SEPULTURA guitarist Andreas Kisser 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, South America and Europe and stage 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 PANTERA's founders, drummer Vincent "Vinnie Paul" Abbott and guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott.
Kisser discussed PANTERA's comeback in an interview with Ireland's Overdrive. Speaking about the pushback by some fans over the fact that Anselmo and Brown will tour under the PANTERA name, he said: "I think it's so stupid that people try to judge the fact that there are gonna be some live shows. It's just so stupid. Their music is so fantastic, and there are countless bands all over the world that are jamming their songs every single day. Phil and Rex are gonna be doing it, and the actual family of the brothers are behind it, supporting it. So, how some people have negative things to say about it, it's something I just don't understand. The existing bandmembers, the existing crew, the family of Vinnie and Dime are all behind it, so, what's the problem? It's an amazing gathering of friends with Charlie and Zakk — they have a long history with that band. It's gonna be a big party, and I'd love to be part of it. In fact, we're gonna be playing with them at some festivals, and I'm very excited about that.
"Look, it's never gonna be the same, but people need to understand that even if the brothers were still alive, it would be different," he explained. "So my advice is, relax, go out with your friends, see the show, and sing '5 Minutes Alone' with Phil Anselmo. [Laughs]
"I don't understand what these people are complaining about. Just enjoy yourselves."
Benante told SiriusXM's "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.