Phil Anselmo Explains Why Dimebag Darrel Was the Greatest: 'He Had This Thing Called Soul'

"Yngwie Malmsteen doesn't have the soul Dimebag had," the singer explains.

Phil Anselmo Explains Why Dimebag Darrel Was the Greatest: 'He Had This Thing Called Soul'
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Former Pantera singer Phil Anselmo recently opened up about his late bandmate Dimebag Darrell, naming reasons why he's the greatest metal guitarist of all time. During a chat with Loudwire, Anselmo named Dime's soulful playing as a crucial aspect of his greatness, basically calling him miles ahead of neo-classical titan Yngwie Malmsteen. "He lived it, he breathed it, he meant every f--king second of it and he could do it all," the fronman kicked off. "He had taste, he had a heart, he had this thing called soul - and I'm from New Orleans Jack. When you make a note wiggle, with beautiful vibrato - he had all that." Phil continued, "Then he had that damn whammy bar which at the time might have been considered 'hackney' and somehow he brought it back to life and made it do different things. He could make his guitar talk. He brought this thing called indifferent type of heavy tone as well. He was very responsible for tone - very particular, fought-for for a long time, not happy for the longest time." After praising the rest of Pantera as the tightest group of musicians he's ever played with and sharing a few interesting behind-the-scene stories about Dimebag, Anselmo once again focused on the axeman's playing. "My point is, no matter how hungover, no matter what he did, somehow when he would get on that f--king stage it would click and he would be a machine," Phil said. "And he could fly actually - and not miss a note. I've seen his headstock broken off - not missing a note - I've seen him sh-t onstage in a bucket and hold his guitar while he was doing it." Finally, Phil returned to the soul aspect. "There's different types of guitar players. OK, there's Yngwie Malmsteens out there - great, good for him. Does he have the soul Dimebag had? Nope. I mean not even close. I don't give a flying f--k about sweeps - that's boring bullsh-t for 'guitar nerds.' [burp] I prefer a motherf--ker with soul, heart and goddamn muscle. And passion! Motherf--ker had it all," he concluded. Anselmo's unique vibe is hard to transfer through text, so we recommend checking out the video below to get the full grasp. And do you agree with Phil on this one - do you prefer Dime over Yngwie? Let us know in the comments.

