From: Dallas, TX, United States
Last Known Status: Disbanded
Formed in Dallas in the early 80's, Pantera was founded by brothers Darrell and Vincent Abbott. Along with Terrence Lee and a bassist named Rex Brown, Pantera joined the glam scene. Producing three records, the band never accomplished what they set out to do. In 1986 the members agreed to replace Terrence Lee with Phillip Anselmo. After Releasing aother album the band recieved a record deal with East West Records.
The groups first release with the new label was 'Cowboys From Hell.' This album put Pantera on the metal map, but did not sell very well because mainstream never picked it up. Two years later Pantera released 'Vulgar Display of Power', which defined Pantera's true aggressive style. The next release (Far Beynd Driven) surprised the world by debuting at number one on the Billboard Charts. Pantera released two more studio albums, and a live album in the following years.
Even though they never reached the status of No.1 again, Pantera built a following by touring for four years straight. Pantera have toured with everyone from Slayer (2001) to Rob Zombie (1996). They have also been featured on the Ozzfest on many occasions. Needless to say Pantera are still playing and preaching the same metal that made them metal icons in the early 90's.
Latest Pantera News
Below is our complete Pantera news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.
Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.
Former PANTERA bassist Rex Brown performed with ex-PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN drummer Vinnie Paul for the first time since 2001 at last night's (Dec. 31) GASOLINE gig at Hot Rods and Hoggs in Arlington, Texas. Rex joined Vinnie and the rest of the reactivated southern rock covers band for renditions of the PANTERA classics "Walk" and "Cowboys from Hell". You can check out the pictures on Damegeplan.net. More photos can also be found at RideForDime.com.
GASOLINE's lineup had previously included late PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott and PUMPJACK vocalist Thurber T. Mingus. GASOLINE were expected to play a set of covers by such artists as TED NUGENT, THIN LIZZY and PAT TRAVERS. Also appearing on the bill were local cover band STRANGE BREW.
MTV News reports: December 8 marks the one-year anniversary of one of the most grim and bizarre tragedies in music history — the onstage shooting death of PANTERA and DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott. In the past year, friends and fans have talked at length about Dime's influence and spirit, but the man who knew him best — his brother and bandmate Vinnie Paul — has been largely silent. Recently, however, Vinnie sat down with MTV News' Robert Mancini for his first on-camera interview since losing his brother. He recalled a different side of a true metal giant, and helped to remember the talent and the kindness that was Dime as fans mark the anniversary of his death. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
MTV: A lot of folks, the first image that they get of Dimebag is of this really open and good-natured guy who's always up for a party, but he really took music seriously too and was very much a student of his craft, right?
Paul: He was a perfectionist. I know because I was in the studio with him every record we made, I co-produced all the records with Terry Date. He was like, "Man, I've done a thousand bands and I've never seen anybody like your brother sit there and want to get the guitar as hot as it gets, take 20 leads and decide, 'You know what? All those suck. Let's start over and go again.' " He just was a perfectionist, and he was never afraid to experiment. That's something that always blew my mind. You know a lot of people learn certain places on the neck or certain things, and he was really great at accepting other people's ideas. He never said, "Naw, this is my way. This is the way I'm gonna do it." He'd say, "Aw, OK, let me try it, let me see if I could do it the way you're talking about." And a lot of magic came from that, you know, because he just was never afraid to try other things. He was never afraid of people making fun of him, and he wasn't afraid to fail. He would go for it, and if it didn't work, he was the first person that knew.
MTV: That's what you hear so much about him — you hear a lot about that spirit and that energy. And it's so evident in the scope of the reaction to his death and the number of people who say he impacted them.
Paul: It was heartwarming to see all the people that really respected everything he did, all the people that he touched, in particular the bands that toured with us. So many of them learned to have a good time on the road from him and from our family and everything we did on the road, and he truly touched millions and millions and millions of people and he will continue to forever.
MTV: It's also remarkable how many fans he had direct interaction with, and how many people were connected to him that way. What was it like to see that on the road, to watch him with the fans?
Paul: He never turned a fan down. He knew the minute he came off that bus everybody expected the wild and crazy Dime that they saw in the videos, that they saw onstage, that they came to see, you know? I remember the night before this horrible stuff happened we played in Buffalo, New York, and me and Dime loved gambling. Anytime there was a casino, we wanted to go gamble. And we got on the bus after we did everything with the fans and everything and I said, "Hey, man, let's go to Niagara Falls. Let's go gambling." And he's like, "Man, I'm smoked. I've gotta go to bed. I just gotta rest up, we've got these last two shows. I'll catch you tomorrow." I'm like, "OK." So we take off, we go to the casino, we're having a blast and all that. About two hours later the bus comes to pick us up, and I hop on and there's Dime in the front lounging with seven or eight fans, and they're all doing shots. And I'm like, "I thought you were smoked, man, and going to bed." He goes, "I couldn't let these people down, man. They wanted to f---ing party, so I brought them on the bus." That's how he was, man, he never came first. He was exactly what people thought he was and then some.
