That Tour Was Awesome: Pantera/White Zombie/Eyehategod (1996)

“Somebody’s going down.” It was a mantra that caught on quick amongst the hard-partying bands on the Pantera/White Zombie/Eyehategod tour of 1996 (also known as War of the Gargantuas), but the joke turned sour fast when Pantera vocalist Phil Anselmo went down hard, overdosing after a show in Texas on this tour.

It was just one reason why this tour is one for the metal history books. Here’s another: New Orleans sludge legends/miscreants Eyehategod played arenas, opening up for platinum-selling artists, on this tour. Think about that for a minute. Plus, this was White Zombie’s last tour. And then there was the case of the missing cookies…

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of this most notable of arena tours, we caught up with Pantera vocalist Phil Anselmo, White Zombie bassist Sean Yseult, and Eyehategod vocalist Mike Williams to talk about all of the above and much more. Get ready: this is a wild, bumpy ride, and one that is best read while cranking up a few tunes each from each of the three bands that took part in this tour of terror. Yes, somebody went down, and that somebody got up again; not everyone from this tour is still with us today, so we raise a glass in salute to those who haven’t made it this far, and we look back with a rather astonished reverence with those who have at this most incredible, noteworthy, and downright unlikely of tours.

Pantera and White Zombie: add in Eyehategod and you just know it's trouble. Pantera and White Zombie: add in Eyehategod and you just know it’s trouble.

What do you recall about how the tour came to be?

Anselmo: Well, first and foremost, White Zombie and Pantera had played so many shows together prior to even being signed, because at the time our management was kind of a team. We both had a great following; at the time White Zombie was selling more records than us but they would not play after us because of obvious reasons—we’d blow them off the fucking stage every night no matter what, so they knew better than that. It came down to who the hell was going to open up this gig. I asserted my size 13s and said, “I know the band, and it shall be a band called Eyehategod.” And thus it was, at least for the first two months of the tour. And that was incredible, and groundbreaking. No arena-selling band in their right mind would take out Eyehategod at that time.

Yseult: We had toured with Pantera extensively before this, and we took Eyehategod out very early on when we first started headlining, so we were all friends, so it made sense. White Zombie and Pantera toured together a lot not only because we were kinda similar bands—we both played heavy metal with a groove to it—but also we had the same management so they were always keen on pairing us up. So it just made sense. And it was also our last tour, so it was a good send-off for White Zombie.

Williams: I don’t really know how it came together, besides the fact that I know they wanted to do a huge summer tour, and you couldn’t get any bigger at the time than White Zombie and Pantera. They were like the two biggest bands around at the time, you know? Phil and Sean—she was a part of it too, it wasn’t just Phil—but Phil was more active in doing this type of thing, bringing bands out that were super underground. He brought out Anal Cunt, Soilent Green, Neurosis back before anybody knew who the fuck they were. I think all those bands still get people coming up to them and saying, “Yeah, we saw you guys on that tour,” and they got new fans on that tour. Phil was always active with doing that. Later on he brought out Satyricon.

Eyehategod getting up to... well, we have no idea. But it is from this tour. (Photo by Sean Yseult) Eyehategod getting up to… well, we have no idea. But it is from this tour. (Photo by Sean Yseult)

What was the first night of the tour like?

Anselmo: I guess I had just flown in. It started off in such a neutral place, I don’t remember what city it was, but our tour manager, who was at the time I guess more interested in… I think he had done some gigs with flavors of the day, bands that were popular for like 27 minutes then disappeared, so he was thinking like a businessman or some stupid shit like that. Heavy metal wasn’t cool anymore; it was going out of style. We were just going extinct, so he warned me, and it was strange: I had just got there and he accosted me and said something like, “Listen, man, I don’t want you to freak out if this tour’s a little different.” I was like, “What do you mean by that?” He was like, “Well, it’s not going to be all sold-out shows, the kids are into different stuff, if you see half-packed arenas don’t freak out. It’s just the sign of the times.” I’m like, “Okay, way to kick off the tour, great for morale, I appreciate you doing that two hours before I hit the stage. Great pep talk.” Needless to say, that night sold out to the fucking gills, as did every other fucking night. He was wrong and, gosh, that felt good, it felt really good to prove his overzealousness wrong. It was great.

