ANTHRAX’s Charlie Benante was recently asked how long it took him to learn the PANTERA material that he is currently performing during the reformed band’s live shows
Speaking to Jonathan Montenegro’s “My 3 Questions To” series, Charlie responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I know these songs, and, of course, I’ve loved these songs for so many years. For me, I knew the songs, but maybe some of the songs I didn’t know the little details in the songs, as far as the drum parts went. So I really started to dissect each song and approach it that way. I’ve seen Vinnie [Paul Abbott, PANTERA‘s late drummer] play these songs so many times, but sometimes when you record a song and then you start to play it live, it starts to take on a different — it becomes something different sometimes when you play it a live way. So sometimes they would even speed it up a bit. So I was trying to get these songs to a place where it’s almost in the middle — somewhere like the studio version and somewhere like the live version. Because when you’re playing live, the adrenaline is pumping. You’re human, and we’re not playing to a click or anything. So I always wanted to keep that groove going, ’cause Rex [Brown, PANTERA bassist] and I, we look at each other and we feel and we connect. And the connection he had with Vinnie is the same type of connection that I wanna have with him.
“So, to answer the question, it took me a couple of months to really play each song the way we’re playing it now,” Charlie added. “And every time we play, it’s gonna get better and better. Or at least I hope it is.
“The first show we played [at Mexico’s Hell & Heaven Metal Fest on December 2], there were so many emotions, but I had to keep focused on the songs and the show and not let my emotions get the best of me.”
PANTERA took the stage for the second time in over 20 years on Tuesday night (December 6) at Monterrey Metal Fest at Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico. The foursome is made up of surviving members Rex Brown (bass) and Philip Anselmo (vocals) along with guitarist Zakk Wylde (OZZY OSBOURNE, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY) and drummer Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX).