QUEENSRŸCHE's TODD LA TORRE 'Completely' Supports PANTERA Comeback: 'They Can Do Whatever They Want'February 3, 2023
QUEENSRŸCHE's Todd La Torre 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.
La Torre discussed his views on the PANTERA comeback while sharing his thoughts on the "Top 10 Metal Albums Of 1994" with Canada's The Metal Voice. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Look, it's two original guys. It's the same as QUEENSRŸCHE. It's the same as JUDAS PRIEST. It's the same as 99 percent of every band that we ever loved from this era.
"There's only one Dime. Okay, yeah, I get it," the singer continued. "I understand that. But I think that it's their name, and [Philip is] the singer, and Rex Brown is there, and if they wanna go out and play it… Charlie is nailing the drum parts — like exactly. Okay, Zakk plays it his way. He's not trying to just be a complete copycat. He has his own identity. And I think because of that notoriety… He's a face that kind of everybody loves, right? Everybody loves Zakk. So he's playing with the band.
"I support it completely," Todd added. "It's their band; it's not yours. They can do whatever they want. And either you got to see 'em originally, like many of us did back in the day… This is the closest thing you're ever gonna get. So either embrace that and be happy for them that they're doing it or just play the old stuff and be a sourpuss about it."
In December, 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.
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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