Yseult: I know it was totally insane. I remember the next day was a day off, and I think we were in Louisville, Kentucky. I know that we just all went apeshit as far as partying our asses off. KISS were playing a show and we were all on the guest list and backstage. By the time KISS got on stage they had herded me and my friend Shannon, all of Eyehategod pretty much, Phil, they had herded us into a room, which we thought was a meet and greet room, but nobody ever came to meet and greet us (laughs). We were just stumbling and falling down, it was a mess. One of my friends did a somersault down two rows of seats, it was just chaos. So we started off with a bang, and unfortunately, prophetically, our big quote we said early on was “Somebody’s going down. Somebody’s going down.” And unfortunately that did happen not much later in the tour—about a week or two in was when Phil ODed. We didn’t want to prophesize that, but we were saying that since day one, because we were just partying too hard.

Williams: We were playing clubs, we had never played anything that big in our lives. It was more or less like us just meeting everybody and saying hi to old friends. The first night was getting our IDs and laminates, feeling our way around. One funny thing was we had this gigantic banner that we had made with our logo on it, and the first night we forgot we had it, so at the last minute we were like, “Oh, shit; we need to hang that thing up.” We told the crew, like, “Yeah, we need to hang this banner.” And it was almost showtime. They hung it, and there was no time, and them just being like, “Well, we’re here for Pantera and White Zombie, we don’t give a fuck about this opening band.” The banner was basically shaped like a U, like hanging down on each side. We were just like, “God, that looks so stupid.” But we fixed that the next day or two. I remember after the show there was a huge meet and greet, which was every night, and that was just business as usual: getting drunk, [Pantera guitarist] Dimebag [Darrell Abbott] holding court, all these girls backstage, just craziness.

What were the crowds like throughout the tour?

Anselmo: Huge crowds. Incredible fucking response, incredible support. That damn Pantera audience has always been this force, this fantastic force of all sides of love and nature. They have been incredibly supportive and this is back in the day when kids still halfway remembered what it was like to have the circle pits, and we were doing a lot of outdoor sheds, so the first 60 to 100 rows were seated, then they had the lawns where they would light the bonfires and go bananas. That was great, man. And to take nothing away from White Zombie, they obviously had their crowd as well. But I found that their fans were our fans too and Pantera fans were White Zombie fans.

Yseult: Oh my god. Manic. Manic. My husband likes to call the photos of the crowds a sausage fest, because it’s a bunch of sweaty dudes moshing their asses off (laughs). You can look for miles and only see dudes. We were doing 10,000 seaters, and it was crazy. Great audiences, every night. Every night.

Williams: I know in Dallas, Texas, the night that thing happened with Phil, there was some outrageous number of people there. Every night there were thousands of people.

Eyehategod's Mike Williams, White Zombie's Sean Yseult (in a wig), and Pantera's Dimebag Darrell on this tour (photo courtesy of Sean Yseult). Eyehategod’s Mike Williams, White Zombie’s Sean Yseult (in a wig), and Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell on this tour (photo courtesy of Sean Yseult).

What was crowd reaction to Eyehategod like?

Williams: I would say for the most part, people hated us. That’s any band that’s going to open for those two bands. And we didn’t expect anything otherwise. We figured it’d be like that. But then some nights, like in Minneapolis, for some weird reason people there were yelling out song titles, and we were like, what? This is weird. I mean, we were getting quarters thrown at our heads, bottles thrown at us. It was a typical Eyehategod show, just on a gigantic stage in front of thousands of people. But some nights they were respectful and they would give us respect, some nights you could tell they hated us more. It was all over the map.

