VINNY APPICE Says PANTERA Reunion Is 'Great': 'They Could Have Done It Earlier'

April 5, 2023

Vinny Appice has once again 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.

Appice, who previously played with Brown in a band called KILL DEVIL HILL, discussed his views on the PANTERA comeback in an interview with TotalRock. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I always thought, even when Vinnie was alive — he was a good friend; rest in peace — I thought back then, 'Why don't they get Zakk in the band and go out and play this stuff?' Because it's classic stuff. People love the music; people love to hear it. So I'm happy they're doing it this way. I think they waited; they could have [done] it earlier. But I think it's great."

He continued: "I love Rex. Rex is a great, badass bass player. He blew out more amps than I ever have seen in my life. [He would] plug it in at rehearsal places, and he blew 'em out. He goes, 'Don't say anything. Let's get out of here.'"

Appice previously spoke about the PANTERA reunion in an October 2022 interview with Rocking With Jam Man. At that time, he said: "I think that's great. I always thought, years ago, when Dimebag passed that why don't they get the perfect guitar player, [which] is Zakk Wylde. But that's when Vinnie, his brother, was still alive, playing drums. And I always thought they should get Zakk, go out and play the music. But it's been so long now, now Vinnie's passed too. And Charlie's on drums, and he probably fits perfect. He's that kind of drummer. So it sounds like it's gonna be exciting."

Asked if he offered to play drums for the PANTERA comeback, Vinny said: "Oh, me? I don't play that stuff. I mean, I can play it, but I don't use double bass. I'm a heavy drummer, heavy player, heavy metal, but it's a different type. I mean, if they asked, I would have went down and checked it out. But I don't think I'd fit."

Last month, PANTERA headlined the 2023 "comeback" edition of Japan's Loud Park festival. The two-day "limited" event took place on March 25 at Intex Osaka in Osaka and March 26 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba City near Tokyo.

In December, PANTERA played seven shows in Mexico and South America.

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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