Revolver magazine recently spoke with onetime PANTERA singer Philip Anselmo and got him to pick his five favorite songs from the band. Phil’s answers were “Becoming”, “Primal Concrete Sledge”, “Slaughtered”, “I’ll Cast A Shadow” and “By Demons Be Driven”.
Discussing the song “Becoming”, Anselmo said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “That was me and [guitarist] Dimebag [Darrell Abbott], for sure. It might have been all of us. But still, Dime had the riff, but when Vince [drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott] came up with the drum beat, that’s when I… I mean, what do you say to that? I was, like, ‘Yes. Keep doing it over and over and over. It’s fucking awesome.’ So, yeah, man, that was a great moment. That was incredible. When Vince fell in with the drum beat, all of us — even Dimebag stopped playing, it was so impressive.
“Yeah, man, Vince’s unique feet on that damn song. So unique. So interesting. So innovative. The dude was a fucking tight and incredible fucking player. Like, literally the best drummer I’ve ever played with, and I’ve played with fucking great drummers, man — blessed with great drummers. But Vince is — no one’s better than Vince; no way. Vince had his strong points and strong suits, but, man, talk about adaptability too.
“Going back to when I first joined the band, in ’87, they [Dimebag and Vinnie Paul] could break into a country-and-western fucking style, and it would sound perfect; it would sound like the real deal,” he continued. “It would be, like, ‘Damn. What is that?’ They knew some stuff. They could break down into Latin-style different, like SANTANA-style shit, and it would sound perfect and believable and acceptable. And, hey, give me more.
“They were great, man. I can’t explain how innovative they were and perfect and just adaptable. Shit, man, we would play… During ‘Cowboys From Hell’, one tour, one or two tours, right after the first chorus, going into the second verse, they would break into KANSAS [hums ‘Carry On My Wayward Son’]. Man, they were great. Very, very schooled musicians in 1987, when I joined the band.
“Man, go back and listen to their first record, back when most motherfuckers were standing in a garage screaming through a fucking stereo system or a guitar amp the size of my head… Yeah, man, they were advanced — they were super advanced,” Anselmo added. “And you know, people could say, ‘Well, they were pushed and brought into the studio, and they were pushed.’ Well, yes, they were pushed. But the results — the results they took to it. They loved playing music.”
Dimebag, who was killed in 2004, and Vinnie Paul, who died in 2018, remained on non-speaking terms with Anselmo until his passing.
Vinnie Paul died of dilated cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart, and severe coronary artery disease.