Yseult: They were receptive; of course they weren’t moshing and going nuts, but they liked them. We all liked them. I’d be on the side stage watching every night, and I’d see Phil, and Phil would come out sometimes and give them a little support. They’re a great band, they’re really one of my favorite bands. They did well.

Anselmo: Especially early on in the tour, it was so interesting watching crowd reaction to this band Eyehategod (laughs). It was great. It was fucking great. Mike Williams would walk out there, “How ya’ll feeling out there?” Everybody would be saying, “Alright!”, you know. He gets his first little taste of this fucking massive audience, these fists in the air, the cheering. And sure enough, in perfect Williams-esque fashion, we were in San Jose, and he’s like, “How ya’ll feeling tonight? Alright, San Jose!” Everybody’s like, “Yeah! Alright!” and cheering. And he says, “How many of ya’ll out there got leukemia?” And, dude, I almost fell over. The brutal sense of humour that we all had. It was like, holy shit. Today you’d have 8,000 people tweeting, “How offensive.” We came from the school of GG Allin. Rock and roll is danger, man. Fuck off; it’s a dangerous thing. Rock and roll is a fucking weapon, man. Let’s go with it.

Mike, what was going through your head when you were making comments like the leukemia one Phil mentioned?

Williams: (laughs) Just comedy. Just being stupid. And seeing Phil at the side of the stage and making him laugh, making everybody laugh, really. There were so many private jokes going on, just weirdness, and as the tour went on it just got weirder and weirder. The tour started on the east coast, so by the time we got out there, wherever I said that at, I was probably just out of my mind. But there were other nights I’d see something in the newspaper, like in Phoenix, Arizona, they had some kind of militia thing, I didn’t even know what it was about, I had no clue. But [on stage] I was like, “Let’s hear it for the Viper Militia,” or something; I didn’t even know who it was. I remember in Miami I was shouting out some narco-terroristo drug dealer who had just got out of prison. Just stuff like that (laughs). People would start to cheer then they’d look at each other, like “What did he say?” It’s just funny. We all have a very strange, dark sense of humour.

I came across a comment online about the tour on a video on YouTube. The person said they were at a show on the tour, and when Eyehategod came on, they booed you off stage. He said he actually dug you, but they were just such hardcore Pantera fans, it was just his duty. He said the next day he went out and bought two of your CDs. It was just almost this ritual. But then he added, “Mike told us all to go fuck ourselves as he walked offstage.”

Williams: (laughs) Oh, every night I’d come out and the first thing I’d do is give everybody the double middle finger. Just “fuck you, we don’t care what you think,” because we didn’t. I mean, we would purposely… you’ve got all the other bands spread out on this giant stage, and just being punk rock or whatever, we would set up in a little half-circle like 10-15 feet across. It just felt more comfortable that way. But, yeah, people would boo. Definitely. And you could tell that that’s what they thought they were supposed to do, because especially in arenas, I mean, of course. People come and they boo the opening bands, that’s what they do. We were promoting the album Dopesick at the time, and tons of people are like, yeah, that’s my favorite album from that show. So we gained some fans.

Did all the bands on the tour get along?

Yseult: Yeah, really, we did. [White Zombie Vocalist] Rob [Zombie] was kind of to himself, he had his girlfriend on tour with him, and they weren’t really part of the hang, but the rest of us were all hanging out a lot. Especially in White Zombie me and [drummer] Johnny Tempesta were on the party wagon and having fun with the other bands.

Williams: Oh, yeah, we get along. The only person that was never around was Rob Zombie. He had his own dressing room, he had his girlfriend with him. I mean, I like Rob, Rob’s a cool guy and all, but he just seemed like a dick back then. I doubt he would care if I said that. He was just getting famous, and you start getting an ego or whatever, I guess. On stage, he’d go to the side of the stage and his girlfriend would come out and like straighten his hair for him, it was like, “Oh, god…” (laughs). But he’s a nice guy, he’s a cool guy.