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    leo4sf
    Why couldnt Phil express this stuff while Dime was still alive and the band was still together. Things might have ended up signifigantly different.
    DickHardwood
    I doubt he had the same clarity back then. He has matured a lot over the years.
    HUNDuffman
    yeah, like "shit **** mother****ing bullshit****ing lobster **** (spews in the face of the FUCKING interviewer)"
    whaip
    "I've seen him sh-t onstage in a bucket and hold his guitar while he was doing it." wut?._.
    Mass_debator
    Lol, I remember Dime mentioning that in a Guitar World interview years ago. They asked him what his shittiest gig was and he said that he had never played a bad show, but once he had diarrhea and had to get a roadie to rush him a bucket onstage and that was his "shittiest" gig!
    Bazz22
    Ha, I love that they added in the "[burp]". Cool interview, by the way. I wouldn't necessarily call Yngwie's playing "soulless", but I personally prefer Dimebag.
    PirateMuffinDan
    So arpeggios are for nerds? That's all a freaking sweep is. What a biased load of shit. I love Dimebag as much as the next guy, but there's no need to bash another guitarist like Ynqwie. And all that "soul" bullshit has gotten to everyone's heads. You're not entitled to label something as soulful just because you like it and you think it's better than other styles, that's being an elitist douche. Everyone is emotionally moved by different styles of guitar playing, and you're not making any reasonable point by labeling something as soulful, considering that can't even be tangibly measured.
    westley23j
    You're not entitled to label something as soulful just because you like it and you think it's better than other styles, that's being an elitist douche. well, Phil always seemed like an elitist douche, so i guess that makes sense.
    SmurfGenocide
    cut the bullshit, yngwie is nothing but a show off.
    westley23j
    He absolutrly is. Ill never argue that. Like one of my other comments somewhere on this article says, his guitar is like his mouth. He doesnt know when to shut up. But Phil has alwys come across as a douche too. Although i prefer his to YM any day of the week
    Crackheadrich
    I think this is an interesting one because I think that playing an unnecessary amount of notes (as Yngwie can do)doesn't always create the most pleasing sound, but saying that soulful (im guessing this means lots of vibrato and use of spacing and timing) categorically is better just isn't true, there are lots of examples of when it does achieve a pleasing effect like Chris Broderick, Animals as leaders (Tosin Abasi), Paul Gilbert, Guthrie Govan just to name a few all of which manage to convey emotion and create interesting melodies through the use of shred guitar.
    NateCochrane93
    There's different types of guitar players. OK, there's Yngwie Malmsteens out there - great, good for him. Does he have the soul Dimebag had? Nope. I mean not even close. I don't give a flying f--k about sweeps - that's boring bullsh-t for 'guitar nerds.' [burp] I prefer a motherf--ker with soul, heart and goddamn muscle. And passion! Motherf--ker had it all," he concluded. finally. somebody who recognizes soul. not, LOOK AT THIS SWEEP I JUST DID!
    K33nbl4d3
    What do you mean "finally"? Malmsteen is criticised constantly for his overly technical, "soulless" playing. The ironic thing is it's actually because his playing was enjoyed by enough people to get noticed, while the shredders who have the same problem but far worse are left alone because nobody listens to their music.
    thf24
    "Finally"? He's just one more to jump on the majority-driven bandwagon dumping on fast, "soulless" players. It's not bold and groundbreaking to put down highly technical players these days, it's fashionable. It's unfortunate because those of you who can't enjoy the soul and feeling in the composition of fast, technical music (nothing wrong with that) are causing those who can and might like it to write it off as exactly what you say it is.
    MattHessing
    Sweep players/shredders suck (IMO) because they seem to be the most limited musicians around. It's just constant self-indulgent wanking, so effin' cheesy it makes me lactose intolerant. Thought it was cool when I was like 14, but then I realised music is not about who can play the most notes in quick succession. Dime > Yngwie any day of the week.
    The_Dayman
    Being able to sweep doesn't make you a limited musician. That's beyond stupid.
    Jazz1992
    I agree with what he said about Dime, but this whole "Yngwie Malmsteen is just a boring, emotionless shredder" thing is one of the most unjust and stupid things in metal IMO. I can't believe so many people still have that immature mindset, most of them without even giving Yngwie's music a good listen.
    korinaflyingv
    exactly, there are so many valid reasons to detest him and his music, citing soullessness is such a cop out.
    My Last Words
    'I don't give a flying f--k about sweeps - that's boring bullsh-t for guitar nerds.' Phil, I am dissapoint.
    The_Dayman
    Honestly. If you don't like the sound of sweeps, fine. But bashing people simply for knowing how to do something, especially something that difficult? That's just stupid.
    Ramonesfan1234
    WE DONT GIVE A SHIT ABOUT SWEEPS!!! AND YOU SHOULDNT EITHER!!!
    The_Dayman
    You telling me what I should and shouldn't care about in music is wrong on so many levels. Also, turn off the caps.
    verbal.ken
    In other news, Ynwie Malmsteen surprised and grateful to have been mentioned by anyone at all, even if it was to level that tired old "no-soul" charge yet again.
    christianonbass
    I am so happy that I had the privilege of seeing Pantera in 96 during their Great Southern Trendkill tour. White Zombie opened. What a great concert. Dime was incredible.
    Megadeth2011
    Dimebag wasn't a bad player or anything, but saying Yngwie has no soul because he plays fast is just stupid. I personally didn't mind Dime's playing, but I'd much rather listen to Jason Becker, Marty Friedman, or Jeff Loomis's playing than Dime's. They're all miles ahead of Dime, and I think they've got more soul than he did, but that's just because that's what I can feel.
    westley23j
    Blue is definitely one of YM's better songs if you ask me, but i doubt he ever heard "sometimes its the notes you DONT play." his guitar is like his mouth. it never shuts up.
    sklaiss24
    Exactly... Yngwie's obviously a great guitar player. Unbelievable in fact, but I rarely listen to him. He has good melodies in his solos. Blue has great melodies, but he ruins a lot of them by tremolo picking everything and adding pointless sweep picking runs that to me just sound like he's showing off. You said it, it's sometimes in the notes you don't play. I'll take BB King playing 5 notes any day. Playing guitar, to me, isn't about showing off, and it seems that's all Yngwie likes to do.
    whywefight
    he probably was unhappy with his tone because it actually sucked.
    link no1
    Dime's guitar tone was one of the most recognizable and unique guitar tones out there. The tone he had on his guitar was fantastic.
    whaip
    I can't help myself, every Dimebag tone I heard sounded like a cheap distortion pedal.
    RCA1186
    Dime was an incredible guitarist, but his tone was not good, it was awful, it was recognizable because no one else sounded like it, and there was a reason for that.
    westley23j
    nope. his tone was awful IMO. sounded like all highs and lows, no mids, no body. no SOUL (see what i did there). it sounded as though he was constantly playing through a boss metalzone. (i never could find a good tone on that thing)
    Wininacan
    By itself it might not be the greatest tone but with the overall mix of the band it is a very strong unique and interesting tone. And if you cant get a good tone out of the boss metalzone you must have a shit guitar, amp, or no clue how to use it
    jimbob32292
    Also too^ to comment on my post above, im sure Marty Friedman doesnt have ANY soul in his guitar playing. No offense to dimefans, but there are a handful of guitarist I can name that have more soul and are more technical. I mean for **** sakes dimebags idol was Randy Rhoads, and tbh he RARLEY ever played any of his style..
    iannii
    Malmsteen didn't have the "soul" he had the "Mojo, yeah baby yeah!!"
    TRIDS
    I can't agree with Phil here. I think people who imitate and don't create their own shit is with out soul. If he want's to talk about vibrato Yngwie has that sick ass wide vibrato that has plenty of soul.
    Tiago Sa
    People, it's Phil Anselmo. What does he actually KNOW about guitar playing? I'd wager very little. Now, he was Dime's bandmate and that makes his opinion relevant, but don't bash him because of it. He's an idiot, and he has every right to be one. Don't hate him because of it.
    jaymes.watson
    No simply bending notes is not Soul. He is like comparing Pat Travers and Rick Deringer to Page or Hendrix? miles behind Vai, Morse and others who are ground breaking & multi layeredlike ohn Petrucci but Diamond riffed good in his little Pantera click will be forgotten in the long run. put down the pipe.
    dr718
    God I wish the press would stop giving this guy interviews. Aside from being as deep as a puddle and dumb as a post, no one cares about anything he does now. Imagine being one of the guys in his current project and all he ever talks about is Pantera.
    ewolf5150
    I agree 100% with what Phil said. There is nothing else to add to this because Phil is right