VINNIE PAUL Says He Will Not Be Smoking The Peace Pipe With PHILIP ANSELMO

Jeff Salamon of Texas Monthly recently conducted an interview with HELLYEAH/ex-PANTERA drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Texas Monthly: Before "Cowboys From Hell", you guys were a typical eighties glam metal band — you had the teased hair, the spandex, the makeup — and then on this record your sound got a lot heavier and your look got a lot grimier. Which change came first? The look or the sound?

Vinnie: It was a combination. MEGADETH called [late PANTERA guitarist and Vinnie Paul's brother] Dimebag up and pretty much offered him the world to come play guitar with them, but he turned them down. And we all went, "Wow, we gotta do something here to turn this band into something special." Our independent releases were kind of mimicking the bands we were listening to at the time, so basically we said, "Let's get rid of these magic clothes — they don't play music for us. Let's strip this thing down." We were ready to do something new — keep the hillbilly roots that we had from Texas but kick it up a notch.

Texas Monthly: What do you mean by your "hillbilly roots?"

Vinnie: My dad was a country musician, so we had David Allan Coe and lots of other country music playing around the house all the time. If you take the riff from the song "Cowboys From Hell" and really break it down, it's almost a hillbilly guitar riff: dekka dekka dekka dekka dekka dekka dekka dek. We just took that kind of vibe and put this heavy metal machine behind it.

Texas Monthly: I know that when PANTERA broke up there was a lot of bad blood between you and [vocalist] Phil Anselmo. Did you guys have to deal with each other at all to put this reissue out?

Vinnie: Nah, nah. I did everything that I could to make sure it was as good as it could be, and he contributed his part, and I think we did the fans justice by all being part of it.

Texas Monthly: In his liner notes Anselmo goes on and on about how great all of you guys are, as if he's trying to bury the hatchet. But in your liner notes you take a subtle dig at him by writing, "Phil was very different at the time — very honest and open with his lyrics." Should I assume that you're not going to smoke the peace pipe?

Vinnie: That's a pretty good assumption. I'll leave it at that.

Read more from Texas Monthly.

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