Anselmo: We all got along. The only dick on the tour was Rob Cummins [Zombie]. Maybe he was going through a phase, and I gotta say, although he was a penis on the tour, he did, by all credit to him, come up to me about a year later and say, “Dude, I absolutely 100 percent acknowledge that I was a total flaccid dick and I apologize for being such a dick. I was in a bad place” [Rob Zombie declined to be interviewed for this story.] There was an instance, and this is fucking great… every band has their rider, Pantera’s was like, if there were 10 things on Pantera’s rider, nine of them were whiskey. There was one night where everybody found out, oh shit, Rob Zombie’s mad. Little Robert Cummins is angry. Of course, I chuckled, and I’m like, “Alright, what’s he mad about now?” Somebody stole his favorite cookies. His favorite cookies! How dare they steal his favorite cookies? And, “stole,” that’s the key. Like they were so precious, and sought after, and really hard to find at your general supermarket. There’s no recovery. So somebody stole his damn cookies. He had his security go on everybody’s bus to check (laughs) and see who had the cookies. Lo and behold, no one had the cookies! The driver for the venue messed up and forgot to get Rob’s cookies. This is really heavy-duty stuff I’m laying on you.

Yseult: Oh, shit (laughs). That’s hilarious. Oh my god. Yeah, that rings a distant bell in the fog, yes. In the back of my brain that does ring a bell. Well, good thing he didn’t get them traded out for the cookies we were getting passed around. One of the Pantera roadies was making these insane pot cookies, it was like an acid trip every time you ate one. There was a lot of that going on (laughs). And not even voluntarily—I remember walking by one of those guys, I think it was Phil, I’m not sure, I was walking by and I think I was saying something, and next thing you know one just got popped in my mouth. It was more like a little square, a brownie that time (laughs). It was like, “Okay, let me wash that down with some Jägermeister. Here we go.”

Williams: (laughs) Every single night, as soon as White Zombie finished—and they opened for Pantera, so they came on right after us, until the end of the tour because Deftones got on at the end—we would go in Rob’s dressing room and take all of his catering; like, everything. Because he’s gone, he’s headed to the next venue or the hotel or whatever. He’s gone and he doesn’t want that stuff, so there’s bags of unopened chips and cookies, Milk Duds, drinks, probably beer because I don’t even think he drank beer. So we’d just take all of that stuff and put it in our van. We were travelling in a passenger van; everyone else was on a bus. So we’d take all of his catering (laughs). I don’t really remember about him being mad about cookies, but I could be totally… there was a lot of drugs and alcohol on that tour, so it’s hard to remember.

What was the atmosphere like within your own band during this tour?

Anselmo: I’ll be honest with you. Everybody in Pantera, minus Rex Brown… so I guess I’ll have to say the Abbott brothers… it was strange, dude. Even when I first moved to Texas to join Pantera in 1987, if I made a friend outside of their own little clique, there was this strange jealousy, this oddball skepticism, there was always this second sideways glance, so the mere fact that I had brothers from New Orleans on this tour with me, there was jealousy, man. But thinking back to where I was, and the things that happened to me, by my own hand, by my own decision, by my own doing and nobody else’s, their distrust of my other friends or the Eyehategod crew in general, it was really unfounded, because I am the captain of my own fucking ship. Nobody influences me to make my decisions. I own up to own faults and mistakes, and there wasn’t one person on that fucking tour popping pills in my mouth, jabbing needles into my vein, nobody was doing any of that crap. Here we are in 2016, and I haven’t had a drink since February. There is some sort of silver lining here. The silver lining would be: don’t do hard drugs, kids. Don’t. Just don’t.

