ALICE IN CHAINS' SEAN KINNEY On VINNIE PAUL: 'He Was A Crushing Drummer And An All-Around Great Guy'
July 3, 2018
On June 30, ALICE IN CHAINS members Sean Kinney (drums) and Mike Inez (bass) spoke to Austria's Mulatschag about the recent passing of PANTERA and HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott.
"Back early on, like 1990 or so, I think we were over here [in Europe] and PANTERA were just coming up at the same time," Sean recalled (see video below). "And we were playing a lot of these little places throughout Europe, and we were kind of missing each other. And it was rooms like this. You'd leave graffiti for each other in the rooms, and there was always some gags, depending on how quick you came through. So that was always fun. I remember we were in Germany, 'it's, like, Cowboys From Schnell' — we were writing shit like that on the walls. And it's probably not funny. You know what? In hindsight, it sucked. I'm just now saying that it wasn't funny.
"They had a lot of fun," Kinney continued. "And Vinnie was an amazing guy — very hospitable, always wanted everybody to have a great time. He was pretty selfless and had a big heart. He was a crushing fucking drummer and an all-around great guy, and just a full champion of rock. He just lived it. And that's really gonna leave a big, big, big void, without him here."
Added Mike: "You don't meet many guys in this business that really live that life all the way to the end. Like Lemmy [MOTÖRHEAD], Dime [late PANTERA guitarist and Vinnie's brother, 'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott], and Vinnie was like that. There's a lot of people that say they live that lifestyle, and they really don't. They like their jobs and it's fun, and stuff like that, but really living it every single night, that was Vinnie Paul. He was just such a… just a good guy. Like Sean was saying, he made sure everybody else had a great time. He was just such a great host. No matter what room he was in, he was just a big-hearted fellow, and we already miss him greatly."
Vinnie Paul was buried on Saturday (June 30) next to his brother and their mother, Carolyn, at Moore Memorial Gardens cemetery in Arlington, Texas.
Vinnie passed away on June 22 at his home in Las Vegas at the age of 54. The drummer's death "did not appear suspicious," according to the official report of the event recorded by Metropolitan Police officers. Sources close to Vinnie told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he suffered a "major heart attack," but that information has not been corroborated yet by an official source.