DAMAGEPLAN, the new band featuring former PANTERA members Dimebag Darrell (guitar) and Vinnie Paul (drums), have pushed back the release date of their debut album, "New Found Power", to February 10 through Elektra Records. The group, who have just announced the addition of bassist Bobzilla to their ranks, are fronted by Patrick Lachman, who used to play guitar in HALFORD and DIESEL MACHINE.
DAMAGEPLAN expect to begin playing select shows in January, with a full-scale North American tour to follow shortly after the album's release.
Dimebag, Vinnie Paul, Pat and Bobzilla stopped by the studios of Q104.3 in New York City Friday night (October 24) for an exclusive interview with Eddie Trunk about the upcoming album and to premier several cuts from the much-anticipated CD. The following are some of the highlights of that conversation:
On the end of PANTERA:
Dimebag: "Let me straighten something out, first and foremost… We planned on doing PANTERA…"
Vinnie Paul: "…'till the day we couldn't do it."
Dimebag: "That was the set-down right out of the chute, and that's how it was gonna be, and I thought everything was casual and it was moving on, and we could start to see it slide a little bit. We tried to keep everybody in line, and next thing we knew…"
Vinnie Paul: "We finished the last tour, and it was like, no phone calls, couldn't get in touch with anybody, couldn't get an answer. This project, that project. Blah blah blah, diss diss diss in the press, talk this, that that. Basically, the bottom line is, we couldn't get an answer from [anybody], so after about a year of this, we both looked at each other after Superbowl Sunday when New England creamed the Rams accidentally in the Super Bowl, we were at my house, and [Dimebag] goes, 'You know what? I've been thinking about this. This thing called NEW FOUND POWER keeps coming to my mind. Let's start a new band. Let's just start a new band.' "
Dimebag: "It was beyond [waiting around for the other guys in PANTERA to get their projects out of their system]. We put in several phone calls, we tried to have meetings, tried to do everything in the world, and all I've got to say about it, if that was a pre-set deal, or if [other] people [in the band] were done with [PANTERA and wanted to move on], the least they could have done is had the common courtesy to say, 'Hey, guys, we had a lot of great years together. Y'all take care, we're gonna smoke on and do our thing, y'all smoke on and do your thing, and we'll see you at a bar or whatever, we'll do a double with you, and friends will always be friends and smoke on,' or what-not. It just didn't work that way, man. It was just like, 'Y'all just hang there on the couch and just die while we just keep doing more things, more things, more things, more things,' and then [imitating PANTERA singer Philip Anselmo's deep speaking voice], 'The obvious choice was…' " [laughs]
Vinnie Paul: "…SUPER ARM DOPE RITUAL, I mean, that was 'the obvious choice.' [laughs] [Phil] finally decided ONE band was so important to him…"
Dimebag: "That's right, since he's multi-talented."
Vinnie Paul: "All you've gotta do is read his interviews. I didn't put any words in his mouth, he put 'em in his own, and that was his 'obvious choice.' But anyway…"
Dimebag: "So anyway, that's his obvious choice, and Rex [Brown, bassist], he was along with [Phil] for DOWN until DOWN hit a wall, and that was done. And he's onto SUPER… [laughs]"
Vinnie Paul: [speaking slowly] "SUPER ARM DOPE RITUAL." [laughs]
Dimebag: [to Vinnie] "Get off it, man! [more laughs] I wanna say one thing… Through the torment that we've been through, that we've heard from friends around the world, that we've seen on the Internet, everybody that we know, everywhere everybody going, 'Dime, Vinnie, dude, we just saw your boy [Phil] in town. He can't even stand up, he ain't even got no eye-lids. What's he doing?'"
Vinnie Paul: [in a Southern drawl] " 'What happened to Phil, dude?' " [laughs]
Dimebag: "They're calling me asking about it, and I'm like… OK, then that's when I figured it was time for [Phil] to go trip off into his land and do his deal. And bless his soul. He was a great… he was awesome back in the day, and PANTERA was killer back then. That ain't happening right now. So, look… I'm still the same cat, Vinnie's still the same cat, and we're smoking on. I mean, this is one of them deals — you've just got to do it and you've gotta get on it with it. That, or I could be still be sitting on the couch going, 'Baby, hey could you cook me a chicken fried steak?' [laughs] Instead of blowing and popping and just saying, 'OK, I give up.' I meant to do this forever. So anyway, our apologies that we don't deserve to have to give to everybody go out to all the PANTERA fans, 'cause I would never ever start an army of people that would just go out and kill for you and then up and leave you. That's wrong — I'm sorry, man, that is just not right. However you slice it, it's not right."
Vinnie Paul: "So we wrote some kick-ass music, we found a kick-ass lead singer, a kick-ass bass player, and we've got a new band, and it's called DAMAGEPLAN, man."
