Promoters bringing controversial Pantera frontman Philip Anselmo to the country next week have spoken out in defence of the tour.

Anselmo has made headlines in the past for his past stances on "white power", in particular when he was filmed ending a concert by giving a Nazi salute and shouting "white power" at a crowd in 2016.

He is due to play shows with The Illegals in Christchurch and Auckland on March 26 and 27 - just over a week after the Christchurch mosque shootings which killed 50 people.

Shortly after the incident in 2016, Anselmo penned an open letter of apology saying, "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.


"My biggest obstacle(s) 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... From the bottom of my heart, and with all sincerity, I once again am truly sorry for the pain I have caused."

Tour promoter Ben Mulchin of Valhalla Touring says he has given the tour a lot of thought in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack and "did have to soul search" to see if it was right to continue.

"This is a very serious time in our nation's history. Intolerance and hatred needs to be identified, called out, reduced, enveloped and ideally educated and turned into understanding and empathy. All people are equal, and all people that don't have respect should be challenged and held accountable.

"I completely agree [we should not forget] or ignore Phil's vile, deplorable actions and words in 2016 nor his pandering to a crowd in the 1990s... there is no excuse," he says.

In 1994, Anselmo was questioned about allegations of racist elements in his lyrics and his refusal to condemn fans for shouting "white power" at Pantera gigs. The following year he lashed out at rap artists for "pissing all over white culture" and at a show, announced: "Tonight is a white thing". And in 2015 he was forced to apologise for incorporating the Confederate flag into cover artwork for his band Superjoint Ritual.

Mulchin says: "When his band offered to tour here I did have to soul search. Did his apologies seem earnest? Did he fully comprehend his hateful display? Did he - as a prominent figure in metal - take responsibility on how his actions can embolden and encourage others to hate? I think this last thought is pretty important in the current situation."

However, Mulchin says he feels "Phil is of a respectful loving nature", and that his apologies were "sincere" and he'd "rightly suffered from his actions".


He says he hopes Anselmo would take the shows as an opportunity to address his actions and said while he initially wasn't sure about going ahead with the show in Christchurch, he says he "believes in music as a healing power", and hopes to donate all profits and $5 per ticket to the families affected by the Christchurch attack.

This news comes after fellow metal band Slayer were forced to cancel their Christchurch show on Sunday.

VBase Board chairman Tim Scandrett announced the cancellation in a Facebook post, following talks with the police and the Christchurch City Council.

Besides having the name Slayer, the band also has songs with titles like Kill Again and Spill the Blood. It has also faced criticism in the past over songs and artwork which reference Nazism, white supremacy and serial killings.

SLAYER WITH ANTHRAX CHRISTCHURCH SHOW CANCELLED. Following advice from the Police and Christchurch City Council, Vbase...

Posted by Vbase on Friday, 15 March 2019