The estate of PANTERA drummer Vincent "Vinnie Paul" Abbott has issued a statement in support of the reformed band's upcoming shows — but stopped short of calling it a "reunion."
PANTERA — featuring surviving members Rex Brown (bass) and Philip Anselmo (vocals) along with guitarist Zakk Wylde (OZZY OSBOURNE, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY) and drummer Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX) — will headline a number of major festivals across North America, South America and Europe and stage some of their own headline concerts beginning in December 2022.
It was first reported in July that Anselmo and Brown will unite with Wylde and Benante for a world tour under the PANTERA banner.
According to Billboard, the lineup has been given a green light by the estates of the band's founders, Vinnie Paul 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.
Earlier today, Vinnie Paul's estate released the following statement via the drummer's social media: "There can never be a PANTERA reunion without Vinnie and Dime. However, there is no better way to celebrate and honor Vinnie and Dime's legacy, than to bring the music of PANTERA directly to the fans. We are honored that Charlie and Zakk, their very close friends and musical brothers, will share the stage with Philip and Rex, to unleash the power of PANTERA live around the world."
Longtime PANTERA producer Sterling Winfield, reportedly one of the people who control Vinnie Paul's estate, shared the above statement on his personal social media and he included the following message: "Here's the press release that the 'media' said we had already done six months ago. It was just posted about five minutes ago for the first time EVER.
"Don't believe everything the media tells you. Choose for yourselves. Enjoy it with open arms, minds & hearts. Or don't. The choice is yours. But don't make that choice for someone else."
A week ago, Winfield posted about the private PANTERA rehearsal he and several other people attended in New Orleans on November 21, calling it "something very special" and saying that his doubts were "silenced." He wrote in part: "I wasn't prepared for how classy, thoughtful and honorable it was presented to me and the other fine folks in attendance.
"I don't think other people, the general public, are going to be prepared for it," he added. "All of these people that have been talking negatively about it either online or in the media, without knowing a single thing about it. I honestly hope it either knocks them on their collective asses and that they eat their words, or that they simply regret not going as it passes them by."
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.
According to TMZ, Vinnie Paul left the bulk of his estate to his longtime girlfriend Chelsey Yeager and his best friend; Charles Jones got 38% while Chelsey walked away with 37%. The rest was split between Vinnie's tour manager (10%),drum tech (5%),producer (5%) and friend (5%). In addition, Vinnie gave his interest in Dimebag's estate to the guitarist's longtime girlfriend Rita Haney.
While he was alive, Vinnie Paul had repeatedly dismissed talks of a PANTERA reunion, telling Germany's EMP Rock Invasion in 2014: "People are selfish, man. 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."
He continued: "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."
He repeated those same sentiments a few months later, telling PlanetMosh in a separate interview: "Without Dimebag Darrell, there is no [PANTERA] reunion. And that's all there is to it. We were a very influential band, and we touched millions and millions of people with that band, but it's over. People really have to come to grips with that, and that's all there is to it. If all of us were still here, then the possibility would truly be there, but since it's not, you know… It's selfish of the fans to want something that they can't have. And they don't ever understand that, and I get it. There's things I want in this world too. You know, people in fucking hell want ice water, but they're not gonna get it. So… Anyways, I'm glad that the people who have decided to follow me in HELLYEAH do, and hopefully more of them will. And the ones that wanna live in the past are gonna live in the past."
Up until his passing in June 2018, 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.
Haney in 2011 called on Vinnie and Philip to settle their differences in honor of Dimebag.
Vinnie, who is Dimebag's brother, and Anselmo had not spoken since PANTERA split in 2003. But the relationship got even more acrimonious when Vinnie suggested that some remarks the vocalist had made about Dimebag in print just weeks earlier might have incited Dimebag's killer.
Haney told the producers of "Behind The Music Remastered: Pantera" that she forgave the singer after they found themselves unexpectedly face to face at a concert in California.
PANTERA will play its first show in over 20 years this Friday (December 2),a co-headlining slot at Mexico's Hell & Heaven Metal Fest.
There can never be a PANTERA reunion without Vinnie and Dime. However, there is no better way to celebrate and honor...
Posted by Vinnie Paul on Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Here’s the press release that the “media” said we had already done six months ago. It was just posted about five minutes...
Posted by Sterling Winfield on Wednesday, November 30, 2022
I witnessed something very special tonight.
I had my doubts before arriving in town yesterday evening.
Posted by Sterling Winfield on Monday, November 21, 2022