Anthrax Bassist Explains How Vinnie Paul Would React to Pantera Reunion, Recalls How Two Bands Treated Each Other on Tour

The announcement of Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown reuniting under the Pantera moniker is still taking its rounds online. It seems like things haven’t really cooled down, even when it was revealed that Zakk Wylde and Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante will be joining them. However, many fans wonder what the Abbott Brothers, Dime and Vinnie, would think of this whole thing. Especially knowing things weren’t exactly the best between them and Phil.

In a recent appearance in Talk Louder, Anthrax bassist Frank Bello weighed in on the matter. Being Charlie Benante’s nephew, his bandmate, as well as someone who toured with Pantera back in the day, he’s the right guy to ask. So when asked to share his opinion on this Pantera tour, he said (via Ultimate Guitar):

“Look, we’ve done a lot of touring with Pantera in our day. We were family. You have to understand, Anthrax and Pantera, we were very much a family. Dime played on a few of our records. We were very, very close to these guys, so Charlie also had a really close relationship with Dime and Vinnie. And we all did. We all did.”

Discussing his uncle Charlie playing as a drummer in this revived version of Pantera, he said:

“They got the right guy. If there’s one guy to play drums, who’ll play them the right way, the way it should be. And I think Vinnie would say this too; rest his soul… We were very, very close with these guys. This will be like another family member joining them and paying tribute to these guys.”

“For me, as a Pantera fan, yes, I’m stoked on it. I think Zakk’s awesome. We talk about it every day. We’re close with Zakk. We’ve known him for years. So this is a great time.”

Phil Anselmo, Down, Zakk Wylde - Pantera: I'm Broken Live in Chicago at House of Blues 2014

“I think it’s a celebration of Pantera. I’ll be the first one in line for a ticket. I’ll be loving this. I think it’s a great tribute. Also, for the people who haven’t seen Pantera, these guys will do the right job of representing Pantera, I think.”

If it was to be done, this is the right way, in my opinion. I’d wanna see this just because, man, it’s gonna be done right and respectful and it’s gonna be awesome. And just a little selfishly, I’ve been jamming with Charlie Benante for all my life. He’s a relative of mine.”

“It’s great that a bigger group of people are gonna see how great he truly is as a drummer. I think people are gonna see that and [witness] something that we’ve known for a long time. It’s gonna be a great thing. It’s a tribute. I’m looking forward to it. I’m a Pantera fan.”

Photo: Adam Bielawski (Frank Bello 2015 – Anthrax (cropped)), Mjfelker (VinniePaul2008)