THREE DAYS GRACE drummer Neil Sanderson 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 and Europe and stage some of their own headline concerts.
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 last year said Wylde wouldn't tour with PANTERA if a reunion were to happen. It's unclear what changed his mind.
Sanderson discussed his views on the PANTERA comeback in a new interview with RadioactiveMike Z, host of the 96.7 KCAL-FM radio program "Wired In The Empire". Asked what he thinks about Anselmo and Brown touring again under the PANTERA name, Neil said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Even within my camp, there are some massive PANTERA fans. I think Zakk Wylde was the obvious choice for the job. And it will be what it is.
"I saw PANTERA back when they opened for BLACK… It was actually one of the coolest shows I've ever been to — it was BLACK SABBATH, PANTERA and the DEFTONES in Toronto," he recalled. "That's the last time I saw PANTERA. It was pretty awesome.
"So, yeah, it'll be interesting to see, man," Neil added. "It'll be very interesting to see how it all plays out."
Asked if he would get behind the drums and play for PANTERA if he was approached to jam with Anselmo and Brown, Neil said: "[Laughs] I would have to really sit down… Vinnie Paul, he was such the king of groove, so, yeah, they're pretty big shoes to fill [laughs], let me say that.
"THREE DAYS GRACE, I do play double kick, but I'll never be in SLAYER, let's put it that way. [Laughs]"
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.