The news of Pantera coming back together for a 2023 “reunion” is still doing its rounds within the online metal community. While people are kind of thrilled to see Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown doing it again with the help from Zakk Wylde and Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante, there’s still the obvious lack of the two original members. Is it really Pantera without Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul? Is it a tribute show? Is it a cash grab?
Although Dime’s and Vinnie’s representatives gave their blessings for this supposed Pantera reunion, the Abbott brothers aren’t here to weigh in on it. But thanks to the wonders of this little thing called the “internet,” we can go back in past and see what Vinnie Paul really thought of this idea of Pantera “reuniting” with Zakk Wylde filling in for Dimebag.
In a newly unearthed interview with Vinnie Paul from 2014, we get a glimpse into the Pantera drummer’s honest opinion on the whole thing. The idea of Zakk Wylde filling in for Dimebag after his tragic death in 2004 isn’t new. And it’s something that fans have been suggesting for a long time. But when asked about the whole thing, in this aforementioned interview, Vinnie said (via Ultimate Guitar):
“People are selfish, man, you know? They want what they want. They don’t care what you want, you know? And it’s unfortunate that people go ‘Oh wow, they could get Zakk Wylde to jump up there on stage and it’s Pantera again.‘ No, it’s not.”
“It’s not that simple, you know? If Eddie Van Halen wants to get shot in the head 4 times next week, would everybody be going ‘hey man, Zakk, go play for Van Halen, just call it Van Halen’? You see what I’m saying? It’s really selfish for people to think that, and it’s stupid.”
“They call it a reunion for a reason, it’s called bringing the original members back to what it was. So there’s a lot of these things that they call reunions that aren’t really reunions. They got one dude from the band floating around in them, you know? I mean, that’s not a true reunion, and with Pantera, that’ll never be possible.”