On June 20, Philip Anselmo spoke to Graspop Metal Meeting about his decision to play a number of PANTERA songs during the current European tour with his solo band, PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS.
"Honestly, it was not even part of the gameplan until Vince [PANTERA drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott] died," he said. "And then, after Vince died, it was, like, 'Ugh…' A lot of people got in touch with me, and they expressed, they said, 'Phil, if you were ever gonna do PANTERA songs, this would be the time.' And for the first time, I listened, because before, I was very hesitant to do any of that. But now it feels… I guess the tribute feels necessary.
"Some people ask me, 'Is playing those old songs, is it difficult? Does it bring up this memory or that memory?'" he continued. "It can, for sure, but that's why I concentrate on the young people in the audience going crazy, man."
Asked if there is "a measure of closure" in performing PANTERA songs live again after all this time, Anselmo said: "There's no closure — there's no closure — but I would say it feels very good to see this new group, young people enjoying the PANTERA songs. It feels great."
Pressed about what was so special about PANTERA that seemingly inspired generations of music fans and musicians, Anselmo said: "Every now and again in the history of whatever — music — there's a perfect storm, and I think PANTERA was a perfect storm for its time. And it's pretty obvious that the people that were watching us back in the '90s have procreated, and their kids have grown up listening to PANTERA. So it's the meeting of the generations, man. And the reason why it's important? I don't know. I don't know, man."
Up until his death in June 2018, Vinnie remained on non-speaking terms with Anselmo, whom the drummer indirectly blamed for the death of "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, who was his brother.
Vinnie Paul and Dimebag co-founded PANTERA. When PANTERA broke up in 2003, they formed DAMAGEPLAN. On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was shot and killed onstage by a troubled schizophrenic who believed that the members of PANTERA were stealing his thoughts.
Vinnie Paul died of dilated cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart, as well as severe coronary artery disease. His death was the result of chronic weakening of the heart muscle — basically meaning his heart couldn't pump blood as well as a healthy heart.
Vinnie was buried on June 30, 2018 next to his brother and their mother, Carolyn, at Moore Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Arlington, Texas.