Vocalist Kyle Thomas of the much-missed New Orleans metallers EXHORDER, cited by many as the originators of the riff-heavy power-groove approach popularized by PANTERA, has spoken out about his group's alleged influence on the latter band the belief by some that PANTERA "ripped off" EXHORDER in order to attain their early major label success.
"Although it is flattering to know that there are still plenty listeners that still care about EXHORDER so intensely, I have to say that there is something that kind of gets under my skin," Thomas wrote in an open letter to the EXHORDER fans. "After all of these years of EXHORDER's dormancy and PANTERA's fruition, I can honestly say that I just don't care about 'the feud' or whatever you want to call it. To be frank, I'm so fucking tired of seeing our name handcuffed to theirs. I cannot, nor would I even dream of attempting to, change our devoted fans' opinions, because history is what it is, but I do believe EXHORDER deserves a place in metal history outside of PANTERA's financial shadow. I know those guys even though I never see or talk to them anymore for no particular reason, and what is true is they worked a lot harder than we did to earn their success. Maybe things would have been as good for us had we toured more and recorded more. We'll never know.
"In the early days, Phil Anselmo loved EXHORDER. Came to the shows, adored the demos and spread them like the plague throughout Texas, which is part of the reason Dallas/Ft. Worth is our home away from home. We were all pretty good acquaintances, but eventually they succeeded and we ended up with the wrong label and the wrong decisions. I guess the media helped 'the feud' grow more than anything. The bottom line is we palled around a lot way back, took a lot of influence off of each other, and today we're talking about this, but not to each other. That's fine, too, but I guess it would have been nice to do some dates with PANTERA, especially when FLOODGATE needed a hand when the deal with Roadrunner went sour. Oh, well.
"If you're gonna dislike or hate either EXHORDER or PANTERA, do it because you just don't like it. I don't sit around pissing and moaning over anything. I've got a great life with my wife and kids with a new lease on my musical life. My new band is called JONES'S LOUNGE and I love it. FLOODGATE's playing again. EXHORDER will always be the most incredible experience of my rock career, and not just because the music was so great. EXHORDER had a mystique — we had THE shows to go to, and all of you were what made it so cool. Without you we are nothing. Thanks again... Kyle"
The current lineup of FLOODGATE, featuring Kyle and ex-EXHORDER drummer Chris Nail, have announced a headlining show at Zeppelin's in Metairie, Louisiana on Saturday, October 26. Joining them on the bill will be KILLING MERCY and RESISTOR.