You may recall last month that organizers of French metal festival Hellfest refused to remove embattled vocalist Phil Anselmo and his band Down from 2016 festival lineup, despite pressure from French government officials.
Hellfest’s support notwithstanding, Down has dropped off the festival, in addition to any other European appearances this year. The following missive from Anselmo to Hellfest director Ben Barbaud has been published:
Philip H. Anselmo here Brother…
First, and foremost, there is NO WAY I can possibly thank you enough for “fighting the good fight” for me, and ALL of my bands, namely Down in this instance. Your love & backbone will never be forgotten, and from this point on through the rest of my fighting life, I owe you every ounce of praise!
My AWFUL mistake has taken a toll on my reputation, and justly so! However I must point out, you damned-well KNOW ME better than this drunken incident could ever describe.
Hellfest is my heart!!!
And my embarrassment is tremendous, because I only have LOVE for people all over this skirmishing earth.
So my brother, it fucking rips my heart into further pieces to let you know, I don’t think I should do ANY Euro festivals this year. So PLEASE I BEG YOU, give me this time to get my brain clear, and to come back (if you will have me back) next year my brother, I implore you! Plus, the re-emergence of the knee injuries have been plaguing me of late as well, so I must address this too, through physical rehabilitation & rest.
Knowing my character, when I put my mind to something THIS DIRE, I come back 100-times better, and THAT’S what the Mighty Hellfest deserves!!! My love for you & the rest of the gang that makes Hellfest THE TOPS, goes on and on and on…
Much love & respect-
Philip H. Anselmo (and the H. stands for HEALING)