Ex-PANTERA Bassist Says He Was 'Caught In The Middle' Of War Of Words Between PHILIP ANSELMO And ABBOTT Brothers

December 14, 2016

In a brand new interview with Loudwire, former PANTERA bassist Rex Brown spoke about the circumstances that led to the band's split nearly a decade and a half ago.

While PANTERA vocalist Philip Anselmo and the Abbott brothers — guitarist Dimebag Darrell and drummer Vinnie Paul — were flinging insults at each other in the press throughout 2003, Brown remained largely silent.

His ex-bandmates viciously blamed each other for PANTERA's demise, but Brown refused to choose sides. By then, he and Anselmo were performing together in DOWN, which Anselmo had formed more than a decade earlier as a side project.

"There's a bunch of stuff that went back and forth between Vinnie Paul and Philip in the press, and I wasn't very thrilled with it," Rex said (see video below). "I thought it was… At the time, I didn't feel that that was necessary. We could have taken care of those problems [in private], like we always have."

He continued: "Look, Philip had a million ideas of different things he wanted to do. At that point, we neeed to take a serious break. And we had just been going for twelve years straight. We needed to take a break, re-focus. What are we gonna do with this next phase of our career? It wasn't about me and Philip going off to do an Ozzfest [with DOWN] or anything like that. We wrote that album in 1998. So, for me, I was caught in the middle of all that, and I didn't like the way it went down. And it wasn't the fact that Philip wasn't taking calls. He wasn't taking calls from anybody, you know?"

Brown added: "It was a rough time, man. It really was."

Asked if he intentionally stayed out of the dispute between the Abbott brothers and Anselmo, Brown said: "Dude, I made every attempt in the world. And, of course, I did talk to [Anselmo], and I had him call [the Abbott brothers]. I didn't have him call… I think they talked that I wasn't privy to at the time. But my kids were just born in 2000, and I was watching them grow, man."

The bassist went on to say: "We busted ass for five years before we even got our foot in the door, so, for me, I certainly needed a break. I think we all definitely needed a break."

PANTERA was one of the most successful heavy metal bands of all time — and arguably the most important metal band of the 1990s. PANTERA's 1994 album, "Far Beyond Driven", debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 chart. PANTERA has sold over twenty-five million albums worldwide. In the United States alone, four PANTERA albums were certified platinum (one million sold) and two more went gold (five hundred thousand sold).

When PANTERA broke up in 2003, Dimebag and Vinnie Paul formed DAMAGEPLAN. On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was shot and killed onstage by Nathan Gale. He was 38 years old.

Vinnie Paul told Brazil's R7 earlier in the year that he and his brother did their best to patch things up with Anselmo before launching their DAMAGEPLAN project, but their efforts were in vain. "Nothing ever transpired," Vinnie Paul explained. "We tried to make amends of things when we were doing DAMAGEPLAN, and he didn't want anything to do with it. And then the horrible thing that happened to my brother happened. And, to me, that was the nail in the coffin. Period."

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