On how the new band came together:
Dimebag: "It was gonna turn into one of them things… We actually had a couple of cats come in and give it a spin… But I kind of created a… [correcting himself] I didn't create it… It was just a natural thing that me and Pat kind of found within each other on the road — Pat from HALFORD — and every time I'd come through, he would just always be that cat right there going, 'Dime, you're ready?' And we'd end up on the bus all night drinking, listening to music, and just, you know… we shared the same loves. And he's got an old lady that lives in Arlington, Texas, just by fate. There's a bunch of things that are trippy that just perfectly fell into place that worked out that way. Anyway, so he'd come down, come down, come down, and he heard the songs a couple of times, and he goes, 'Man, let me take a pull off it.' We were sitting back with one track, and… Vinnie got the first tug off it…"
Vinnie Paul: "I went by Dime's. I said, 'Did you get the FedEx?' He goes, 'Yeah, here it is.' He was kind of hung over one night. And I got it, I got in my car, I popped it in. And I had goose-bumps all over me. It was the [song 'Fuck You']. And I called Dime and said, 'Did you listen to the CD yet?' And he's like, 'Nah, man, I'm just chilling on the couch.' I said, 'That's our boy right there — Pat Lachman. Wait 'till you hear it.' And he put it on, and he called me back. Five minutes later, he goes, 'Let's see if he can do anything else.' So he called him and brought him down, and he started, and that's where it all started — it started right there."
Dimebag: "Once we gave [Pat] the green light, that's when he showed his true colors all the [fuckin'] way. He went home and really put his head to it. He's an amazing songwriter, an amazing singer… We didn't wanna do the same thing over and over again, we didn't want a replacement for Phil, or what-not, and that's the truth.
"We had a great legacy with PANTERA. Once again, I take nothing from it, and neither does my brother — we had the most awesome time. It just turned into something that could never be what it really should be. And so, when something like that's done, you don't just try to resurrect it and just keep it on movin'. It was time to show some balls and step up to the mike and say, 'Hey, man, we can do this again.' "
On the new bassist, Bobzilla:
Dimebag: "Bobzilla is the greatest bass player in Dallas, Texas. We've seen him play in a couple of local bands, and we've always respected his ability and his showmanship and everything that he had to offer. The main thing that we dug about Bob is that he's a true bass player — he's not a half, 'I wanna play guitar and sing,' or 'I wanna be a half-this or that.' He was none of that kind of stuff — he is the kind of cat that's been sitting around for a long time, he can play you Steve Harris, he could play you… you name it. He could throw in some CHILI PEPPERS, he could throw in some… whatever, man."
Vinnie Paul: He does IRON MAIDEN justice, man."
Dimebag: "[Bob is a] very sick bass player that sits around, even when he didn't have a gig, and works his chops out. Anyway, we brought him down, the first time he came down, and it was just… We had cats that we wanted to try out along with him and figure out where we needed to go, and… Bob came down and, once again, good brother of ours from years of hanging out in the clubs, drinking… So we already had a bond. And don't forget the fact that he did bring his tattoo gun. Everybody gets free ink. But that didn't get him the gig at all. [laughs] Basically, he came in and he turned on his bass and he started blowing out the tunes, and Vinnie threw his sticks, and he said, 'Man, that sounds like Godzilla.' The next thing he said, he goes, 'That's Bobzilla on bass.' So he was hired at that moment."
On Phil Anselmo and DAMAGEPLAN's future plans:
Vinnie Paul: "We've got nothing to do with that egomaniac [referring to Phil]. We've got a band that's gonna blow that crap away, and I hope you listen to us and get a real dose of what DAMAGEPLAN is all about."
Dimebag: "Let me just tell you this, man. The beauty of DAMAGEPLAN is that we can do everything that we ever did in the past. Me and Vinnie Paul started PANTERA before Rex Brown and Phil Anselmo were even a part of it, and we're gonna continue the legacy on in the same damaging fashion. We're gonna make harder music, stronger music, more meaningful music — [we're] not making music while we are asleep, eyes are shut. We're making our music full-blown, heart-blooded, and wide-eyed and bushy-tailed. Along with the ways we're gonna stretch this thing out and bring the new members in that can kick some serious ass. We've got new elements in the band that I'm really proud and thrilled… Both the two cats we've got — Pat and Bobzilla — are amazing cats, and they are on the same page. None of the four members in this band are on any kind of dope, any kind of jack-off plan — we're on the damageplan. We do drink, we do raise hell, and we can't wait to see you. We will hang out and party with you, sign autographs — we'll do everything everybody always wanted that you could never get before with PANTERA — and we'll take this thing to the next level, and that is our plan: damage [fuckin'] plan."
Radio-broadcast-quality samples of the DAMAGPLAN tracks "Breathing New Life", "Reborn" and "New Found Power" can be downloaded in MP3 format at this location [UPDATE: link removed at management's request].
(Megathanks go out to "3" for all his help with this article)