LAMB OF GOD drummer Chris Adler says that he implored Vinnie Paul Abbott not to reform PANTERA without "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott.
Ever since Dimebag was murdered in December 2004, people persistently called for Vinnie to consider reuniting with singer Philip Anselmo and bassist Rex Brown, with guitarist Zakk Wylde standing in for Vinnie's late brother. But Vinnie continually rejected the idea, saying that such a reunion would not be "right at all."
While paying tribute to Vinnie during an appearance on the "Talk Is Jericho" podcast, Adler discussed his feelings on a hypothetical PANTERA "reunion," saying that he spoke to Vinnie "at length about that. Not that my opinion mattered whatsoever, but I encouraged him repeatedly, 'Please, don't. It's not right,'" he said.
"As much as I love Zakk, or whoever else might be able to do it, and I know the fans would want that, and I know there is this concept of, 'Do it for the fans. Do it for the songs. Celebrate this,' it's celebrated by the fact that it's over; it's celebrated by the fact that we all remember it well with the appropriate pieces to the puzzle," he continued.
Adler went on to say that the key to PANTERA's success was the right combination of musicians complementing each other applying their talents toward a common goal.
"There's a chemistry you have as a band, and sometimes in my band, it can become tumultuous, it can become difficult, and sometimes those things, actually, are beneficial in ways that you push each other creatively and kind of get around the obstacles," he said. "But in [PANTERA's] case, it was a positive chemistry… No, I don't know the internals of how everything fell apart and how things went down, obviously — it didn't go that way the whole time — but I really love the idea of it not being… It's not that Vinnie said 'no'; it's that it wasn't possible. Whatever other unit would be put together, it's not capable of creating the chemistry necessary to put on the show that Vinnie and his brother did."
Chris also shared fond memories of Vinnie, who died last month, saying: "I really feel like he and his brother kind of set the standard for what the good-guy model is. And sadly — I don't obviously know everyone everywhere — I feel like he may have been the last good guy. In the way that we're all self-conscious about what we do, and we're tied up in our daily activities and worried about what it is we have going on, both Vinnie and Dime, in how I knew them, would go out of their way to make you feel comfortable, to be present outside of their own troubles or daily stuff. And it's unheard of; I don't know anyone like that. Vinnie had a way — and Dime did as well — of making a room of people, strangers even, feel like they were his best friend. And I've never met anyone like either of them."
PANTERA broke up in 2003 due to an ongoing rift between Anselmo and the rest of the band.
Dimebag was shot and killed by a crazed gunman while performing with his and Vinnie's post-PANTERA act DAMAGEPLAN at a Columbus, Ohio rock club.
Vinnie Paul told Germany's EMP Rock Invasion in a 2014 interview that fans who continued to clamor for a PANTERA reunion were "selfish." He added: "They want what they want; they don't care what you want. And it's unfortunate that people go, 'Oh, wow, man, they can get Zakk Wylde to jump up there on stage and it's PANTERA again.' No, it's not, you know. It's not that simple. If Eddie Van Halen was to get shot in the head four 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? I mean, it's really selfish for people to think that, and it's stupid. It's not right at all."
Vinnie added: "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've got one dude from the band floating around in them, you know. That's not a true reunion. With PANTERA, it'll never be possible."
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.