Ned of the WGRD 97.9 FM radio station in Grand Rapids, Michigan has recently conducted an interview with former Pantera and current Hellyeah drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott as well as Vinnie's Hellyeah bandmate Tom Maxwell, reports Blabbermouth. The entire 11-minute chat is available for listening in the YouTube clip below. A couple of excerpts follow.
On Vinnie Paul's recent comment that if Pantera ever reformed, Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society, Ozzy Osbourne) would be the man to replace the band's late guitarist — and Vinnie's brother — "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott:
Vinnie: "There was a whole lot more that was said before that. It was from a station [97.1 The Eagle Rocks] that I did an interview with in Dallas, with Cindy [Scull], who's a really good friend of mine. We were just talking about being down in Australia. We had just done some shows with Hellyeah, also with Black Label while we were down there, and we had done some hanging. I think the bottom line is Zakk's a great friend of mine. Obviously, he was a really great friend of Dime's. But the truth of the matter is Dime was Pantera. He was such a huge part of it, and I just think it would tarnish the legacy of the band and everything that he was all about to try to have somebody else get up there and play. That's how I feel about it. I'm very, very proud and happy to be doing what I'm doing with Hellyeah. It's called moving on in your life. You've gotta move forward, and that's what I'm doing."
Q: "I have absolute respect for Zakk and all these other guitar players, and as a fan of Pantera, I would have loved to have seen that happen again, but nobody can fill those shoes; it would not be the same, even for a fan. You might be able to get some kind of nostalgic thing out of it, but you're not getting Dime. Pretty much, man, as a guitar player, when I went and saw [Pantera], [Dimebag] is who I wanted to see."
On whether he would show up to a hypothetical Pantera Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction knowing that his former bandmates — vocalist Philip Anselmo and bassist Rex Brown — were also going to be there:
Vinnie: "Well, until that day comes along, I won't be able to answer that question for you."
In a recent interview, Wylde was asked about Vinnie's comment that Zakk would be the man to replace Dimebag in an imaginary Pantera reunion. "My thoughts on the Pantera thing... Everybody's been asking me about it now, too. Which is cool," Zakk said. "I love [Vinnie Paul]. Rex I saw at my roast [in January]. It was great seeing Rex again. And Phil, I know. . . Put it this way, if the guys were ever to do that and they asked me to... Obviously, it would be to honor Dimebag's greatness and the band's amazing achievements. I mean, to me, as far as I'm concerned, if the guys were to do it, it would just be a celebration of everything they achieved and a celebration of Dime's life and Dime's greatness. So, of course, I'd be honored to play my fallen brother's stuff, without a doubt. And I know he'd be getting a kick out if it, too. That's for sure; he'd be laughing his ass off. But that's all up to the guys. So whatever... I'd always be there for them. Without a doubt."
In May, Anselmo was asked by Ned of the WGRD 97.9 FM radio station about the likelihood of a Pantera reformation with Wylde, "That's an interesting question," he said. "Well, look, before anything like that could possibly happen, Vince and I would have to actually be in the same room, we'd have to sit down, hash out whatever differences, demons... whatever... we'd have to hash it all out. And as far as Zakk Wylde goes, I'm not so sold on all that, because I think he and I have to sit down and hash some crap out. That day has not come yet, and [when] that day comes, I can comment further on it. As of right now, it's just talk."
Former Pantera bassist Rex Brown also addressed the possibility of Wylde taking Dimebag's place in a reformed Pantera. He told the San Antonio Metal Music Examiner in May, "You know, we keep hearing rumors about a reunion with Zakk Wylde on guitar, and that is such bullshit. You can't replace my brother."