Brent Smith Thinks Phil Anselmo Deserves A Second Chance

Due to Phil Anselmo’s controversial actions in the past, the newly reunited Pantera was recently dropped from a couple of festivals in Germany. In a recent interview with Knotfest’s Talk Toomey podcast, Shinedown’s Brent Smith discussed the matter, suggesting that people should be allowed to learn from their mistakes and grow.

Last year, it was reported that Pantera’s surviving members, Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown, had prepared a reunion tour slated for 2023. Fans around the globe were very excited to get another chance to see the metal legends perform live.

However, the European side of the tour faced a significant issue when Pantera’s planned performances at two German rock festivals were recently canceled due to backlash over Anselmo’s previous racist remarks. The band, featuring Anselmo, Rex Brown, Zakk Wylde, and Charlie Benante, was set to play at Rock am Ring and Rock in Park this summer.

Brent Smith addressed the subject in a recent episode of Knotfest’s Talk Toomey podcast when host Joshua Toomey stated that someone lately called him a ‘casual racist’ for being a fan of Pantera. Shinedown’s singer talked about the German music festivals that turned down the band before looking back on the 2016 Dimebash Incident, where Anselmo raised up a Nazi salute along with remarks of white supremacism.

Brent addressed this during the interview by saying:

“The reality is that Phil… when what happened, happened, he addressed it to the best of his ability. Most people — I believe — when he addressed it, believed that he was being sincere. Believe me, man; I’ll be honest with you. I was somebody who, when I saw the video, the way that it was presented, it’s not good. It’s not.

The fact of the matter is, the way that I see these types of things is, how are you going to grow? If there’s a constant level of just, giving no one an opportunity to say that they made a mistake, that they genuinely made a mistake.”

Smith then went on to say that Anselmo eventually acknowledged the situation, that he’d never support anything remotely close to white supremacism, but also mentioned that a lot of people ‘called BS’ on his apology.

He also added the following:

“There’s gonna be certain people — because you also don’t know how they were raised, how they were brought up, and how they’re gonna feel about — and that’s why it’s called society.

I think, in a lot of ways, music is medicine. And I know a lot of people have been waiting for Pantera for a long, long time and the defiance of that music. Another thing people should think about is that Pantera music, I know this for a fact, has saved a lot of lives… It was born out of chaos, but it had a message, and it was built on strength and perseverance.”

The singer emphasized that while society moves on from certain incidents that have occurred, people shouldn’t forget what happened so that those incidents and mistakes aren’t repeated again.