Doc Coyle On Phil Anselmo

Ex-God Forbid Guitarist Doc Coyle Discusses Phil Anselmo’s Racist Outbursts


Former God Forbid guitarist Doc Coyle (now of Vagus Nerve) has penned a piece of the now infamous actions of Down, ex-Pantera, etc. frontman Phil Anselmo. By now you’re likely aware that Anselmo made a complete ass of himself with nazi salutes and a remark at the ‘Dimebash‘ event last month.

Anselmo has issued multiple apologies in the time since, his latest can be seen here. Coyle himself presents at unique perspective on the matter, not only having previously toured with Superjoint Ritual, but also being as he puts it, “partially black.” He has his full write-up on the matter available over at, with an excerpt available below:

“In addition to my reputation as someone who speaks their mind about cultural issues in heavy music, the main reason I think people wanted me to speak out is I am partially black, and am most know for playing with God Forbid, a band that was comprised mostly of black members, and were known as the “black” metal band for a time. No pun intended. Some want to hear the “black” perspective on this. As a black person, should I be particularly offended by Phil Anselmo’s actions? Does this speak to an overarching theme of metal’s struggle to remain one of the last bastions of dominant white or more specifically, European culture?

To address the first question, I don’t think black people, Jewish people, or other minorities should me MORE offended than anyone else. Only being offended when your particular subset is being marginalized shows a severe lack of empathy. It’s like coming out for gay rights only when you find out your son is gay. Only supporting issues when you have something personally to gain or lose is very selfish, and does not honor the big picture of progression.

Is metal culturally “white”? I would say, “yes”, but that’s ok. Liking Wes Anderson movies and pretentious coffee shops are fairly “white” activities, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to feel like a weirdo for enjoying them. With that said, there are still plenty of racial demons that need to be exorcised. If you want to know the ugly truth, just look at any God Forbid music video on YouTube, and read the comments. There is a sad state of racial strife and bigotry. It is difficult to know how representative YouTube and Facebook commenters are of the general public, but even knowing that it’s a vocal minority is unsettling.

You can also look at the comments section on a news story or video of a black man being shot by the police or riot footage from Baltimore or Ferguson. That racial strife is strewn throughout our national conversation, and is clearly not settled. Perhaps the heavy metal community is no different, and the work needed to move beyond it is far from over.

For the most part though, race is not something I have focused on much when it comes to music. If someone doesn’t like me or my band because of race, that is their issue, not mine. I will say that I am lucky to live in a time where I can brush it off, and exist beyond it, because 40 or 50 years ago racial barriers would have been directly in my face, impossible to ignore. Not acknowledging that progress is purely cynical.”

Read on at

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