On March 7, former PANTERA and current HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott was interviewed in the studios of the Stockholm, Sweden-based radio station Bandit Rock 106.3. You can now watch the chat below.Asked about PANTERA's enduring influence on younger metal bands, Vinnie Paul said: "I can't complain about that, man. You know, emulation is the greatest form of flattery." He continued: "[PANTERA] was a very influential band and we accomplished a lot of things that metal bands had never done at the time. In 1994, we had the first record by a true heavy metal band to ever hit the Billboard top No. 1 slot. We paved the way. And we always waved the heavy metal flag. So many bands would say that they were alternative, or they were this or that… 'Heavy metal' was a pretty uncool word after about 1992; it was almost like, 'Stay away.' But it didn't bother us one bit. And our fans were the best ever." To celebrate the 20th anniversary of PANTERA's seventh studio album, "Far Beyond Driven", a two-disc edition of the record will be made available on March 25. The new version will include a newly remastered version of the original recordings along with a new live performance from the 1994 Monsters Of Rock festival. When PANTERA broke up in 2003, Vinnie Paul and his brother, PANTERA guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott formed DAMAGEPLAN. On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was shot and killed onstage by Nathan Gale. He was 38 years old.
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