During a recent interview with Puff of the 99X radio station in Shreveport, Louisiana (hear audio below), former PANTERA and current HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott was asked about PANTERA's enduring legacy 14 years after the release of the band's final studio album, 2000's "Reinventing The Steel". "It's pretty amazing," Vinnie said. "We came along at a time when for a band to be successful, they had to have major radio play, they had to be on MTV, all that stuff, and we did it without that. So I think that's just a tribute to the band, the fans and the songs. I think that they're timeless, they're gonna last forever."He continued: "The legacy of that band is pretty amazing, and I don't want it ever being tarnished by any kind of hack version of the band going out there. It's not the same without Dime [late PANTERA guitarist 'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott] being a part of it. And I think it's just great history and we need to leave it alone, and everybody that was part of it needs to move on. "I'm really proud of where I'm at HELLYEAH, I love the music that we're making, I love where we're going with this band. "I live for the future, not the past. A lot of people are really hung on the past — they can't get past that — but you've gotta get past that if you want any future. So I'm really happy with where I'm at right now. And PANTERA really made a mark in heavy metal music history." Dimebag's longtime girlfriend Rita Haney in 2011 called on Vinnie and former PANTERA singer Anselmo to settle their differences in honor of Dimebag, who was shot and killed by a crazed gunman while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at a Columbus, Ohio rock club in December 2004. Vinnie, who is Dimebag's brother, and Anselmo have not spoken since PANTERA split in 2003. But the relationship got even more acrimonious when Vinnie indirectly blamed Philip for Dimebag's death, suggesting that some remarks the vocalist had made about Dimebag in print just weeks earlier might have incited Dimebag's killer. Vinnie Paul recently told Revolver magazine about the possibility of a PANTERA reunion with Zakk Wylde (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, OZZY OSBOURNE) filling in for Dimebag on guitar: "If you had an ex-wife, and it was a pretty bitter split, you might not ever want to talk to her again. Who cares if everybody in the family and your friends want you to say hello again? It's your choice whether you want to do it or not. And I think a lot of people are selfish. They say, 'Oh, he oughtta just kiss and make up with Phil and everything will be cool. And then they can go get Zakk Wylde and everything's gonna be great.' No, everything's not gonna be great."
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