MTV: This whole thing must be such a long and difficult process. What was the key thing that you needed to go through to make this a little easier to even just start talking about it?
Paul: Time. That's all it is ... time, man. And it still feels like it's a couple days before December 8 last year. I mean, I've never had a year in my life go by this fast where it just felt like it was null, empty, unproductive, no goals, no future and just unimaginable sadness, you know? I've just had a lot of amazing friends and the support from all the fans, and that's been a big help. That's been a big help, so somehow or another we'll make it through this. I'm going to do everything I can to ensure that Dime's legacy lives on as long as it can, and at some point I'll get on with doing my thing too.
MTV: Is there a thought that sticks with you more than anything else? Not necessarily a memory of him, but sometimes when you go through something like this, something will run over and over in your head.
Paul: Probably the truest phrase that anyone came up with was [Dean Guitars founder] Dean Zelinksy, whom he had an amazing relationship with — Dean did all his guitars. He said, "He came to rock, and he rocked like no other." And that's all there is to it, man. That puts a smile on my face every time I hear it because it's true. No truer words were ever spoken.
Read the full article at MTV.com.
Attorney Gerald Leeseberg, who represents "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott's brother/bandmate, DAMAGEPLAN drummer Vinnie Paul, and by DAMAGEPLAN tour manager Chris Paluska and drum tech John Brooks, has confirmed to MTV.com that the trio have filed a lawsuit against the Columbus, Ohio, club where Dimebag was killed.
"The central allegation of the lawsuit is that there was inadequate security provided at the music venue given the nature and size of the crowd and previous incidents at the club involving criminal activity," Leeseberg told MTV.com cited police and media reports about earlier incidents at the metal club Alrosa Villa involving criminal activity, fighting, handguns and the firing of weapons.
On December 8, 2004 ex-Marine Nathan Gale rushed the stage at the club and opened fire with a 9mm gun, killing Dimebag, DAMAGEPLAN bodyguard Jeff "Mayhem" Thompson, fan Nathan Bray and club worker Erin Halk, and injuring two — Paluska and Brooks.
Leeseberg said one of the other claims in the suit is that the security that was provided performed "horribly" in that they were aware of Gale's suspicious behavior prior to the shooting. "They watched him scale the security fence and gain access to the club and for reasons to be determined, he was allowed to go through the crowd and begin firing a weapon," Leeseberg said. "He was carrying a weapon and 50 rounds of ammunition, all of this with the knowledge of security that this individual was behaving strangely and they did nothing to stop him."
Leeseberg said the suit cites an incident eight months earlier in nearby Cincinnati in which security at a venue where DAMAGEPLAN were playing identified Gale as a suspicious person and subdued him. In that incident, at the venue Bogart's, Gale was dragged off the stage during a DAMAGEPLAN show on April 8, 2004 after he caused nearly $2,000 in damage to stage lights and other equipment during a struggle with police.
At the Alrosa Villa, eyewitnesses said Gale had been acting strangely before the show, first blocking the club's parking lot exit with his car, then pacing back and forth on the Villa's front lawn as the opening act played.
Leeseberg said the suit argues that steps could have been taken to intervene and stop Gale and that a metal detector at the front door would have deterred people with guns from coming into the venue. "If you have a gun, you wouldn't go through a metal detector," he told MTV.com. "And if you are mentally ill and don't appreciate that if you have a gun it will go off, you will get caught."
However, Gale, who had a history of mental illness, did not enter the club through the front door, where a metal detector might have been placed. He jumped a low wall near the back and entered through a stage door after rushing by security guards. Leeseberg said that in allowing Gale to illegally enter the club, security failed to do its job. "They are supposed to stop that because security guards saw him do that [climb the fence]," he said. "One of the security guards said that he didn't want to mess with him [Gale] because he was a big dude."
Because of Ohio laws governing civil damages, the lawsuit seeks more than $25,000 in damages, though Leeseberg speculated that the actual amount of compensatory damages a jury could award the Abbott family and Paluska and Brooks for economic losses and pain and suffering would likely be "substantially" higher. In addition to waiting for the final, 600-page police report on the incident, Leeseberg said December 8 was also chosen as a date to file the suit for symbolic reasons.