Yseult: Well, I gotta say, Rob and his girlfriend were pretty much to themselves and unfriendly, to put it in the nicest terms, so I decided I was going to bring my girlfriend who loves to fucking party and loves to kick ass and she’s kind of my bodyguard and best friend, and having her on the tour just kicked everything up to 11. It was pretty insane every night. She was great friends with Phil and Darrell and all of them, so we had a blast. I didn’t really care if the rest of the band was or not, I was just like, “This is our last tour, I’m going to have a good time.” I think [White Zombie guitarist] J [Yuenger] had fun, but I think it was a bit much for him, he’s not the full partier kinda guy, but Johnny definitely joined in.

Williams: Oh, we were having a blast. We were having the best time of our lives, man. There got to be routines formed, like after the show we would meet Dimebag, we’d have a set time to go meet him, we’d play dice and gamble, stuff like that. It was amazing, like, wow, we’re on this arena tour, we’re not getting paid much, but it was fun. We got to play every night and open for these giant bands. So, yeah, it was cool. I remember, I think it was that tour, there was a Lynyrd Skynyrd tape stuck in the van tape deck. I mean, I like the band and all but I was certainly totally sick of them after a while (laughs). So that drove me crazy, but besides that, we were having fun.

Sean, did you know it was going to be White Zombie’s last tour at the time?

Yseult: Yeah, we were… well, it was the last tour for Astro-Creep, and we knew we were going to take a year off. But I kinda knew that Rob didn’t really want to do the band anymore. I moved to New Orleans pretty much the next day after that tour and took the year off, and sure enough, after one year we had a phone call and Rob was adamant about not getting back together. It was definitely a given that it was the last tour for Astro-Creep, for sure.

Did anything particularly memorable or wild happen on this tour?

Yseult: Oh, god. Very tragically, of course, Phil ODed and that was not good, but there were many ridiculous fun times too. Every day was insane. Darrell would always come out and prank us, pretty much daily, on stage. One of the more hideous things he would do is he would put on this really ugly old-man mask and a cape, and he’d come out, and you had to try to get far away from him because he would open that cape up and he’d have this huge rubber fake dick, and he’d have it filled up with, I don’t know what, dish soap or something, and he’d start squirting it, and it’d be horrible, and ridiculous (laughs). He’d have other characters he’d do—he’d dress up like he was a technician, like a fix-it man, and he’d get down in the pit and start rearranging security guys and acting like he was telling them what to do. Really distracting when you’re on stage trying to play to the audience and you’d see him down there just kind of fucking with stuff (laughs). Very Andy Kauffman, very weird. Every day was something, especially with Darrell (laughs).

Williams: I got lice, somehow. I think I got it before I left home, because somebody had given me this old couch and I slept on it (laughs), and I had like dreads at the time, just ratty looking hair, and I slept on that couch a few times and then went on the tour, and it was just horrible. And I don’t think I told anybody about it for like three weeks (laughs), so it was just gross and horrible. But there were all kinds of memorable stuff. Phil’s situation in Texas… everybody was mad at us. Everybody was like, “Eyehategod did it.” Honestly, we didn’t do anything. We were just hanging out when it happened. There were all these people mad at us for that, but that blew over quick. Everybody would do their set and then everybody would just get wasted. But every night was memorable. There was something going on every night. It was just great.

