James Hetfield Explains How Dimebag Darrell Inspired Him, Recalls Metallica Meeting Pantera When They Were a Glam Metal Band

Metallica frontman James Hetfield recently recalled his relationship with Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell, as well as meeting the band back in the 1980s. Appearing on the “Metal Ambassador” podcast over at SiriusXM, Hetfield looked back on the friendship that he had with the Texas-based groove metal band and Dime.

However, this was the time before Pantera became the Pantera that we know of today but were more of a glam metal kind of band. Asked about this, James replied (via Ultimate Guitar):

“Well, what a blessing to have been in his life and him in my life. And yeah, some of those early days, just traveling down there to the Dallas area and meeting with those guys and just hanging out.

Pantera live, Seek and Destroy with Jason Newsted 1994-07-15

What James also added is that, interestingly enough, he got inspired by Dimebag. The friendship that started back in the 1980s was also sparked by Dime’s use of solid-state amps, something that wasn’t that popular among guitar players back in the day but still proved that it could yield great results. James continued:

“Yeah, Dimebag introduced me to the solid-state amp, I remember. He had this fricking amazing crunch going on. I was, like, ‘What is that?’ You know? So, uh, yeah. [We] inspired each other. He inspired me as well. No doubt.”

To those who may not know, before the release of the legendary 1990 album “Cowboys from Hell,” Dime and his brother Vinnie Paul changed other band members and recorded three full-length albums with other musicians before settling on the classic lineup with Phil Anselmo on vocals.

Metallica - Live at Day On The Green, Oakland, CA, USA (1985) [Pro-Shot]

But even then, the band recorded one more glam metal album, albeit a thrashier one, titled “Power Metal.” Eventually, they settled on their well-known groove metal style and never really looked back on the glam days.

But before that, the group actually changed lineups and one of the original members in the band was Terry Glaze. Initially starting off as a the second guitar player in Pantera, Glaze eventually took over the vocal duties. And he’s the voice that you can hear on the band’s three early albums.

Pantera - Rock the World

In an interview published early in 2023, Glaze reflected on the current iteration of Pantera, featuring Zakk Wylde and Charlie Benante alongside classic members Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown. Asked about it, Glaze commented:

“I just feel kind of the same way I feel about Van Halen; I love Van Halen. I love Eddie [Van Halen]. I love [Dimebag] Darrell. You know, that’s how I feel about it. It would be difficult for me to think that that was Van Halen without Eddie Van Halen, and Alex [Van Halen] is still alive. Imagine if Eddie and Alex are gone, and then it was Van Halen; it’s just hard for us old people.”

“But you know, man, more power to everybody to get to celebrate the music, and get together and have fellowship, I especially think about all the young people who never got to see them; now they get to finally go out and celebrate those songs.“

Pantera Metal Magic Full Album (1983)

“That means so much to them, and that music means so much to a lot of people around the whole planet. So more power to them to celebrate music. Anything that gets people out, live together for rock and roll, that’s a good thing.”

Reflecting on Dimebag’s tragic passing in 2004, Glaze said:

“One of our best friends, Buddy Blaze [Webster], called me in the middle of the night and told me, and you know, just a void and hole in your stomach developed immediately.”

Pantera @ Savvys - Fort Worth, TX 1984 [with Terry Glaze]

“I was at the service in Arlington, and the show thing that night, and you know, it didn’t feel real to me until the next day when I went back to the cemetery and I saw the dirt.”

“That was when it felt real, the finality of it. You know, my grandparents are buried in that same cemetery; my father-in-law’s right over there; my grandma’s right here; Vince and Darrell are right there.”

“So every time I go back to Arlington, I try and stop by and pay respects, and see family and reconnect. So it’s very personal.”

PANTERA's 1st Singer Terry Glaze on Rex Brown's Harsh Words About Vinnie Paul & Why He Left the Band

Talking about his current projects, Terry said:

“Well, a lot of different things. I live on the east coast, and when COVID hit and all the tours got shut down we all got stuck in the house and most of us got depressed. Eventually, I started reaching out to my heroes to see if they would play and remotely record on some of my songs, and crazily, some of them have.“

“So for the last two years, I’ve been recording here and there, tracks go to other parts of the planet, and then they come back. And I’ve been collecting original music.”

“One of my bands is called Raised by Gods. It’s a duo with my one of my best friends, Mike Harrington, and he’s on the West Coast, and we’re a rock and roll duo. We’ve done two albums, and we just finished a new song.”

Pantera's Terry Glaze on Dimebag's Death, "I didn't know how to react," Buddy Blaze, Dean, Funeral

“Both our daughters went through cancer recently, and we tried to write an inspiration fight song. And it doesn’t have to be just about cancer, but we have a new song coming out, called ‘Toughest Motherfucker’. That’s ready to go, and hopefully we’ll get that out sometime soon.”

“I also have a new project called Evel Frehley. The name came from half Evel Kinevel and Ace Frehley; two things that we love! That started just before COVID, and we’ve finished those. We’ve got five singles out over the last year doing that, and they’re available any place you stream or buy; iTunes, it’s everywhere.”

Photos: Kreepin Deth (James Hetfield live in Amesterdam 29 April 2023), Rik Goldman (Dimebag Darrell with Pantera)


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.