Phil Anselmo believes his aggressive vocal style and “pro wrestling” stage persona may give people the wrong impression of him.
The former Pantera frontman hit the headlines earlier this year with his “white power” outburst at an event paying tribute to late bandmate Dimebag Darrell. He apologised for the incident and has repeatedly denied that he is a racist.
Now he says that if people look closely enough at this career, they will see that he has “nothing but love” in his heart. And those who still see a hateful man could be mistaking his vocal style for hatred, he says.
Anselmo tells Clrvynt: “I want people to understand that I have nothing but love in my heart. It is what it is, but hopefully the truth comes out in the wash, and I love everybody. I do. The sad truth of it all is I love everybody, almost to a fault.
“I am no rustic fool, despite what I might get sometimes get into on a stage. That part of my personality is like pro wrestling or something. It’s part of me – I don’t know where that came from.
“But ‘racist’ is a very strong word. Look at my track record and you’ll see a lot of love there, I do believe. If you see the loathe part – well, maybe that’s my expression as an angry vocalist.
“Still, that doesn’t equate to someone that hates someone else for their fucking skin colour. That is absurd.”
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Anselmo adds that his upbringing in the French Quarter of New Orleans gave him a respect for people of all races.
“My earliest memories are of living in the French Quarter, raised by women, with theatre folk in and out of the house,” he says.
“If you’ve never been to the French Quarter, you would have to know that it is one of the most diverse, character-driven, all-walks-of-life type of place.
“If I really and truly upset people that I work with, or that really took offence to what I did that particular night, that hurts my heart. I wish everybody nothing but everything they could ever possibly dream of to come true in their damn lives.”