PANTERA’s REX BROWN On VINNIE PAUL’s Drumming: ‘Everything That He Did Was Just Rock Solid’
Asked what it was about Vinnie Paul Abbott‘s playing that really made PANTERA‘s drums what they were, Rex said: “Good God, man. [I’ll] state the obvious — it’s his meter. I mean, everything that he did was just rock solid. He had an uncanny way of when the song was trying to fly, or the adrenaline [was] really pumped up when we [were] playing, he would sometimes lay back a little bit instead of going for it. So he would keep that pocket just right where it needed to be.
“You’re gonna find that on any of those tracks on that record, they start at one point on a metronome, and they’re not but maybe a cunt hair fucking off at the very end of the song,” he continued. “But the excitement in between that, of all the breaks and changes, that’s what makes that record, especially, dangerous.”
Brown went on to say that he had a difficult time discussing Vinnie Paul and his brother, “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, both of whom have tragically passed away.
“Man, I miss that camaraderie really bad,” Rex said. “It’s been a long while. And we all go through it. You have your good days and your bad. But I miss those brothers badly. So it’s kind of hard to talk about.”
He added: “Both those guys are no longer with us. The thing is, the music still holds up.”
“Reinventing The Steel: 20th Anniversary Edition” is a three-CD set that includes a newly remastered version of the original album and a selection of rarities. A major highlight is the new mix by Terry Date, the legendary producer who was behind the console for the band’s previous four landmark albums: “Cowboys From Hell” (1990), “Vulgar Display Of Power” (1992), “Far Beyond Driven” (1994) and “The Great Southern Trendkill” (1996). The set was released on October 30 and is also available through digital and streaming services.
Three and a half years ago, Rex was publicly critical of the way his 2013 autobiography, “Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story Of Pantera”, turned out, saying in interviews that the book’s publication was partly to blame for the deterioration of his relationship with Vinnie Paul. The book’s co-writer later pushed back against Brown‘s claims, saying that Rex was was “quite happy to throw me and the publisher under the bus” at a time when he “was talking to Phil [Anselmo, ex-PANTERA singer], and perhaps Vinnie, [about] the possibility of getting back together to do something. And I think he needed to distance himself from what was in the book — simple as that.”
Vinnie Paul died in June 2018 at the age of 54 in his sleep at his home in Las Vegas. The official cause of death was dilated cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart, as well as severe coronary artery disease.
Dimebag was shot and killed by a crazed gunman while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at a Columbus, Ohio rock club in December 2004.
Rex Brown image credit: BUILD Series