The heavy metal band Pantera is not allowed to perform in Austria – if it pleases the Greens. The backdrop is a 2016 incident when singer Phil Anselmo took to the stage during the Dimebash festival to give the Nazi salute and shout “White Power” to the audience.
After releasing “Rock am Ring” and “Rock im Park” in Germany, the appearance in Vienna is now about to take place for the Texans. The performance on May 31, 2023 in the Gasometer is currently being considered, organizer Barracuda Music said on Tuesday. They are exploring “the possibility of canceling the show”.
After intensive consultation with artists, partners and festival fans, it was decided to remove the band from the program, according to reports in Germany. The Toten Hosen, who perform as headliners at the festivals, in particular had commented on the case, describing the scenes in question as “abhorrent and disgusting”. Even if he apologized afterwards and has since protested that he is not a racist, the question remains how credible his apology is. The “Rock im Park” also takes place in Nuremberg on the former Nazi Party Rally Grounds.
Greens: “Vienna has historical responsibility”
In this country, the Viennese Greens in particular are now demanding a performance ban: “We are shocked that the Viennese gas meter offers a stage to the band Pantera, whose front singer openly glorifies Nazi symbols.” to cancel performance plans. “Because of its National Socialist past, Vienna in particular has a special historical responsibility to oppose any form of right-wing extremism.”
Pantera delivered one of the big metal hits of the 90s with “Walk” (YouTube video below). It was also the song played in honor of the late band member Dimebag Darrell right before the White Power scandal.
“Damn I Was Joking”
Anselmo had already responded to the incident in 2016, when the scenes were made public via YouTube, and initially refused to apologize. “Okay guys I guess I owe you guys something but damn I was joking. It was part of an inside joke that night because we were drinking white wine that night hahaha… That’s one of all things. You have to grow thicker skin. There are many people you should take care of more. I love everyone, I despise everyone, very simple. There are no excuses from me,” the 54-year-old told “Metal Hammer”.
Later, however, it sounded different: “I’m so sorry. I hope you’ll give me another chance.” It had already dawned on Anselmo & Co. that the whole thing could jeopardize their very existence, giving themselves a gentle hug to the organizers and explaining that the frontman’s behavior “in no way reflects the opinion of the band and that he sincerely and deeply regrets his appearance”. Now Pantera is overtaken by the past.