Revolver magazine (web site) conducted an interview with former PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott for its June 2006 issue. An excerpt from the chat follows:
Revolver: Before Dime ["Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist] was killed, there were rumors about a PANTERA reunion. Could that ever have happened?
Vinnie: "Absolutely not. We loved PANTERA, but when [vocalist Phil Anselmo] don't want to be part of it and you can't make him and you get treated the way he treats you, then you finally draw the line in the sand. There was no way we were gonna do DAMAGEPLAN as a side project and pussyfoot around until this other guy gets his shit together. I think Phil thought he would take his best shot with all his different bands, and if none of them worked out, good ol' Dime and Vinnie would be sitting there waiting on him. Well, that ain't the way it fuckin' works. When you give somebody your heart and soul for 15 years and then he turns his back on you, won't take your phone calls, won't communicate with you, talks shit about you — miles and miles of it [see previous BLABBERMOUTH.NET stories containing quotes from Phil and the other guys — Ed.] — you come to the point where you say, 'Enough.' Maybe the other guys thought there was gonna be a PANTERA reunion, but me and Dime were done. And as far as there ever being a version of PANTERA in the future, that ain't ever gonna happen. Without Dime, there is no PANTERA, there is no DAMAGEPLAN. Period."
Revolver: In a recent interview, Phil talked about how sorry he was about what happened and how close he was to Dime…
Vinnie: "If Dime was his friend, why wouldn't he take his phone calls? How could he piss on the dude the way he did? How could he say what he said about my brother in magazines?" [Notably, in U.K. hard rock magazine Metal Hammer, Anselmo said of Dime, "Physically, of course, he deserves to be beaten severely." See here.]
Revolver: Anselmo insists he was misquoted.
Vinnie: "He said it word-for-fucking-word. He was not coerced, and the kind of shit he said is the kind of shit that might incite the guy that did this [killed Dime]. Phil called me when he was trying to get into the funeral and left me a message that said, 'I can prove to you I didn't do that interview.' I got the fucking audio files, man. Anyone that wants to hear them, I'll be happy to play them for you. So he ought to feel really fuckin' guilty any way you slice it. And as far as him calling Dime 'my guitar player' [in the February 2006 issue of Revolver — see here], that's how Phil thinks. Everything is his. I could elaborate for a long time. The dude did exactly what I thought he would do, and that's lie about everything."
Revolver: Do you think the press started the rivalrly between you guys and Phil?
Vinnie: "Man, Phil likes to blame the heavy metal media for breaking up PANTERA. I've never felt betrayed by the media in any interview I've done. They've printed what I've said word for word, verbatim, and I never felt like they were out to get me or anything. He did his interviews, he said what he said, and all they did is write what he said. If he really wants to place any blame, he needs to look in a mirror."