil Anselmo has recommended that his bandmates from Down, should move on without him in their music careers following the Nazi salute at a gig in tribute to Darrell. The musician stated through his ofical website a personal statement about the result of his actions and how he does not want Down to suffer in any way from this recent publicity problem. Rolingstone offered a quote from the website that reflected Anselmo’s deepest apologies.
“I am utterly responsible for the mistakes I have made, and can only give you my word to no longer do them in the present, through action, not just mere words,” Anselmo wrote on his webiste. “My bandmates are now experiencing the consequences of my behavior, and I now publicly apologize to them as well. Never in my entire lifetime would I drag them down with me, and I’ve privately suggested to them that they move on without me. My biggest obstacles are the over-indulging in the booze and blurting out spiteful, ignorant reductions of the human spirit itself. I will address these issues, head-on. I’m repulsed by my own actions, and the self-loathing I’m going through right now is justified by the hurt I’ve caused.”
Despite Down being unable to play at the FrotaRock festival, the band is still going to do their scheduled European tour this summer.
Pepper Keenan from Down, has expressed his side of the discussion about Anselmo’s actions. on the Facebook page of the musician, he writes about how he does not approve of the behavior, but he accepts the apology to Down that Anselmo made. But due to the criticism about the Nazi Salute that has happened two weeks prior to any other shows being performed, the band has decided to cancel their hometown show that would have happened February 8 in New Orleans. Down still has their European tour scheduled, but those dates for their shows in Germany, France, and England are being put into question.