Read the full article at MTV.com.
MTV News spoke with members of some 30 hard rock and metal bands about the Dimebag they remember. They told MTV how much he'd meant to them, they shared fond memories and spoke of the impact he made on their lives and their music. Here are several excerpts from the article:
David Draiman - frontman, Disturbed: "During our second Ozzfest, we were holed up in Dallas for about two or three days ... hanging out at Dime's place — it was an eclectic house. There's all kinds of Pantera memorabilia and Dimebag memorabilia all over the place. But you could never make the mistake of falling asleep at Dime's. He'd wake you up the way he always did: with firecrackers. He'd always set off an entire chain of firecrackers not two inches from my head. One time ... Dime took us to a strip club where we all judged a bikini contest. There was never a wrong time in the day for Dime to hit a strip club. ... Dime was just this character who was very easy to love. He didn't have a bad bone in his body, and was ready to give you the shirt off his back at all times. It was his mission in life to make sure every single moment you spent with him was the best moment of your life. He was selfless."
Zakk Wylde - frontman, Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society: "Whenever you were around Dime, there was never a boring moment. He was the coolest guy on the planet. He was an even better person than he was a guitar player, if that's even possible. Whenever me and him would hook up, forget about it, bro. We'd always have to have a spare kidney, liver and pancreas on ice."
Brian Fair - frontman, Shadows Fall: "Dime seemed to have a real problem with the clock on our tour bus. It all started with his tour manager trying to tell him it was time to leave. ... We were having a good old time and Dime didn't want to go to bed. So, as soon as he was told it was time to leave, he grabbed the clock off of the wall and screams at the top of his lungs, 'There is no time!' and he smashed his hand right through it. The clock was made of glass and metal, and shrapnel flew everywhere. He went through three clocks on our bus like that. Anytime anyone tried to tell him it was time to go, he'd destroy the clock. He didn't want to end the party — he wanted it to keep going. We kept replacing the clock because we wanted to see what happened next."
Read the full article at MTV.com.
In the February 2006 issue of Revolver magazine (web site), several of PANTERA's former business associates recount the band's amazing rise to the status of the biggest extreme metal act in the world and the circumstances that led to their eventual break-up.
Though it would be unfair to blame PANTERA's demise directly on vocalist Philip Anselmo's side band DOWN, it's clear that the project — as well as Anselmo's many other projects, like SUPERJOINT RITUAL — became another snowball in the avalanche of bad feeling that eventually overwhelmed the band. Certainly, the lack of direct communication between Anselmo and the Abbott brothers (Darrell and Vince) also had something to do with it, as did the "he said/they said" salvos that were fired back and forth between the two camps — with bassist Rex Brown caught in the middle — via interviews in print magazines and online publications.
"Really, it was just a complete lack of communication [within PANTERA], and the wrong things being said at the wrong time," offers Kim Zide-Davis, who joined the band's management team a few months after the group's "Far Beyond Driven" CD came out. "Philip doesn't have a real understanding that he needs to be careful of who he says what to, and how people can misconstrue what he's saying. It got to the point where I'd come into the office and Phil was out on tour with DOWN or SUPERJOINT RITUAL and had just said something else. Honestly, it was gut-wrenching.
"I spent the better part of the last three years [with PANTERA] working with them on and off, trying to keep them from disintegrating. The brothers were ready to go, and so was Rex. But Philip was beyond anybody's control."
"I blame the media for making a circus out of the fact that there were a few things I wanted to get out of my system, and we were going to take a break," says Anselmo today. "The media blew this 'we hate each other' thing up to the sky."
But while the "who broke up PANTERA" argument can (and probably will) rage well into the next millennium, the premature death of Dimebag Darrell ultimately renders it moot. Though drummer Vinnie Paul has vehemently stated that he and his brother would have never participated in a PANTERA reunion, Brown would like to think otherwise. "Maybe somewhere down the road we would've smoothed stuff out — the four of us getting together in a room and beating the shit out of each other or whatever," he says. "We can’t do that now. All that we can do now is move on and do the best we can and try to preserve the legacy that we built, and at least keep Dime's musical legacy alive."
The February 2006 issue of Revolver magazine — containing a lengthy interview with Anselmo and comments from many of the group's longtime associates — will hit newsstands on December 6.
Blabbermouth.net has assembled a series of links on the war of words that contributed to PANTERA's eventual demise.
Former PANTERA frontman Philip Anselmo has spoken exclusively to Revolver magazine (web site) about the death of "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, Anselmo's much-rumored substance-abuse problems and the role the heavy metal media has played in PANTERA's eventual demise, among many other topics. Several excerpts from the article (published in the magazine's February 2006 issue, due to hit newsstands on December 6) follow:
Revolver: Tell me about the past year.
