‘Pantera Is The Best Heavy Metal Band, Not Metallica,’ Coal Chamber’s Dez Fafara Says

In a recent conversation with Sense Music Media, Dez Fafara of Coal Chamber didn’t shy away from making a bold declaration, asserting that Pantera, not Metallica, deserves the coveted title of the best heavy metal band in the world.

Fafara, known for his close ties with Pantera’s Philip Anselmo, steered the focus toward the music itself, choosing to overlook the controversies surrounding the band. He specifically referenced the 2016 incident at the Dimebash event in Hollywood, where Anselmo made a Nazi salute, stating:

“For me, people will say Metallica, but Pantera is the best heavy metal band on earth. End of story. And I know he’s [Philip] got a sordid past, and he said some things and this and that, and don’t get me caught up in any of that.”

Fafara went on to share personal anecdotes about his deep connection with Pantera and Anselmo. Reflecting on his experiences touring with Pantera and even residing at Anselmo’s house during times of homelessness, Fafara emphasized his admiration for the music:

“I follow the music, and that’s what I follow. And then again, I toured the world with him for f*cking three and a half, four years, and multiple times, and I lived at Anselmo’s house for years. Whenever I didn’t have a home, and I came home, I didn’t have a home, I either went to a hotel in L.A. or went to his house. So that being said, I’m glad that they’re out, and people should go check it out.”

The conversation didn’t skirt around the controversies surrounding Anselmo, particularly the aftermath of the Dimebash incident. Anselmo faced severe backlash for his actions and later issued a comprehensive apology, expressing remorse for the offensive words and gestures:

“Anyone who knows me and my true nature knows that I don’t believe in any of that; I don’t want to be part of any group. I’m an individual, and I am a thousand percent apologetic to anyone that took offense to what I said because you should have taken offense to what I said. And I am so sorry, and I hope you just… Man, give me another chance to… Just give me another chance. I love all of you.”

The repercussions of Anselmo’s actions continued to linger, leading to the cancellation of several Pantera reunion shows in January 2023. Promoters and festival organizers made these decisions following careful discussions, underscoring the enduring impact of Anselmo’s behavior on the band’s reputation and opportunities.

For those interested, the entire interview is available for listening below.

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