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Pantera, On the Road Again
Interview w/ Pantera Drummer, Vinnie Paul
By Kerry Bryer
(more articles from this author)
2001-02-01
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Listen to the Interview in RealAudio

This years Grammys will feature yet a fourth nomination for Pantera. They have been nominated in the category of Best Metal Performance for "Revolution is My Name" from their current CD 'Reinventing the Steel'.

Pantera has given their heart and soul to their fans throughout the years, and to see them win this award, they so greatly deserve, would be a great victory for their fans as well as the band.

Drummer and producer of their current CD, Vinnie Paul, has been quoted as stating, "This award would be deeply cherished, out of all the platinum and gold records, the #1 album in 1994 and the other top 10 albums, this is the one award my mom always wanted us to win"

Vinnie's and Dimebags' mother passed away in September of 1999, leaving them with a great drive to see her dream for them realized.

Pantera's headline tour featuring Soulfly and Morbid Angel will be kicking off February 1st in Albuquerque, NM and extend across the country till April 1st in ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Their awesome sound and powerhouse performances are leaving fans waiting in angst for the show date nearest them - which is why ticket sales are going through the roof.

Pantera teaming up with Soulfly is to a hard core fan, a spiritual experience waiting to happen, and I for one will have my boots shined and ready! Bring on the noise of our aggression guys, because we are all waiting to show our respect!

See you in the pit!

Listen to the Interview in RealAudio

Pantera Bio

Philip Anselmo: vocals
Dimebag Darrell: guitars
Vinnie Paul: drums
Rex Brown: bass

Critics writing about Pantera fall over themselves in search of adjectives to describe the fiercely independent foursome: "Boot kicking" "A Metal massacre" "Crushing" "Searing" - the list goes on and on. Log onto the numerous websites manned by rabid and loyal fans, and you'll find chat rooms filled with their own testaments of faith to the band: "They never sold out." "They're as heavy as shit." "They always speak their mind." "They don't give a flying fuck about any of the others." But ask Philip Anselmo, the charismatic, often merciless frontman of Pantera about his take on their success and you get the true, living, breathing definition of this uncompromising phenomenon. "We've survived every fucking trend. Heavy metal, grunge metal, funk metal, rap metal and we're still here. We put everyone on notice that we don't fuck around. Our fans know we're true right down to the fucking core."

Now, with Reinventing The Steel, their first studio album in four years, Pantera can once again let their music do the talking, and, as one writer has already noted about the band: "You can hear them coming a mile away." The new disc, following on the heels of 1997's gold-selling live opus, Official Live: 101 Proof, reverberates with a depth and intensity that secures Pantera's rep as the cream of modern metal.

"We took more time on this album, much more time," says Vinnie. The album was crafted in their own home studio in Texas, with the band also anointing Vinnie and Dimebag Darrell as sole producers on this one. Terry Date, who has helped guide their four other studio albums, agreed it was time to let Vinnie and Dimebag fly solo on this effort.

"He was real cool about it," says Vinnie. "This just seemed like a natural progression to let us have a go at it. We were able to concentrate and work at a steadier pace, going in for a couple of days a week. It gave us a better perspective on what we were trying to achieve."

And though Vinnie is reluctant to describe the songs on Reinventing The Steel, Phil's riveting bolts of passionate, in-your-face vocals are again faithfully discharged under the familiar Pantera squall of Dimebag's guitars, Vinnie's drums, and Rex's deft bass playing. "It was great having Vinnie and Dimebag producing," says Phil. "We were able to come in and do our thing with none of the pressures. 100% bullshit proof. The evidence is in the music. We've been through so much together you can just feel the energy that went into making this album." Soulfully brutal tracks like "Revolution Is My Name," and "We'll Grind That Axe For A Long Time," pulse with the restless angst fans have come to expect, but soar, as well, under the steady hands of Vinnie and Dime. "We'll Grind That Axe' is in a way, our motto," says Phil. "We'll keep fucking kicking ass, giving our all, until we can't fucking do it anymore. Our fans can breathe fucking easy we're back."

