During a brand new interview with Germany's EMP Rock Invasion, former PANTERA and current HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott was asked why he thinks people continue to ask about a hypothetical PANTERA reunion featuring Zakk Wylde (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, OZZY OSBOURNE) filling in for the late "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott on guitar.
"People are selfish, man," Vinnie replied (see video below). "They want what they want; they don't care what you want. And it's unfortunate that people go, 'Oh, wow, man, they can get Zakk Wylde to jump up there on stage and it's PANTERA again.' No, it's not, you know. It's not that simple. If Eddie Van Halen was to get shot in the head four times next week, would everybody be going, 'Hey, man, Zakk, go play for VAN HALEN. Just call it VAN HALEN.' You see what I'm saying? I mean, it's really selfish for people to think that, and it's stupid. It's not right at all."
He continued: "They call it a reunion for a reason. It's called bringing the original members back to what it was. So there's a lot of these things that they call reunions that aren't really reunions. They've got one dude from the band floating around in them, you know. That's not a true reunion. With PANTERA, it'll never be possible."
Asked if he ever feels pressure with HELLYEAH to live up to the immense legacy of PANTERA, Vinnie said: "Never, because it's a different band. If you played for a soccer team and you get traded to another soccer team, you're gonna kick ass for that soccer team just like you did the other one. You may not achieve the same goals, or you may achieve higher goals; you never know. But that's what happens when you change teams and do different things."
Dimebag's longtime girlfriend Rita Haney in 2011 called on Vinnie and former PANTERA singer Philip 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.
Haney told the producers of "Behind The Music Remastered: Pantera" that she forgave the singer after they found themselves unexpectedly face to face at a concert in California.