Anselmo: Is this the tour I overdosed on? I think it is, man. So that would be pretty wild and horrific. But it was also significant. There was always this lack of understanding of how severe my injury was in the rest of the Pantera camp. We were this unstoppable Superman of a machine that were dedicated to going out and being as physical and intense as we possibly could every night, and you gotta think, man, we had been touring hard, hard, hard our entire career. It was all wear and tear. I’d always try to voice to them fellas, “I might need to take a break here.” But then I was in a catch-22, because every neurosurgeon that I would go to would turn me down, although I had MRIs clearly showing two blown-out discs. And once you blow out one disc, it causes infection and it creeps up your spine. The next disc is going to go, and if you don’t do anything about it, the next and the next and so forth. I was on three blown-out discs, man. And that’s the center of your body. That’s your core. I was at the point to where regular painkillers were just getting me high, and I will say that all pain pills and all that shit, all they’re doing is putting a band-aid on, and when they wear off, the pain is twice as horrible, the anxiety is miserable, so I was in a fucking dark place that no one else could feel. That was my biggest problem. So I had a lot of frustration because of the lack of understanding I was getting within the Pantera camp. When I turned to heroin, that was me closing the fucking door. That was me saying, okay, I’ve had enough, fuck off and let me suffer. Just let me suffer. I’ll get to these fucking gigs by hook or by crook and I most certainly chose the crook. Once again, I would never, ever advocate this, but at the time, as a young man, a confused young man caught in this catch-22 of the doctors not helping me, the band not understanding me, like what the fuck? What can I do now but carry on any way I possibly could? So I chose the worst possible route. After I overdosed—and these are my words—it was understood in my mind, I got it. There was no injury, there was no suffering, there was no anything, there was only a drug problem. There was only a fucking drug problem. And that was true. That was so fucking true. Any person out there who says they can do heroin and just walk away the next day, I’d have to doubt that severely. It numbed my body out so… I gotta choose my words… perfectly here, because it numbed me out perfectly so I could stand up straight for an hour a night and do my gig, and then suffer after the gig with an entire bottle of whiskey and anything else I could get my hands on that could make this fucking pain disappear. But every morning, I’d wake up with an ice pick slamming through my lower back, and it was a vicious cycle. It’s amazing I came back from it alive.

Eyehategod's Jimmy Bower (photo by Sean Yseult). Eyehategod’s Jimmy Bower (photo by Sean Yseult).

What was it like for you after you overdosed?

Anselmo: The night after I overdosed, we had this meeting. And all of a sudden I saw this change within our camp. I saw tears in Dimebag’s eyes that I’d never seen before, I saw this terror in [bassist] Rex [Brown]’s eyes… [drummer] Vince [Abbott] was always indifferent, I was just this nuisance or some shit like that, so I didn’t expect anything out of him. But the concern, it was like, finally, a bit of concern, but, yes, it’s for the drug problem. Got it. Understood. The very next night, so two nights after I overdosed, we went out and fucking kicked ass for the rest of the tour, starting that very next night. I overdosed in Dallas, Texas; I know we played Chicago shortly after that because my father came out to the gig to check on me, my step-dad came out, and that was rare because my father was a pretty absent in my life. The whole thing was a little weird, as you can imagine, for a while. But we finished that tour and I got myself cleaned up for a little, and of course relapsed later. Believe me, having to wake up after that and knowing the next gig was coming up, I called a meeting at soundcheck with all the bands on that tour, Eyehategod, their crew, White Zombie and their crew, and they were all sitting up on the stage while I stood in front of them in the audience pit, and I gave them a very heartfelt apology and said I was so sorry for bringing this blight down on this awesome fucking tour. Waking up from that overdose was maybe one of the most embarrassing, humiliating feelings I’ve ever felt in my entire life. Justifiably so.

Did you have to cancel any shows because of the overdose?

Anselmo: No. Not one show.

What was it like for you when Phil ODed?

Yseult: Bad. It was horrible for everyone. I was the only one left in the courtyard along with Kate, our caterer. They cleared everyone out. I’m not sure why we got to stay, or why we stayed. We were just kinda stunned. Then we saw them wheel him past us to the ambulance. At that point he wasn’t breathing. He was basically dead for a minute or two there. It was awful. It was just awful. Thank goodness he came back. But at that point there was all this horrible finger-pointing with management, I got reamed out and I was like, “I don’t even know what you’re talking about.” They thought that definitely a lot of us were in on this and were doing this and knew about it. I had no idea. I don’t think anybody from the White Zombie camp had any idea. When Rob and I started White Zombie we were going to see hardcore bands, we were going to see Minor Threat and Black Flag, it kinda started with that whole straight-edge thing. A few years later you start having a drink or two, but that was pretty much it, we didn’t ever get into hard drugs or anything. So I was shocked. Phil was always the epitome of health, this muscular guy, it didn’t seem like that was going on, so that was a big shock. We were just glad he made it through. We’re still very dear friends. He’s like a big brother. I’m glad he’s alright.

