SLIPKNOT frontman Corey Taylor has weighed in on the news that PANTERA's surviving members Philip Anselmo (vocals) and Rex Brown (bass) will unite with guitarist Zakk Wylde (OZZY OSBOURNE, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY) and drummer Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX) for a world tour under the PANTERA banner.
Anselmo and Brown, along with Wylde and Benante, will headline a number of major festivals across North America and Europe and stage some of their own headline concerts.
According to Billboard, the lineup has been given a green light by the estates of the band's founders, drummer Vincent "Vinnie Paul" Abbott and guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, as well as Brown, who last year said Wylde wouldn't tour with PANTERA if a reunion were to happen. It's unclear what changed his mind.
Taylor discussed his views on the PANTERA comeback during an appearance earlier today (Tuesday, August 30) on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk". He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I know everybody in the [current PANTERA] band; I knew everybody in the prior band. So it's interesting. I know there's a lot of debate about it. All I'm going to say is that I'm stoked to see these songs played live. I'm stoked to see it done with respect.
"Whether anybody wants to admit that or not, these fans online, they wanna admit this or not, you're talking about two dudes [Charlie and Zakk] who not only knew the brothers from years ago, knew them before PANTERA was even a thing," Corey continued. "They were friends with those guys from when PANTERA was still playing clubs, and they would go and hang out with them when those respective bands would go and play Dallas; they would go and hang out with those dudes. So then when PANTERA becomes massive, lo and behold they're touring with their friends, man.
"You can't get a better drummer than Charlie, you can't get a better guitar player than Zakk to step into those shoes," Taylor added. "Is it going to work? I don't know. But to say that it's not the right thing — first of all, it's for anybody else to say except for Phil and Rex, because those guys, they were in the band. So let's just give them the benefit of the doubt and let's see what happens."
PANTERA will play its first shows in over 20 years in December 2022, starting with a co-headlining slot at Mexico's Hell & Heaven Metal Fest, followed by appearances at three Knotfest festivals in South America.
PANTERA will perform at Hell & Heaven Metal Fest on Friday, December 2 at Foro Pegaso in Toluca. Knotfest Colombia is scheduled for Friday, December 9 at Campin Circuit of Bogotá. Knotfest Chile is slated to take place on Sunday, December 11 at Estadio Monumental in Santiago. Knotfest Brasil will follow on Sunday, December 18 at Sambódromo do Anhembi in São Paulo.
This past February, Taylor spoke about the impact PANTERA's classic sophomore major label album, "Vulgar Display Of Power", had on his musical upbringing. He told HardDrive Radio: "I remember where I was when that album came out, man. I was listening to that incessantly. I was working at the RV center that my grandma got me a job at. 'Cause I didn't wanna cut my hair and I couldn't work anywhere else, man, so I was washing RVs for nine hours a day during the day in the hottest summer I'd ever felt. And it was intense, dude. And all I had was that tape — I had that tape and [a cassette from] BEASTIE BOYS. So I kept trading those tapes back and forth. And when I needed a burst of energy, I'd put on 'Vulgar Display', and when I just wanted to chill and just kind of get into the rhythm of it, I would put on, I think it was [BEASTIE BOYS'] 'Check Your Head'. So it was, like, those two albums really fueled me that summer to get through it. And I just remember listening to that album and just going, 'Jesus, this is so heavy and yet so hummable.' That's the thing that I think people really lose with PANTERA — is that it was so incredibly heavy but the hooks were incredible, dude. I mean, it was like the next evolution of what METALLICA had kind of started to do. To this day, it's still one of my favorite albums."
Back in 2017, Taylor named PANTERA's 1994 effort "Far Beyond Driven" as one of his 10 favorite metal albums of all time. "That album is so sludgy," he told Rolling Stone. "I loved 'Vulgar Display Of Power', and obviously everybody gravitates toward that one just because it's got the songs, it's got the whatever. But to me, 'Far Beyond Driven' was the first example of what a modern metal production could sound like. It was so thick and the mix was a little angrier. To me, it was the first time that you could really hear how heavy they could go and how willing they were to just drive that shit home. And it's got my favorite PANTERA song on it, which is 'Becoming'. That song alone wins. Just when you thought you had some shit figured out, fuck you. You're done."
Benante told "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" about how he plans to approach the PANTERA gig: "I can't go do this as the drummer from ANTHRAX because it would be a different sound completely. So the way I'm gonna do that is if you close your eyes, it's gonna sound like it's Vinnie, basically. And that's how it's gonna be. The sound is gonna sound exactly like him."
Wylde said that he had a similar mindset. "You approach it the same way as you do when I'm playing with Ozzy," he said. "Obviously I've gotta learn [Randy] Rhoads's stuff and I've gotta learn Jake's [E. Lee] stuff, and when I was doing the [BLACK] SABBATH stuff, you learn it and do it as faithful as you can. Charlie's gotta learn all of Vinnie's parts. You approach it as if you're in a cover band. When we do the ZAKK SABBATH stuff," referring to his BLACK SABBATH cover band, "I don't start changing lyrics midway through 'War Pigs'. You learn the songs — so that's what you do."
Talk about a possible PANTERA "reunion" intensified when Anselmo regularly joined Wylde's BLACK LABEL SOCIETY to perform PANTERA's song "I'm Broken" during DOWN's 2014 stint on the "Revolver Golden Gods Tour". That buzz only got stronger after Brown joined the jam on May 23, 2014 when the tour swung through Texas.
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.
PANTERA is managed by Scott McGhee of 1 Degree Music Entertainment. The band's legal representative is Nick Ferrara And Associates. PANTERA is booked internationally by Rod MacSween at ITB. Artist Group International will book PANTERA's North American dates, with Dennis Arfa and Peter Pappalardo as the responsible agents.