FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Zoltan Bathory discusses his thoughts on upcoming PANTERA tour
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Zoltan Bathory has given his thoughts on surviving PANTERA members Philip Anselmo (vocals) and Rex Brown (bass) uniting with guitarist Zakk Wylde (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY) and drummer Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX) for a world tour under the name “PANTERA” in 2023.
Bathory discussed his opinion on the PANTERA comeback in an interview with Detroit’s WRIF radio station. When asked what he thinks about Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown touring again under the name PANTERA, Zoltan said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “Well, here’s the thing: it’s gonna be a PANTERA cover band, really, if you think about it — even though there are previous members [of PANTERA involved]. The fans would want to hear that; otherwise it wouldn’t be happening.
“PANTERA had a massive influence on me,” he continued. “And I would go and see this. Obviously, it kind of splits the crowd, because [some] people are, like, ‘Well, this is sacrilege because the brothers are no longer here.’ And at the same time, well, people wanna hear it.
“Look at it this way: this is an homage. This is paying respect to that music. This is paying respect to the band that was very influential for many, many people. If you approach if from that perspective, then, yeah, these are the right guys. Who else would play the guitar, for example?
“So, I don’t know. I don’t have an opinion, really,” Bathory added.
“I always, with these kind of things, I go, okay, do the people, do the fans want to hear this? And that will be the answer. If the fans of PANTERA say, ‘Well, this is sacrilege, so we’re not gonna go and see it,’ well, then there is your answer. If the fans of PANTERA say, ‘Hey, we absolutely wanna see it because we love this band. And this is the only way, this is the only remnants of the band, this is the only way that we can one more time experience that,’ then that’s your answer.
“This is the thing about the music industry, man — the fans decide everything,” Zoltan said. “So it’s always up to the people. So pick any artist and anybody can hate any artists who are extremely successful. You can throw crap. Pick anyone — Justin Bieber. The kid is really talented, first and foremost, and people love him.
“So who are you, who anyone is, to prevent that from happening? If the people want this, the people love an artist, who is anyone to prevent that or criticize it or go, like, ‘Well, this shouldn’t happen.’ It’s as ridiculous if you say, like, ‘Hey, I don’t like tomatoes, so I think all tomato farmers need to go out of business.’ What? It’s that ridiculous.”