Williams: Well, it started out as… I mean, this sounds horrible and all, but I was waiting to… we were about to do some of the same stuff, you know? To be honest. I mean, people know my reputation. Now I totally regret all that, I’m glad I’m over that period of my life, but at the time, we were just like all excited, like, “Yeah, there’s drugs! We got drugs!” I guess he went into his dressing room or something, and all of a sudden everybody was freaking out. They said what happened, that he ODed. So, of course, at that point we were all freaking out. We were totally nervous that he was going to die. Everybody was scared. That was our friend, you know? Which goes to show you that messing with those types of drugs is stupid. It’s not just him, it’s all of us. So it went from some excitement in the air to this total dredge within a few seconds. Everything turned out fine, but it wasn’t cool. It’s never cool; it’s happened to other people I’ve known and I’ve been there, and it’s not cool at all. Never.

RIP: Dimebag circa the tour in question (photo by Sean Yseult). RIP: Dimebag circa the tour in question (photo by Sean Yseult).

Do you have any regrets about the tour? Phil, you might have just covered that.

Anselmo: I think we just covered that part. Because you take away that moment and the rampant drug-fuelled Phil Anselmo, I can look back at that young me and say my biggest regret would be that night, being way too bold for my own good, but you know, I wouldn’t change it, and the reason why is because it was an incredible wake-up call for me. I learned a ton on that fucking tour that has led me to be a better person in general. And everything I’ve said that might have been negative about Rob, I love the guy, and every time we see each other we laugh about the old days and this and that, and we talk horror films. We’re friends, and I really love the dude, I think he’s awesome. Just remember we’re talking about a time capsule.

Yseult: Oh, hell no (laughs). I really had the best time of my life every day. I was just looking through some old tour diaries; Darrell would have a go-kart waiting on the side of the stage for me sometimes, there was another time we hijacked some piece of machinery backstage we were driving around on it (laughs). Their bus driver would always be throwing around $100 bills left and right, like, “I’ll give you $100 if you eat that or drink that” or “give me a lock of your hair.” I think I had green hair at the time, so I was like, “Sure, I’ll cut off some hair for $100” (laughs). Just crazy shit. And you know, the drinks, the Black Tooth Grin, half the time I’d throw them over my shoulder they were so gross (laughs). It really was a blast. There might have been one or two people that weren’t having that much fun, but the rest… (laughs). And another thing Darrell would do, is he made up this really cool dice game. It was three dice, and different number combinations. He called me Junior, and he’d say, “Junior, get over here,” because he knows I like to play cards and gamble. So we’d be sitting on the ground in the parking lot outside of the arena playing this game, and I’d be out of money, and he’d say, “Don’t worry about it, Junior.” And again, the $100 bills, just throwing them down. Unbelievable. Those guys really lived and partied like rock stars. It’s funny because we were drawing the same crowds and making the same money, but we didn’t live like these guys (laughs).

Williams: Not one. No. I don’t have any regrets. I don’t have any regrets in my life, you know? Like that bad stuff I just talked about, I’m not going to sit back and regret things. It’s my life, I’ve lived it, done it, and that’s how it goes, you know? But that tour in particular, no, man. That was a blast. It was a great experience, we bonded as a band and as friends in Eyehategod, as well as with lots of other people that came along. It was great, man.

“Who here likes to fuck their own sister?”: For a small glimpse of the chaos, here’s an Eyehategod set from this tour: