MACHINE HEAD/DECAPITATED Guitarist VOGG Is 'Happy' About PANTERA 'Reunion': 'I Would Go' See It

January 8, 2023

Polish guitarist Wacław "Vogg" Kiełtyka (MACHINE HEAD, DECAPITATED) has weighed in on the fact that PANTERA's surviving members Philip Anselmo (vocals) and Rex Brown (bass) have united 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, are headlining a number of major festivals across South America, Asia, North America and Europe and staging some of their own headline concerts. They will also support METALLICA on a massive North American stadium tour in 2023 and 2024.

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 in 2021 said Wylde wouldn't tour with PANTERA if a reunion were to happen. It's unclear what changed his mind.

Vogg discussed his views on the PANTERA comeback in an interview with Pod Scum. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "You know what? Right now these days it's a little bit dangerous to say your own opinion about that.

"I'm happy about this reunion, I have to say. I would go for the show to see them playing.

"Many people say it's not gonna be sounding the same. Of course it's not gonna be sounding the same because it's not Dimebag and not Vinnie Paul.

"Sometimes I'm just a little bit [wondering] if this should be [called] PANTERA or they should maybe find a COWBOYS FROM HELL name," he continued. "I don't know. I'm still a little bit confused about that. But you know what? [At] the end of the day, I'm happy about that, because this music and the legacy of Dimebag, it needs to be continued for the next generations. And these guys will continue with Zakk, who is probably the most right person, after Dimebag, to do that. If Zakk is doing that, if Charlie is doing that, [I'm on board with it]. If those guys wanna do it, all right. Let them do it. Let's see what happens. Let's go to see them live and let's listen [to them play].

"For sure, I'm happy to hear these songs live. I will celebrate the music because I never had a chance to see PANTERA live. I never saw PANTERA live. I was almost supposed to see and even play with PANTERA, with DECAPITATED, on the show in Poland. There was an announcement of the tour 'Tattoo The Planet' with SLAYER, STATIC-X and PANTERA, and [we were supposed to be] the local support for the Polish show. It never happened because of 9/11.

"People complain, 'This is just for money. Phil wanna do it for money'," Vogg added. "For sure, for sure. Sometimes people don't understand that musicians need to eat. And also Phil and Rex have been a big part of PANTERA.

"This is not a competition to replace Dimebag and Vinnie Paul because nobody will ever, ever do that again. Nobody will have the same groove as those guys had. Those guys, they had, in my opinion, the best groove in metal ever. So this is not a competition to replace and try to create the same sound. This is not about that. This is about to play this amazing music live and give the people… bring this joy, this amazing music back to the stage, to the festivals and make people happy, make [it possible for] people to enjoy this again. Even if I'm not a hundred percent sure and cool with all of this, I'm more [in favor of it happening]. Like, yes, let's do that. I'm crossing fingers for the guys."

Last fall, MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn told Brazilian journalist Gustavo Maiato about PANTERA's return: "I think it's gonna be awesome for fans. I think if you were born in 1999, two years before PANTERA broke up, you're gonna get to see those songs again and see the band live, which is cool. Good for the fans."

Back in January 2016, Flynn released a video message criticizing Anselmo for the apparent "white power" gesture the PANTERA singer made onstage after his appearance at "Dimebash".

In December 2016, Anselmo responded to Flynn's comments publicly in an interview with SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk", accusing the MACHINE HEAD frontman of wanting to "ride the coattails."

In June 2016, Flynn confirmed that he re-wrote part of the lyrics for the MACHINE HEAD song "Is There Anybody Out There?" to include lines that are a commentary on the "white power" gesture Anselmo made onstage at "Dimebash".

Last month, PANTERA played seven shows in Mexico and South America. The band will next headline the 2023 "comeback" edition of Japan's Loud Park festival. The two-day "limited" event will take place on March 25 at Intex Osaka in Osaka and March 26 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba City near Tokyo.

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