CHARLIE BENANTE Knows He Is Doing 'Something Right' By Taking Part In PANTERA Comeback
March 29, 2023
Charlie Benante says that he knew that he "had done something right" by taking part in PANTERA's comeback more than 20 years since the last time the band performed live.
Joining the ANTHRAX drummer in PANTERA's reformed lineup are surviving members Rex Brown (bass) and Philip Anselmo (vocals),along with guitarist Zakk Wylde (OZZY OSBOURNE, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY).
According to Billboard, the lineup was given a green light by the estates of the band's founders, drummer Vincent "Vinnie Paul" Abbott and guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott.
It was first reported in July 2022 that Anselmo and Brown would unite with Wylde and Benante for a world tour under the PANTERA banner.
PANTERA recently played nine shows in Mexico, South America and Japan, and will next headline a number of major festivals across North America, Europe and Asia, and stage some of their own headline concerts. They will also support METALLICA on a massive North American stadium tour in 2023 and 2024.
Benante opened up about his participation in PANTERA's return during a recent interview with Consequence. Speaking about some of the criticism he has received for his involvement with PANTERA, Charlie said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I don't go [online] looking for [people's negative comments about it]. There's people that send me, 'Hey, did you see this?' And I'm, like, 'Why did you send me this? Why ruin my day?'
"I think the people who do these things, these comments, I don't even think they realize how much of an effect that they could have on people," he continued. "And whether or not you hate the situation, or whatever it is, why can't you find some sort of restraint? Why do you need to say this thought that you have? Can't you just hold it in and maybe be, like, 'I'll keep my thoughts to myself.' No, they've gotta tell you. I've never seen more of it in my life than I [did] in these past couple of months about just people judging."
Regarding his personal approach to playing the parts originally written and recorded by Vinnie Paul, Charlie said: "I just spent a lot of time on Vinnie's parts and more importantly the tone that Vinnie had because I wanted it to sound like PANTERA. That was my thing. And my drum configuration is different from the ANTHRAX one because I wanted to challenge myself to play those parts like he played them in that configuration, which, to me, was more important than anything. But yet people still have to find some problem in that."
According to Benante, the initial rehearsals for the PANTERA comeback tour were "an emotional thing" for Philip and Rex "too, because they hadn't played as a group, those two hadn't played together in a long time, playing PANTERA songs. Yeah, they played [together] in DOWN, but this was an emotional thing for them," Charlie said. "And I remember after the week of rehearsals that we did, saying goodbye was weird, because it was an emotional thing; we really kind of bonded, the three of us. Zakk wasn't there at the time. But for me, I knew I had done something right."
Brown was forced to leave PANTERA's Latin American tour after testing positive for COVID-19. Filling in for him at some of the shows was CATTLE DECAPITATION bassist Derek Engemann, who also plays with Anselmo in both PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS and SCOUR.
Up until his passing, Vinnie remained on non-speaking terms with Anselmo, whom the drummer indirectly blamed for Dimebag's death.
Vinnie Paul and Dimebag co-founded PANTERA. When PANTERA broke up in 2003, they formed DAMAGEPLAN. On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was shot and killed onstage by a troubled schizophrenic who believed that the members of PANTERA were stealing his thoughts.
Vinnie passed away on June 22, 2018 at his other home in Las Vegas at the age of 54. He died of dilated cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart, as well as severe coronary artery disease. His death was the result of chronic weakening of the heart muscle — basically meaning his heart couldn't pump blood as well as a healthy heart.
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