Anselmo: "Man, this has been the worst year of my life — it's been the worst year of many people's lives. Ever since… Ever since my guitar player was taken from me, basically."
Revolver: How much do you miss Dime?
Anselmo: "I miss him more than I can even begin to say. I think of him every single waking day — every 30 minutes, if not every five minutes.
"And… [he pauses] Trying not to get choked up here. I'm trying to compose myself. I speak with Rex [Brown, PANTERA's bass player] often. We both are dealing with it… I'm in therapy. I never had to see a psychiatrist before. I see one regularly now. They tried to put me on antidepressants, but I won't take them because I don't trust drugs at all anymore. I don't trust a fucking pill, not unless it's a vitamin.More...
Former PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott has launched Big Vin Records, a new Dallas-based record label with distribution via Fontana.
Big Vin Records' first release will be an album from REBEL MEETS REBEL, a unique crossover of country, metal and rock. It features three of the founding members of PANTERA (Vinnie Paul, Dimebag and bassist Rex Brown) together with legendary country singer/outlaw David Allan Coe. REBEL MEETS REBEL's CD was recorded over a four-year period and is set to contain a total of 12 tracks, including "Nothin' To Lose", "Rebel Meets Rebel", "Cowboys", "Panfillo", "Heartworn Highway", "One Night Stand", "Arizona Rivers", "A Man With Nothin' Ain't Got Nothin' to Lose", "New York City Streets" and "Get Outta My Life".
The title track, "Rebel Meets Rebel", was previously said to be a duet with PANTERA singer Philip Anselmo, although it is not presently clear if Anselmo's contributions will make it to the final product.
"Being from Texas, not only do we have rock roots, but we listen to country and blues," Paul explained to MTV News in early 2000. "Before our shows, we'd play 'Jack Daniels, If You Please' off of one of [Coe's] CDs.... He caught wind of it, and we went out to see him when he played Billy Bob's. He was just a super cool dude. It was fun to check him out, and we hooked him up with a couple of our home videos, and he called us back a couple days later and just said, 'Man, these f***ing videos are incredible. I really dig what you guys do.' He knows more about PANTERA than I do now."
"Rebel Meets Rebel" is scheduled for release in March 2006.
The second project to be released via Big Vin will be a DVD, "Dimevision", as a tribute to Dimebag, one of metal's all-time guitar greats who is credited by some for creating the original concept which eventually became the MTV hit series "Jackass". "Dimevision" features Dime's stellar guitar playing and offbeat brand of humor, and is sure to be a title every serious PANTERA fan will have to own.
According to Vancouver's Straight.com, the Dimebag Allstars (featuring members of Soulbender, Shocore, Burlap, Raw, Southern Death Threat, and Omega Crom) will be performing a full Pantera set in tribute to slain heavy-metal guitar hero Dimebag Darrell, with guests Stand Down and Disorder. The event will take place December 9 at the Brickyard in Vancouver, BC. Tickets are $10. For more information, call 778-881-4014.
Austin Powell of The Daily Texan recently conducted an interview with MACHINE HEAD frontman Robert Flynn about Robert's contributions to the ROADRUNNER UNITED "The All-Star Sessions" CD, a collection of original tracks that are collaborations between numerous Roadrunner Records stars. The short question-and-answer session follows:
Daily Texan: Jeff Waters (guitarist for ANNIHILATOR and solo musician on two of Flynn's tracks [on "The All-Star Sessions" CD], "The Dagger" and "Independent"), goes absolutely off on this album. What was your relationship with him before the project?
Robert Flynn: "We never toured with ANNIHILATOR. That was a little before our time. I actually met him while coming home from England. This guy standing in front of me at customs was wearing an ANNIHILATOR shirt, which is really rare. You just don't see it coming to America, so I was just like 'Are you in ANNIHILATOR?' and he was like, 'Yeah, Robert Flynn?' And I was like 'Yeah,' and we just kind of hit it off from there."
Daily Texan: Waters is definitely an amazing shredder, but let's talk about your guitar work on the album. What brought about that 3-part guitar harmony in "Independent"?
Robert Flynn: The whole concept of that song is loosely based around [late PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist] 'Dimebag' Darrell. Around the time of his death this guy named William Grim put out an article on this extremely conservative web site called The Iconoclast entitled, 'R.I.P. Dimebag Abbott and Good Riddance.' It basically called him a scumbag that brought this on himself. It was pretty vile and it was published the day after his murder. I copied it, and sent it to Max Cavalera [SOULFLY, ex-SEPULTURA], who ended up singing on the track. So the topic of the song is a response to that and three-part guitar harmony was just going for this big, epic guitar-oriented outro piece with piano and strings as a kind of tribute to him."
