Phil Anselmo Reveals He Was Molested As A Child, Nearly Goes Off on Vinnie Paul
It seems that last week Phil Anselmo was on a bit of a New York publicity tour, this despite his suggestion in October that he wouldn't be doing many interviews anymore. Anselmo is attempting to repair his image, after controversial footage surfaced back in January of him giving a Nazi salute and shouting "White Power" at a tribute show for late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell.
Anselmo claimed that the bad joke was the result of three hecklers in the crowd shouting "racist" at him all night and his internal reaction was "You wanna see ugly? I'll show you what ugly looks like," and that's why he made the salute. He discussed the matter, as well as his issues with the fallout, during an appearance on Eddie Trunk's show last week, which we recapped (and went into much detail about on this week's Metal Injection Livecast). It seems around the same time, he was interviewed by Rolling Stone. While he repeats some of the same anecdotes that he told during the Trunk interview, there is one shocking story that Anselmo discusses for the first time here.
He says he also identifies with marginalized peoples because of his upbringing. He grew up in New Orleans' French Quarter – "That's a diverse fucking crowd of people," he says – and he was raised by a single mother who "dated black men and whatever and they were in my house that I lived in – they spent the night and all that – and all I had was fucking love for them." His nanny when he was young, he says, was a transgender woman who was assigned male at birth named Wilma. "I loved her," he says repeatedly. He points out that he uses the past tense when talking about her not because he no longer loves her but because she is now dead.
"But when people constantly talk about being a victim or something, there are going to be certain points where I have to step back and go, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa.' Especially when people shout and scream about us living in a rape culture and men are this evil product. … Guess who was molested his entire child-fucking-hood by numerous people, both men and women. … " He pauses, and lowers his chin to make eye contact. "Me." He pauses again and sharpens his glare. "Me."
It's a shocking revelation but Anselmo adds "maybe because I'm almost 50 and I don't give a fuck anymore. But it happened. I never blamed the world for it like I'm seeing kids today do, putting everybody in one box. And the same thing goes for race and all this shit."
In a brave act of journalism, writer Kory Grow then mentions Vinnie Paul's reactions to the Dimebash video, where Paul reacted by saying "He's done a lot of things that tarnish the image of what Pantera was back then and what it stood for and what it was all about. And it's sad."
Anselmo's response is interesting.
Anselmo recoils at first when thinking about Paul's comments but soon turns dismissive. "Yeah, I saw that he said that but anything out of that dude's mouth is … ugh … it seems sour," he says. "I don't have anything in common with that guy at all." He pauses to find his words. "But Vince better be caref– …" He stops mid-word and seamlessly switches sentiments. "One day I'm really not gonna care about whatever the legacy of Pantera [is]. It's great that we had such an awesome fan base and still continue to have this awesome fan base, but there will be probably be a whole lot of 'em that would be perhaps a little disappointed in my assessment of the whole situation. So I'll just leave it at that. And that's why I'm not going to speak out about it, even though I know when this interview comes out, people are going to say, 'Well, you almost went off on that.' And yeah, almost. Operative word."
It was an interesting peek into Anselmo's mind, as he realizes he can't be incredibly public with his true feelings here.