Brian Ives of Radio.com recently conducted an interview with former PANTERA and current HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott. You can now watch the chat below.
Regarding the recently released 20th-anniversary deluxe reissue of PANTERA's "Far Beyond Driven", Vinnie said: "I'm somebody that doesn't live in the past, I'm always looking forward to the future. That said, the three of us still here [Vinnie, vocalist Philip Anselmo and bassist Rex Brown] being involved in it really makes a difference for the fans. And whether we wanted to put it out or not, the record company's gonna put it out anyway. So we all did our best to make it the best it could be. And after listening to it and being a part of the remastering [process]… it's a brilliant record, man."
Vinnie also commented on the fact that "Far Beyond Driven" is considered to be the first extreme metal album ever to reach No. 1 on The Billboard 200 chart. "For it to come out and make it to No. 1 in the United States was an incredible accomplishment, not only for PANTERA, but for heavy metal," he said. "For real. We knocked Bonnie Raitt and ACE OF BASE off the charts! And the magazines and Billboard said, 'Overnight sensations: PANTERA!' There was nothing 'overnight' about this at all! We played nightclubs for seven years solid before we got a record deal, and then 'Cowboys From Hell' and 'Vulgar Display Of Power', we toured non-stop four years for those records and we developed the most brutal, loyal fan base on the face of the earth. When the record came out, MTV hated us, radio wouldn't play us, we had no coverage other than the heavy metal magazines, and 200,000 people went out and bought the record and made it No. 1. That's a tribute to the fans; they're the ones who made it go to number one."
Vinnie remains proud of the fact that PANTERA was metal in the age of grunge and they were unapologetic about it. "[PANTERA] carried the heavy metal flag when heavy metal was uncool, man," he said. "It got to a point where bands would run from it. 'We're an alternative band!' It was amazing how much that word was a bad word. Except to our fans and the die-hard metal fans. We carried that flag as high as we could 'til the very end. We always said, 'We're a heavy metal band.'"