Daily Texan: How did your track with Howard Jones of KILLSWITCH ENGAGE come about?
Robert Flynn: "I had written the song and it had a killer melodic hook, and I envisioned Howard singing it from the get-go. I thought it would be cool to hear him on 'The More Things Change'-era MACHINE HEAD track. I wrote the vocal melody and lyrics, recorded it and sent it to him. He was originally just supposed to be the singer, but during the course of recording we started messing around with it and I started singing. It kind of just became the 'Ebony and Ivory' of metal music. The whole process was just spontaneous. So much of what you hear is a first take, just this magical moment put to tape."
A new 627 page police report including nearly 300 witness interviews was released last Thursday. The report details a chaotic scene at last December's Damageplan concert, with the tour manager getting wounded as he tried to prevent a gunman from climbing on stage -- he then was helped to the side where he watched former Pantera guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott get shot in the head three times. Some clarifications from initial reports are included in the following excerpts:
Christopher Paluska, Damageplan's tour manager, said he was shot first -- though it was previously believed Abbott was the initial victim.
Paluska was one of three people shot who survived. Another, stage technician John Brooks, wrestled with Gale who pinned him as a hostage as police moved toward the stage.
During the melee, Damageplan drummer Vincent Abbott hid behind amplifiers and lead singer Patrick Lachman jumped and screamed into the microphone for someone to call the police.
Read the full article at CNN.com.
Several pictures of the upcoming Dimebag Darrell sculpture, which is being created by KnuckleBonz, Inc. for the Guitar Hero limited edition collectible figure series, have been posted online at this location.
The Guitar Hero series is a collection of rock's most highly praised guitarists, sculpted in great detail and cast in poly-resin. The series is designed to be a tribute to acclaimed guitarists who have made their indelible mark on music history. All figures in the series are officially licensed. More...
Former PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN drummer Vinnie Paul was among the special guests during a two-week celebration at Sammy Hagar's Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The celebration, which culminated Thursday night (Oct. 13) with Hagar's annual Birthday Bash, saw Vinnie jamming with Hagar on a couple of David Lee Roth-era VAN HALEN classics, including "Running With the Devil" and "You Really Got Me". You can check out pictures at Damageplan.net. Other expected guests at last night's show included VELVET REVOLVER drummer Matt Sorum and VAN HALEN bassist Michael Anthony. Hagar told Launch Radio Networks that he planned to play a long time and fill the set list with whatever songs he feels like. "It doesn't matter what songs I play," he said. "It's how I present it. It's all about the party. A band like VAN HALEN, it's all about the songs and the individual musicianship. Sammy Hagar's band, it's not about none of that. It's about the fun, the party, the event, the evening, and if we decide to play LED ZEPPELIN, ROLLING STONES, ZZ TOP songs all night, the fans could give a shit. They're there for the party."
Hagar has opened a second Cabo Wabo Cantina in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Hagar will also play at the Chet Helms Tribal Stomp on October 30 in San Francisco, California.
Carmen McCollum of Indiana's NWITimes.com has issued the following report:
A woman is angry with the Lake Central School District because school officials contend her son's shirt is inappropriate and violates school policy.
Debra Briones, of Schererville, Indiana, said her son, Timothy, 17, is a junior at the school. She said he wore a shirt recently that depicted a picture of a heavy metal guitarist named "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, someone he looks up to.
According to a Web dictionary, a dime bag refers to a small plastic bag of heroin that usually costs $10.
Briones said her son learned how to play the guitar by watching Abbott, and looks up to him as a role model.
Timothy was called into the office of Tim Powers, sophomore dean of students, on Friday on another matter, Debra Briones said. Timothy said he was asked to turn his shirt inside out.
He did not, returned to class and was not disciplined.
"I've worn this shirt many times since I got it for Christmas," he said, adding this was the first time anyone said anything.
Lake Central School Superintendent Janet Emerick said the policy regarding apparel is clear and is applicable to all students within the district.
"Any apparel or item that alludes to drugs, alcohol, sex, the occult, gangs, profanity or which are offensive to ethnic or racial groups is prohibited," she read from the policy.
Emerick said the student handbook, including school policies, is distributed at the beginning of the school year. She declined to discuss specific students.
His mother went to the school the next day to bring in articles about Abbott to show what a "good guy" he was, and discuss how much her son admired the guitarist.
