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PANTERA drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott never wanted a tour featuring Zakk Wylde on guitar bearing the band’s name

We recently unearthed some audio of a 2013 interview Loaded Radio did backstage at Gigantour with HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul.

In the talk, Vinnie is asked outright about the then rumors of a PANTERA tour or project featuring guitarist Zakk Wylde (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, OZZY OSBOURNE) stepping in for his late brother “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott. Vinnie replied: “It’s always been a rumor, I mean, I see Zakk everyday and we never even talk about it.”

When Vinnie was asked further about the ongoing speculation of a PANTERA “reunion”, he replied: “People are always saying ‘Man, when is the PANTERA reunion gonna happen?’ Well, there’s no reunion without ‘Dimebag’ Darrell and I don’t wanna ruin his legacy or anything the band had ya know? And if ya live in the past, you have no future. That’s why I wanna keep moving forward with my life. That’s why I’m really dedicated and love playing in HELLYEAH and I really enjoy being a part of the band.”

You can check out the exclusive audio below.

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The reconstituted band, featuring surviving members Phil Anselmo (vocals) and Rex Brown (bass), alongside guitarist Zakk Wylde (known for his work with OZZY OSBOURNE and BLACK LABEL SOCIETY) and drummer Charlie Benante (from ANTHRAX), is set to headline various major festivals across North America, South America, and Europe. Additionally, they will be staging their own headline concerts and providing support for METALLICA on an extensive stadium tour throughout 2023 and 2024.

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Reports first emerged in July 2022 about Anselmo and Brown joining forces with Wylde and Benante for a global tour under the PANTERA name.

Billboard has confirmed that the lineup has received approval from the estates of PANTERA‘s founders, drummer Vincent “Vinnie Paul” Abbott and guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott. This collaboration also gained the endorsement of Rex Brown, who had previously stated in 2021 that Wylde would not be part of a PANTERA reunion tour. The reasons behind his change of heart remain unclear.

Up until his passing in June 2018, Vinnie Paul had a strained relationship with Anselmo, indirectly attributing blame to the vocalist for Dimebag‘s death.

Vinnie Paul and Dimebag co-founded PANTERA, and after the band’s dissolution in 2003, they formed DAMAGEPLAN. Tragically, on December 8, 2004, during a performance with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was fatally shot onstage by a disturbed schizophrenic who was also shot and killed by an attending police officer.

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