Vinnie Paul: Pantera Could Have Been The Rolling Stones of Heavy Metal
Pantera fans often speculate about what heights the band may have reached without the fallout from frontman Philip Anselmo’s drug abuse followed by the untimely and tragic death of guitarist Dimebag Darrell. Now, drummer Vinnie Paul is weighing in on the topic.
In the forthcoming lengthy interview with Metal Hammer celebrating the 20th anniversary reissue of Pantera’s ‘Far Beyond Driven,’ Vinnie Paul talks about that and more, discussing the band’s highs and lows including watching Anselmo overdose on heroin onstage and the tumultuous nature of their relationship.
“None of us had any clue that [Anselmo] was even thinking of doing heroin — we used to be the most anti-drug guys in the world — and when he OD’ed in Dallas, when we played our big homecoming show to 18,000 people, the first thing that came to my mind was that he’d passed out because of the heat,” said Paul. “When I saw him laying on the ground, blue, I was, like, ‘What the f---?’ If it hadn’t been for our drum tech, Kat, chasing down some paramedics, [Anselmo] wouldn’t be around anymore. And it really would have been a shock because none of us had a clue.”
Paul also seemingly points towards Anselmo as the demise of Pantera, explaining, “We kept working, and, really, our intention wasn’t to stop.” He continued, “Until Phil decided he’d rather go and do Down and Superjoint Ritual, we never stopped. I really felt like we were gonna be the Rolling Stones of heavy metal, and we could have been.”
While fans continue to hold out some hope of Anselmo and Vinnie Paul reconciling and reuniting Pantera, the drummer has gone on record to say that is never going to ever happen following the tragic death of Dimebag Darrell.