Even if metal isn't your thing, you've probably heard about this story that's been making the rounds over the last week: Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo ended a set at Dimebash in Hollywood with a Nazi salute, and by shouting "white power!" You can see it in the video above.
Anselmo has since apologized, saying that it was a joke, but as you'll learn from a slew of metal musicians below, people are not happy with the guy.
All Shall Perish guitarist Ben Orum emailed MetalSucks, writing:
"We consider Pantera to be the single greatest metal band of all time, but we should never be afraid to call out our heroes. Seeing Phil’s actions and his cowardly justification is not only disgusting and inexcusable but antithetical to the punk, metal, underground ethos to which we subscribe. No gods, No masters, and certainly no master race. Any justifications or cries of 'reverse racism,' BET, Double standards, PC Police, Or general white whining are just profoundly ignorant of history, systemic effects, and the lasting impact of state sponsored racism, Jim crow, segregation and slavery. Talk with your black friends, if you have any, and try to gain some perspective. There has never, nor will ever, be a true incarnation of 'reverse racism' until white people are swinging from trees en mass, sold into torture, defined in the constitution as 3/5th’s a person, denied from public institutions and forcibly segregated from society. In the face of what an actual tit for tat reprisal would look like, affirmative action and understanding the significance and context of displaying black pride seem the least the multi-generational benefactors of being the master race can muster. Racism and its institutions are a stain on American culture; likewise, Phil’s actions are a stain on the legacy of Pantera, Dime’s memory and the metal community as a whole.
'Nazi punks, fuck off.' – Dead Kennedys"
Darkest Hour’s Mike Schleibaum wrote on his band's Facebook page:
Today I was inspired by a band in a different way then usual and it feels great. Thank you to Robb Flynn Phil Demmel Dave McClain Jared MacEachern for being a guiding light. I spent sometime watching this before my metalsucks podcasts today, we just finished recording so you will hear my thoughts on this whole thing via that interview coming soon. It’s a video like this that reminds me to say it was an honor to have toured with Machine Head. Rob is both brutality honest and totally on point in this video. I know that most of the world would watch this video and say who the fuck gives a shit – but Pantera meant a lot to me, music means a lot to me, and heavy metal is my life. So this is like sort of in my backyard. I have nothing to add only to echo the rob and the bands sentiment. I’m not the moral police, we pride ourselves in the fact that we have many different fiends and fans who feel differently about a wide range of subjects… but racism has no place in metal to me, Metal / punk / hardcore / whateverthefuckyoucallit should be unifying. Its a shame to type these words as I am sure most of us know better. Honesty and sincerity in music now a days is hard to find, cheers to rob for keeping it 100! – im going to crank up some machine head!
When you're done there, check out this Fuse clip of Anselmo giving a tour of his animal-filled home: