Pantera Bassist Says Reunion Wouldn't Be Right Without Dimebag

Earlier this week an interview with Down/ex-Pantera bassist Rex Brown has been conducted.

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Earlier last week, Brandon Marshall of Sonic Excess conducted an interview with Down/ex-Pantera bassist Rex Brown. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Sonic Excess: Has all the material for the next Down record been written, and has anything been recorded in the studio yet?

Rex Brown: Well, we have about three to six tracks, but what I think we are going to do is bundle these things together and record them. We will put like four tracks into a bundle, for $6.99 or something like that, and start putting those out and doing it all the time. That would be the ideal function of the band, instead of putting that one major record out that can be a painstaking process.

So, instead of going into a barn like you did with "Down II", writing and recording in 28 days, you're really taking your time and skipping a full release?

Well, we are still going into the barn to get that heaviness and get it as stripped down as possible. We will have to see when we get there. I really can't speculate now, because I know it's not going to be this year; probably next year before anything comes out. With this band (Down), it just takes time. We all have different lives and things going on outside of this band. We just did a three-year touring cycle, so we have to get away from it for just a little bit.

Is Down no longer viewed as a side project, and is this where everyone would like to put their energy full time?

Once we all get into the mindset, that is when it's game on. We are getting close, but we are not there yet. We all still have something outside that has to be done.

The [Pantera] "Cowboys From Hell" 20th-anniversary edition was recently released. Does it seem like only yesterday that you were in the studio and now looking back? Are you completely happy with your bass tracks on "Cowboys"?

Oh, absolutely. I wish that you could hear them (bass tracks) a little better. It was just hard, number one, to capture that guitar sound live on tape and, number two, getting into the flesh in the mixing with Vinnie's [Paul] drums. The bass is in there, but you really can't hear it. Dime and I played a lot of the riffs together, but I don't regret anything. "Cowboys From Hell" was a groundbreaking record, from a band out of Texas desperately trying to get out there and let our talents be shown.

What's your favorite memory from those sessions, or that era, and did you realize how groundbreaking "Cowboys From Hell" was at that time?

We knew from a band's sense and that the four of us where trying to make a great record. We didn't know what it would do. Looking back now, production-wise, it was a heavy record that still has the hooks. We just pushed it to the limit and that was every record Pantera ever did.

Why was the decision made to jump ship on everything prior to "Cowboys From Hell", and any regrets during the glam days?

Well, we weren't glam. We looked weird with our hair, but we always wrote heavy music. That was just the style of the day. If you grew up in that time, you either had some kind of weight kicking or you were just some band that would play in a garage. We did not want to play in a garage. We wanted to play in front of people.

Many Pantera fans have been calling for a sort of reunion. What are your thoughts on that?

I just don't see it happening. It would be great in one factor, that we would play with Vinnie again and that it would be all sorted out. But, I think it would be... I just don't think it would be right without Dime. It was only the four of us, and I don't know anybody that can play like him.

In other words, Pantera was four core members and four original members only.

That's it. I don't think you could replace one and just get up there and do it.

I want to talk with you about [Rex's side project] Arms Of The Sun. You guys are doing a couple of dates in Texas, and I haven't seen any dates elsewhere. Will you be planning a full tour?

Yeah! I'm shopping it to management as we speak! Everything is done on it (the album). We have twelve tracks recorded, sequenced, mastered, the whole bit, and we put it on our own dime. It's something that is a real passion for me. Usually when I do a record, I just turn everything off and do something else, but I have been coming back to this music. It's heartfelt and really good. We should have that out by the first of the year, and hopefully tour; doing radio events around the country and stuff like that. We would also like to go to England and break this thing wide open.

What's the reaction been like down in Texas from the people lucky enough to see Arms Of The Sun?

Amazing! We have people screaming for it. We are probably going to play a couple of more gigs here. We're not trying to make it into a big scene or anything like that, but the live shows have just been wild.

Read the entire interview from Sonic Excess.

16 comments sorted by best / new / date

    "Down bassist talks about new material and swiftly dismisses a Pantera reunion that everyone knows could never ever happen."
    i think itd be cool is zakk wylde stepped in for dime. im sure he could play it and him and dime were close and all
    Morgoth136 wrote: i think itd be cool is zakk wylde stepped in for dime. im sure he could play it and him and dime were close and all
    No way! There's no such thing as Pantera without Dimebag. Never has, never will.
    good call Pantera.... but i agree with the other guy wylde would be a great way to tribute to dime considering they were best friends. it would be a tribute more than a reunion. itll never be dimebag but at least its his best ****in friend.... i think it could work and i would literally pay thousands to see it
    Honestly, i agree with Rex, i doubt there could be a replacement for Dime, That Legend changed the world. I don't think Zakk would fit the replacement because Dime had such a uniqie sound mixing the blues with metal.
    Look at it this way, if it were any of the other four of them that got killed and Dime was asked this question today, he would say the exact same thing. And it is true, Pantera is one of those bands that if you loose one member, regardless of who it is, the band just will not be the same. What everybody contributed to the band is what made it what it was. And it would not be right to reunite. RIP (Rest/Rock in Peace) DIme
    im not mental
    if they did do a reunion, they should at least tour under a different name (sorta like the dead, the doors of the 21st century, sublime with rome, etc.)
    Jack Darkley
    Is there a single Pantera fan out there who wants a reunion without Dime? I wouldn't mind Phil and Vinnie burying the hatchet and perhaps doing some music together, but I would hate to see them reform under the Pantera name.
    Alright, no b.s. - I wish musicians would get it already - it is NOT a reunion if one or more of the original members is not present. Ever.
    Sorry for the double post but let me make one thing clear, I wouldn't mind if Vinnie buried the hatchet with Phil and the three remaining members got back together to make music with a different name, it would actually be interesting to see who the guitarist for that would be. They could even play a few old Pantera songs in Dime's honor. But to bring the Pantera name back to life? That would be a bad move without Dime.
    Whilst Zakk could never replace Dimebag, I reckon him and the rest of Pantera doing a tribute tour would be awesome, just like the Heaven & Hell tribute tour was with the different singers
    I've always loved Pantera, but I'm not a Dime Fan-Boy either, but anyone who thinks another guitarist can step in & be the missing piece of Pantera missed the boat, and by a long shot. Zakk could NOT do it, nor anyone else. Man, the Pantera boys must get sick of that question, cuz I sure am.