VINNIE PAUL: Treasure Trove Of Unreleased DIMEBAG Material On The Way

Robert Mancini of MTV News has issued the following report:

In the year since PANTERA and DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott was gunned down while onstage at an Ohio nightclub, fans and friends have pledged that his life and his music will live on for years to come. Now it seems that Dimebag's legacy won't be limited to memories and familiar riffs.

"There's a lot of stuff in the archive that Dime has left us with," Dimebag's brother and bandmate Vinnie Paul told MTV News. Speaking on-camera for the first time since his brother's tragic death, Paul said that in addition to the oft-discussed collaboration that he and Dime recorded with controversial country singer David Allan Coe, there's a trove of previously unreleased Dimebag footage being compiled for a DVD collection and an assortment of songs that had been intended for the second DAMAGEPLAN album.

"They were the best [songs] yet," Vinnie said of the tracks he and Dime had been working on. "We learned a lot from being on tour, we grew as a band, and we were about to make the [equivalent of PANTERA's breakthrough sophomore album] 'Vulgar Display of Power' for DAMAGEPLAN. Basically, a band's first record is them coming together and really learning everything, and then after they're on the road and really become a unit, the next record slams. We were to that point, and it was coming, man. We felt really, really strong about it."

That material will have to wait, however, as Vinnie plans to roll out the Dimebag/Coe collaboration album, now titled "Rebel Meets Rebel", in March on his own Big Vin Records. The brothers and Coe worked on the project off and on for the better part of four years, and the result is "something that Dime was very proud of."

"It's the first thing that came to me since all of this happened, to keep my brother's legacy and everything he did alive," Vinnie said. "It's a fun record, that's what I like about it. It's not metal, it's not country — it's fun. Anybody that can smoke a joint, drink a beer, this record is for them. His Southern roots really come through big, and it's something that we were waiting on the right time to put out."

While the growth of DAMAGEPLAN was the chief concern for Vinnie and Dime when trying to get the album's timing right, Vinnie was forced to confront a whole new host of previously unthinkable concerns after his brother's death last year. The months that have followed have been, in Vinnie's words, full of "unimaginable sadness." He said the idea of returning to music without his chief creative partner — and best friend — has been difficult to face.

"Gettin' on with gettin' on ain't an easy thing," Vinnie said. "I've been down to the studio where we recorded everything two times since then. It still has his brand-new Krank amp sitting right where he had [his amps], still has the police tape where he didn't want anybody touching them, 'cause he loved the tone. It was really weird, man. I just ... I didn't stay long. I walked in and ... I just ... it's pretty tough, man. It freaked me out, and I just left. It's not good."

Read the rest of the article at MTV News.

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