As if they ever left. Pantera's incredible rise to the top of the metal heap has been nothing short of miraculous when you consider they've made their historic climb with virtually no radio support or MTV exposure. With four platinum albums under their belt, three gold home videos and four Grammy nominations (the most recent for "Revolution Is My Name", from Reinventing the Steel, Pantera are just beginning to garner the recognition they deserve. Relentless touring since 1990's breakthrough album Cowboys From Hell, has seen them go from local Texas phenoms to mortifying trailblazers of the legendary Ozzfest. Touring with their idols was one of the highlights of Pantera's career. One of the most hellraising songs on the new disc, "Yesterday Don't Mean Shit," was penned on their most recent run on the Black Sabbath Reunion Tour. "It was the first song written for the new album," says Vinnie. "I think it establishes the code."

That code has held Pantera well through what many consider their classic album, 1992's Vulgar Display Of Power, to 1994's #1 Billboard debut Far Beyond Driven, to their most recent studio effort 1996's The Great Southern Trendkill. (TGST was the first album recorded at their custom built Texas studio.) "It makes all the difference in the world," says Vinnie. "We totally control our own destiny now. And that's just the way we want it."

The band's relentless touring and fierce dedication to their fans have inoculated them against the usual trappings that have brought down other metal bands, making them the standard-bearers for integrity minded rock.

A crown that came naturally, says Vinnie: "We don't ever try to be anything we aren't. The bond between us and our fans can't be broken because they see themselves up there when we play. You can never fake that."

Listen to the Interview in RealAudio

Reinventing The Steel - Tour Dates 2001

2/1 - Albuquerque, NM - Convention Center

2/2 - Mesa, AZ - Mesa Amphitheatre sold out

2/3 - Universal City, CA - Universal Amphitheatre

2/4 - Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues (Vegas)

2/6 - San Jose, CA - San Jose Events Center

2/8 - Portland, OR - Memorial Coliseum

2/9 - Seattle, WA - Mercer Arena

2/10 - Nampa, ID - Idaho Center

2/12 - Casper, WY - Casper Events Center

2/13 - Denver, CO - Denver Coliseum

2/15 - St. Charles, MO - Family Arena

2/16 - kansas city, MO - hale arena

2/18 - Green Bay, WI - Brown County Expo Centre

2/19 - madison, WI - dane county expo center

2/20 - Minneapolis, MN - Target Center

2/22 - Peoria, IL - Peoria Civic Center

2/23 - Cedar Rapids, IA - US Cellular Center

2/24 - Grand Rapids, MI - Deltaplex

2/26 - Ft. Wayne, IN - Memorial Coliseum

2/27 - Toledo, OH - Toledo Sports Arena

3/1 - auburn hills, MI - palace of auburn hills

3/2 - Louisville, KY - Louisville Gardens

3/3 - Chicago, IL - UIC Pavillion

3/5 - Dayton, OH - Hara Arena

3/6 - Pittsburgh, PA - Mellon Arena

3/8 - New York, NY - Hammerstein Ballroom SOLD OUT

3/9 - New York, NY - Hammerstein Ballroom

3/10 - New York, NY - Hammerstein Ballroom

3/11 - Philadelphia, PA - First Union Center

3/13 - Poughkeepsie, NY - Mid Hudson Civic Center

3/14 - towson, MD - towson center

3/15 - Lowell, MA - Tsongas Arena

3/16 - Lewiston, ME - Central Maine Civic Center

3/18 - Indianapolis, IN - Pepsi Coliseum / Indiana State

3/20 - Oklahoma City, OK - Myriad Convention Center

3/21 - San Antonio, TX - Freeman Coliseum

3/23 - Dallas, TX - Fair Park Coliseum

3/24 - corpus christi, TX - concrete street amphitheatre

3/25 - Houston, TX - Astro Arena

3/27 - McAllen, TX - villa real convention center

3/29 - Biloxi, MS - Mississippi Coast Coliseum

3/30 - Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle

4/1 - ft. lauderdale, FL - Sunrise Musical Theater

4/2 - Orlando, FL - Hard Rock Live


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