"The principal wouldn't even look at it," she said.
When asked what she ultimately wants, Briones said she'd like for her son to be able to wear his shirt to school, and that his First Amendment rights not be violated.
South African hard rockers SEETHER reportedly performed a cover of PANTERA's "Walk" during their concert at San Francisco's Civic Auditorium Sunday night (Sept. 25) as a tribute to fallen PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott. The San Francisco show was the second night of SEETHER's North American tour as the support act for AUDIOSLAVE. It is not presently clear if SEETHER's cover of "Walk" will be performed at every stop on SEETHER's current tour.
SEETHER's latest album, "Karma and Effect", has sold 398,000 copies in the United States since its late May release, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The December 2005 issue of Guitar World magazine (web site) contains an exclusive, in-depth interview with former PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott. In the 10-page cover story (view cover here), Vinnie speaks for the first time about Dimebag's murder, the possibility of a PANTERA reunion prior to Dimebag's death, Vinnie's future plans as a musician, and his favorite memories of Dimebag, among many other topics. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
Guitar World: Dime had a reputation for hard living and hard drinking, but what's less known is that he had a serious side and could be remarkably focused. What are some instances in which you saw this side of him?
Vinnie Paul: "Throughout his career, he was always really focused on everything. Toward the end, about a year before all this happened, he really started to develop the business side of himself. He was so proud of his new line of guitars with Dean Guitars and his new amp with Krank Amplification. He probably took that stuff more seriously than anything. He didn't want his name on a piece of shit. He wanted it to be on something that was special, so when somebody got it, they went, 'Wow, this is the best guitar I've ever picked up,' or this is the most kick-ass sounding amp I've ever played.' Dime was all over it with both companies, and that was something I was so proud of him for.
"Some people have this misconception that the dude was loaded 24/7, but he wasn't. He'd do it when he felt like he needed to do it, and then he would back off for two or three days. In truth, we never really did that much drinking before we went onstage. We'd do two or three shots, just enough to get loosened up, and then mayne a couple more while we were playing. It was when we were done playing, after we'd kick everybody's fucking ass and given them everything they came for, that's when the booze would really start to flow. That's when it was time to take the roof off the fucking place."
Guitar World: In 1996, PANTERA released their darkest and most underrated album, "The Great Southern Trendkill". What's the story behind that album?
Vinnie Paul: "That was the most difficult record we ever made. We weren't falling apart, but the band was starting to go in different directions. Philip [Anselmo, PANTERA vocalist] had some well-publicized personal issues, and that made for a really dark record. At the same time, LIMP BIZKIT was blowing up and rap metal was coming in. There was a whole new scene, and people were like, 'What's PANTERA gonna do? Are they gonna do rap metal, too?' We just wanted to make the ultimate, abrasive album the industry's ever gotten. That was our response. It was the first record we made that declined in sales, but it's a platinum record today, so you can't say it wasn't successful. When it came out then, it was probably our most misunderstood record, but today I see posts on the Internet all the time saying, ''Trendkill' is my favorite album. Goddamn, that record broke the mold.' Well, too bad it took you nine fucking years to realize what we were trying to accomplish at the time! [laughs]"
Guitar World: Tell me about "Reinventing the Steel", which turned out to be the final PANTERA album.
Vinnie Paul: "I think that, next to 'Vulgar', that's probably the best record we made. By the time we made it, in 2000, everything had totally changed and music was — and still is — in a total shambles. So we wanted to make a straightforward, anthemic metal record. We wanted to keep the songs as fresh as we could, with old-school roots and new-school traits, and I think we did a really good job on it. I mean, 'Revolution Is My Name' is probably one of the best songs we ever wrote. The guitar riffs and parts Dime came up with are fucking phenomenal. There's probably five songs in that one song!"
Guitar World: PANTERA's breakup was instigated in part by the events of 9/11. Explain what happened.
Vinnie Paul: "That was pretty insane. We flew to Ireland out of JFK [International Airport] just 10 to 12 hours before that happened, man. We landed, got off the plane and people had all these terrible looks on their faces and we didn't know what the hell was going on. We just got this really weird vibe. We just felt that the best thing for us to do was cancel our European Tattoo the Earth tour with SLAYER and go home. We didn't know who was going to get attacked next. We were stranded there for, like, 10 days, and when we finally got back to Dallas, we just said, 'Hey, let's take a little break from this.' "
Guitar World: A lot of people in the metal community had been hoping PANTERA would get back together one day.
Vinnie Paul: "Let's make this clear once and for all: for any fan out there that believed any of the bullshit said by certain people, there never was going to be a PANTERA reunion, ever. If you were married to somebody for 15 or 16 years and they treated you the way we got treated, you don't go back to them, and we weren't going to do that. When we put DAMAGEPLAN together, we were done with PANTERA, but we wanted to respect the fans that loved the band. We felt as bad for them as we felt for ourselves, but we had nothing to do with it going sideways, and we gave every effort we could to keep it together."
Guitar World: Dime always insisted that DAMAGEPLAN was the real deal and not just a side project.
Vinnie Paul: "Damn straight. It was hard to let go of PANTERA and say, 'That's it. I'm done with this. I'm moving on.' Shit, that was the only life we'd ever known. After suffering what I call the defeat of PANTERA, being knocked down to nothing and having to get back up and go again when you're not 19 or 20 years old is one hell of a fucking effort, and me and Dime put everything into DAMAGEPLAN. And trust me, it took everything we had, and we dug as deep as we could. We were going for it and nothing was gonna stop us from getting there. It was just like in the early days.
"Before all of this happened, we'd already written and recorded for the second DAMAGEPLAN record. From where I stood, it looked to me like our first record, 'New Found Power', was our 'Cowboys from Hell', and the second record was gonna be our 'Vulgar Display of Power' — the record that pushed us over the top and put us on the same plateau as PANTERA. And that's what people wanted from us. Our record label was 100 percent behind us, but unfortunately we never got to see the light at the end of the tunnel, because of what happened."
Guitar World: Will those DAMAGEPLAN demos ever see the light of day?
Vinnie Paul: "Right now I'm still too flipped out to even go in the studio. I've been down there a time or two and it just wigs me completely out. But I guarantee you at some point I will do something with those tracks. Either I'll have some of Dime's favorite singers sing on 'em and turn them into jams, or maybe Pat [Lachman, DAMAGEPLAN vocalist] will sing on them and it'll be 'Damageplan II'. I don't know yet. Right now they're magic that hopefully someday everybody will get to hear, and as long I'm around, I think eventually they will get heard."
Guitar World: What else can you tell us about the night Dime was killed?
Vinnie Paul: "All I want to say right now is that things like this happen to people and sometimes, after six or eight months go by, people begin to talk and they learn more about what happened. I have a hard time believing that some nut-job just shot the best friend that I ever had for no reason. So I'd like to spread the message to anybody out there, that if you know or hear anything about it, please contact the authorities and let 'em know what you know. I just believe that there's something else out there that motivated this guy to do this. And if there is, I hope they get to the bottom of it, 'cause it's something that should've never, ever happened. It's ruined my life and it's taken away so much joy and happiness from so many people. I guess what I'm trying to find is an answer for why this happened. There has to be an answer somewhere, and I hope it comes out someday. I'll leave it at that.
"We also lost another great brother and a great friend, Mayhem [Jeffrey Thompson, bodyguard], that night. He and Dime were really close, and I know wherever they are they're together still. Also I want to send my condolences and heartfelt sorrow to the families and friends of the other two victims, Nathan Bray and Erin Halk.
"I know that Dime will live on forever, though, just like Jimi Hendrix and Randy Rhoads. It just happened way too goddamned soon. The music we made together will be around forever, but the thing that kills me is that we'll never get to do it again. We had so much more that we were gonna put out, and I know that, wherever he is, Dime's real dissatisfied that he didn't get to finish his mission."
Guitar World: Do you know what you plan to do next as a musician?
Vinnie Paul: "I've got to find the right situation. I'm not going to jump into anything, though, because I'm only just now getting to where I can wake up in the morning and just fucking breathe without having a million thoughts going through my mind. By no means will I ever be at peace with what happened, but at least I'm getting to where I can deal with it."
Former PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN drummer Vinnie Paul was recently interviewed by Guitar World magazine for its December 2005 issue. In the interview Vinnie spoke about many subjects, including the possibility of a PANTERA reunion prior to Dimebag's death and the status of unreleased video and audio recordings of Dimebag. Among the things Vinnie said:
* Vinnie confirmed that he has started a record label that will release a "DIMEvision" DVD and the DAVID ALAN COE/PANTERA project REBEL MEETS REBEL around Christmas.
* Vinnie stated that there was never going to be a PANTERA reunion, even before the tragedy with Dime.
Vinnie said, "Let's make this clear once and for all: for any fan out there that believed any of the bullshit said by certain people, there never was gonna be a PANTERA reunion, ever."
* Vinnie also informed us that DAMAGEPLAN had songs written and recorded for their sophmore album. Vinnie says he doesn't know what he is going to do with the material.
" Vinnie said, "Either I'll have some of Dime's favorite singers sing on 'em and turn them into jams, or maybe Pat (Lachman, ex-DAMAGEPLAN) will sing on them and it'll be DAMAGEPLAN 2. I don't know yet. Right now they're magic that hopefully someday everybody will get to hear, and as long as I'm around I think eventually they will get heard."
* Vinnie also talked about the pre-"Cowboys from Hell" PANTERA albums, Anselmo-era PANTERA albums, Dime getting asked to join MEGADETH, how PANTERA got signed to Atco, Meeting Alex and Eddie Van Halen, and his own musical future.
Vinnie said, "I've got to find the right situation."
* Vinnie also talked about the tragedy involving Dime. Vinnie had a special request he wanted everyone to hear.
Vinnie said, "I have a hard time believeing that some nut job just shot the best friend I have ever had for no reason. So, I'd just like to spread the message to anybody out there, that if you know or hear anything about it, please contact the authorities and let 'em know what you know."
NBC 4 is reporting that Columbus Police Officer James D. Niggemeyer, who is widely credited for saving lives on Dec. 8, 2004 when he entered Alrosa Villa without backup and killed a crazed gunman responsible for blowing away four people, including PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, is receiving a national honor.
Niggemeyer received honorable mention in Parade magazine's 2005 Police Service Awards. His story will appear in Sunday's edition.
Niggemeyer responded to the DAMAGEPLAN concert at Alrosa Villa. Nathan Gale shot and killed four people and injured three others before Niggemeyer entered the building and killed him with one shotgun blast to the head.
"I could see he was holding a hostage around the neck and still had a gun, so I knew that I didn't want that hostage to be killed," Niggemeyer said.
"When he put the gun to the hostage's head, it became a now-or-never scenario," Niggemeyer said. "Do I let him shoot the hostage in front of everybody? Or do I take what I feel is the best shot to try to keep the hostage from being killed? ... It worked out for the best."
Niggemeyer said that while he was the first and only officer to enter the back of the club, he didn't act alone.
"That's where I have to thank all the other officers that came in the front, because I'm pretty sure that they kept his attention and allowed me to get as close as I did," he said. "And if it wasn't for those officers coming in the front, I don't know if he would've ever picked me off or not."
Niggemeyer said his mission was to save lives.
"If I had to do it again, I had to do it," Niggemeyer said. "I took an oath to protect the public."
A 14-song Italian tribute to late PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, entitled "This Love - A Tribute to Dimebag", has been made available for free download at moshpitculture.it. The complete track listing for the effort is as follows:
01. BY THE GRIEF - "Strength Beyond Strength"
02. ATOMIC ANTS - "Mouth For War"
03. SHELTER OF LEECH - "5 Minute Alone"
04. ELEKTRIK[H]ATE - "Cowboys From Hell"
05. HAPAX - "Walk"
06. DAY1DAY - "Cemetary Gates"
07. SOWN - "Suicide Note (Southern Version)"
08. ADDICTION CREW - "This Love"
09. SHATTERED - "War Nerve"
10. REMORSE - "Domination"
11. IMODIUM - "Rise"
12. SUFFERHEAD - "Fucking Hostile"
13. ORIENT EXPRESS - "Planet Caravan"
14. EVILGROOVE - "Suicide Note (Lysergik Version)"
For heavy metal fans, the violent death of Pantera and Damageplan guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott in Dec. 2004, ranks among rock's greatest communal losses: Buddy Holly, John Lennon and Kurt Cobain.
But if "Dimebag's" murder at a Columbus, Ohio concert marks the day the metal music died, his rowdy spirit lives on as was evident at Hard Rock Cafe on Wednesday.
Abbott's live-in girlfriend, Rita Haney, and his brother and band mate, drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, were on hand to unveil an electric guitar belonging to the murdered guitarist, among new memorabilia items installed at the restaurant.
About 150 fans clamored near the Hard Rock stage for the afternoon presentation to make a connection that even they couldn't always quite explain. "Dime," as he was known, was a different kind of rock god — accessible and down-to-earth.
"I had to be here," said Rocky Rios, 22. "He was so ... cool. At a thing like this, he'd just shake your hand."
Jessica Martin, 23, and Elliot Henry, 22, arrived together wearing Pantera T-shirts. "I'm here pretty much in tribute to him, just to show respect," Martin said.
"He's just everything to me," said Henry, who plays guitar. "I've listened to him since I was 9. The reason I love music is because of him."
Evildoer had posted this message on their website:
Today the 20th of august we raise our Black Tooth drink honouring the late Dimebag Darrels 39th birthday! A sadly missed source of inspiration...RIP