Down singer Phil Anselmo has recommended his band mates “move on” without him following an incident at this year’s Dimebash where Anselmo said “White power” and made the Nazi salute on stage. Since the Dimebash performance – the same gig where Anselmo teamed with Dave Grohl and Metallica’s Robert Trujillo to pay tribute to Lemmy – the former Pantera singer has apologized for his actions, but that didn’t prevent the band from being pulled from Netherlands’ FortaRock event over Anselmo’s remarks.
In a new statement on his official site (via Metal Hammer), Anselmo again apologized for what he said and how it has affected his band mates. “I am utterly responsible for the mistakes I have made, and can only give you my word to no longer do them in the present, through action, not just mere words,” Anselmo wrote. “My bandmates are now experiencing the consequences of my behavior, and I now publicly apologize to them as well. Never in my entire lifetime would I drag them down with me, and I’ve privately suggested to them that they move on without me.”
Anselmo added, “My biggest obstacles are the over-indulging in the booze and blurting out spiteful, ignorant reductions of the human spirit itself. I will address these issues, head-on. I’m repulsed by my own actions, and the self-loathing I’m going through right now is justified by the hurt I’ve caused.”
The singer had previously posted a video apology asking fans to give him another chance following the Dimebash outburst, which Anselmo at first explained was an “inside joke” about drinking white wine backstage. However, many in the metal community spoke out against Anselmo’s actions, particularly Machine Head’s Robb Flynn, who dismissed Anselmo’s wine claims.
“I was there, and I can tell you for a fact that there was not a Chardonnay or a Pinot Grigio in sight backstage,” Flynn said. “In fact, the only thing that you were drinking, Phil Anselmo, was Beck’s German beer. Maybe that’s where the joke came from. Get it? German beer. White power.”
Despite the FortaRock cancellation, as well as Anselmo telling band mates to “move on,” Down is still currently scheduled to play a series of European dates this summer.
In 2015, Anselmo faced some criticism after it was discovered that Pantera was still selling merchandise bearing the Confederate flag. However, the singer quickly spoke out against the defunct band’s Lynyrd Skynyrd-inspired shirts. “It’d be like, ‘Would we be flying the Nazi flag?'” he said. “I don’t think so, because flags are looked at whether it be nationalism or symbols of something. Truthfully, it’s like … I wish fucking everyone would get along.”