Phil Anselmo calls reaction to 2016 Dimebash controversy “ridiculous”

Phil Anselmo (Image credit: Scott Dudelson - Getty)

Phil Anselmo has reflected on the Dimebash controversy he was embroiled in back in January 2016.

Anselmo sparked an outcry when he made a Nazi-style salute when leaving the stage at the event, held in honour of his late Pantera bandmate Dimebag Darrell. He appeared to say “white power” as he made the gesture.

During the fallout at the time, Anselmo apologised for the outburst and begged to be given “another chance.”

And, in a new interview with Kerrang, Anselmo was asked if he’s moved on from the incident, which was recently cited as a reason why two of his shows with The Illegals in New Zealand were cancelled.

Anselmo responds: “I feel like it’s ridiculous. I made an off-colour joke and ‘boom!’ – it’s like I’m literally Hitler! I’m not. I take each individual one at a time, in the way that any logical individual will. I have love in my heart. 

“Over the years I’ve learned to take the first step with love and to put good faith first. I get along with everybody. 

I don’t have a racist bone in my body. My heroes are everybody

Phil Anselmo

“If there’s any doubt about my political leanings, people should get it out of their heads. I was raised among a dazzling cast of characters from the theatre, from the mental hospital, from all walks of life – all colours, creeds and kinds.”

Anselmo adds: “It’s absurd to me that anyone in this day and age would judge anyone by the colour of their skin, their heritage or their religion. 

“I’m a harmless guy. I’m a reactionary, not a troublemaker.”

Then, asked if he would trade fame for anonymity, Anselmo responds: “I’m a realist. What has happened has happened. What is going to happen is going to happen. What am I supposed to do about it? 

“Am I supposed to re-live shit, or rewind time? Erase people’s memories? If you stack what I’ve done up against all the horrible things that have been done on this earth, I’d hope that I’d come pretty low on the list. 

“I don’t have a racist bone in my body. My heroes are everybody.” 

Philip H. Anselmo And The Illegals have a handful of summer shows lined up in support of their latest album Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue.

Philip H. Anselmo And The Illegals: Choosing Mental Illness...

Philip H. Anselmo And The Illegals: Choosing Mental Illness...
Anselmo and his band's album was described by Metal Hammer as "10 tracks of uncompromising brutality, erupting with blastbeats, paint-peeling hardcore riffage and Phil’s piercing shriek."

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.