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Phil Anselmo On Pantera Reunion: “I Know For A Damn Fact Vince And Dime Would Want Us To Do This”


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While Pantera‘s initial run ultimately ended amid bitter infighting and tragedy that led to over a decade of animosity, the Texan band’s current victory lap has been largely well-received by fans. Amid the groove metal kings’ dissolution back in 2003, the group’s lineup had splintered into warring parties, with the brotherly duo of guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott and drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott on one side, and vocalist Phil Anselmo on the other. Bassist/vocalist Rex Brown mostly found himself caught in-between the two.

After a war of words spilled out into the press between Anselmo and the brothers, the tragic 2004 onstage murder of Dimebag and several other individuals perpetrated by a deranged concertgoer effectively ended Pantera for close to two decades. Vinnie Paul would go on to blame Anselmo‘s words and actions for indirectly inspiring the murder of his brother, with a lengthy feud ensuing.

In 2014, Vinnie Paul told Revolvermag.com of his continued refusal to reconcile with Anselmo:

“If you had an ex-wife, and it was a pretty bitter split, you might not ever want to talk to her again. Who cares if everybody in the family and your friends want you to say hello again? It’s your choice whether you want to do it or not. And I think a lot of people are selfish. They say, ‘Oh, he oughtta just kiss and make up with Phil and everything will be cool. And then they can go get Zakk Wylde and everything’s gonna be great.’ No, everything’s not gonna be great.”

Outside of attention to their catalog and significant anniversaries, Pantera remained on ice until a few years after Vinnie Paul‘s untimely death in 2018. It’s not that the band’s music wasn’t being performed live though, as Anselmo himself took to touring as a Pantera tribute amid numerous tours.

In 2022,  Anselmo and Brown officially resurrected Pantera with Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society, etc.) in place of Dimebag and Charlie Benante (Anthrax, etc.) in place of Vinnie Paul, and have continued to tour since.

That reunion of sorts was done with the blessing of the estates of the late Abbott brothers. Much of the promotion and imagery of the trek continues to honors the group’s fallen members, of whom Wylde and Benante were close friends. Now roughly a year into resurrecting the band, Anselmo ultimately feels that the Abbott brothers would approve of the reunion.

Anselmo and Brown spoke of the matter on a recently shared episode of ‘The Metallica Report‘ podcast. Anselmo first shared his feelings on the reunion now, offering:

“It’s empowering. It is incredibly beautiful, and you feel so much love when you’re up there. And if you take it in, it’s a great feeling, man. These days, man, that’s where me and Rex, you know, we get to dig the shows more.

When we were younger, we were at war and when we were on stage; we were just angry and at war, man. Now it’s — the songs are there. I can concentrate on singing the fricking songs, number one. Geez, that’s a relief for me, man. I don’t have to break my fricking body in part anymore.”

When a host suggested that the group’s reunion touring, which has included a stint with Metallica this year, embodies the “spirit” of the late Abbott brothers, Anselmo replied:

“Only thing I can say is, man, I know for a damn fact Vince and Dime would want us to do this, hands down. They would want the Pantera brand or the legacy to go on. And I don’t know what you believe in, but sometimes, you know, you would like to think that them old fellas are looking down on us, giving us the thumbs-up.”

Pantera‘s reunion touring plans will extend into 2024 with the below shows booked thus far:

With Lamb Of God:

02/03 Sunrise, FL – Amerant Bank Arena
02/05 Tampa, FL – Amalie Arena
02/07 Lexington, KY – Rupp Arena
02/09 Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
02/10 Memphis, TN – Fedex Forum
02/13 Kansas City, MO – T-Mobile Center
02/14 Lincoln, NE – Pinnacle Bank Arena
02/16 Winnipeg, MB – Canada Life Centre
02/18 Green Bay, WI – Resch Center
02/20 Grand Rapids, MI – Van Andel Arena
02/22 New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
02/24 Baltimore, MD – CFG Bank Arena
02/26 Toronto, ON – Scotiabank Arena
02/27 Quebec City, QC – Centre Videotron

Pantera:

03/21 Melbourne, AUS – Knotfest Australia
03/23 Sydney, AUS – Knotfest Australia
03/24 Brisbane, AUS – Knotfest Australia
06/14-16 Donington Park, UK – Download Festival
08/02 Foxborough, MA – Gillette Stadium (feat. Metallica & Mammoth WVH)
08/09 Chicago, IL – Soldier Field (feat. Metallica & Mammoth WVH)
08/16 Minneapolis, MN – U.S. Bank Stadium (feat. Metallica & Mammoth WVH)
08/23 Edmonton, AB – Commonwealth Stadium (feat. Metallica & Mammoth WVH)
08/30 Seattle, WA – Lumen Field (feat. Metallica & Mammoth WVH)

[via Blabbermouth.net]

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