Phil Anselmo, Former Pantera Frontman, Talks Struggles With Addiction, Sobriety

Formed by the late guitarist, “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, and his drummer brother, Vinnie Paul, Pantera was one of the biggest metal bands of the nineties, with a brutal, uncompromising sound that gained a loyal fan following worldwide.

Yet, going into the new millennium, the band had a bad break-up with their notorious lead singer, Phil Anselmo—a rift that was compounded by Anselmo’s battles with alcohol and heroin.

Anselmo fronted a number of bands after Pantera, including Superjoint, who are currently touring. He recently spoke to the Daily Times about his struggles with sobriety, as well as the drunken incident that made him reevaluate his life.

A year ago, Anselmo was caught sieg-heiling and yelling “white power” onstage at a gig. (Anselmo admitted to Rolling Stone that he was pretty drunk when he did it.) The heavy metal frontman has been accused of being a racist before, which he strongly denies, but said the incident was in response to people in the audience that were heckling him.

Anselmo tells the Times, “I own what I did, but did I mean it at all? Absolutely fucking not. I got nothing but love for everybody and anybody, but we live in a day and age of online piling on. You know it’s going to happen if you walk your own walk.”