Former PANTERA/current DAMAGEPLAN members Vinnie Paul (drums) and Dimebag Darrell (guitar) recently spoke to Metal Edge magazine about the demise of PANTERA and the upcoming release of DAMAGEPLAN's debut CD, "New Found Power". Asked what their expectations are for an album that, like most of PANTERA's recorded output, is being issued through Elektra Records, Vinnie said, "I think we've definitely got to look at it like a new band, but we feel very strongly that our fanbase that followed us in PANTERA will follow us in this — we haven't given them any reason not to. That's what we're shooting for to start with, and we also want to gain a whole new audience. Anybody out there that doesn't know anything about us, we're ready to go out there and play. We obviously want to achieve a certain level of success — none of us want to go back to playing nightclubs if we don't have to, we've already paid our dues and did all that. If that's where we've got to start, that's where we've got to start, but we're going to work like a motherfucker to get out of there as fast as we can. We like to play to a lot of people — that's what it's all about. Music is made to be heard, whether you hear it in concert, you hear it on the radio, or you hear it in your car. It's not for two people to sit in a closet and go, 'That's my band, the only band I've ever heard, and I'm the only person that's going to hear it.' What's the point?" Added Dimebag, "I have to be dead honest — all those people that like to say they like to play the small clubs because they're more intimate? Yeah, I like the intimate vibe too, but I guarantee you, they're only saying that because they're stuck there. Who wouldn't want to play to a shitload of people? Ain't that what it's about? Reaching people? I don't understand that narrow-minded mentality where you're allowed to listen to one kind of music, and if you wear this kind of t-shirt you're an asshole, and if you eat this kind of food you're gay, and if you step out of this square box I've got you in I'll never talk to you again. That's narrow-minded bullshit, if you ask me. Anybody that's into really, really heavy shit, we're not going to let them down — we can throw shit out there as heavy as anybody can throw it. At the same time, we don't play no pussy-whipped bullshit of any kind, but it's for everybody."
With regards to whether PANTERA material will be part of their set, Vinnie said, "I don't know. We really haven't decided whether we want to do that or not. Obviously, there are 13 million people out there that bought PANTERA records and would love to hear those songs, and I have no doubt that we can deliver them, we just want to wait and see how everything fits, how it comes down live, and if it feels right, maybe we'll do some."
Dimebag: "I'll tell you this much, we damn-sure won't be up there on the stage dissing the bad-ass legacy of PANTERA, that's for sure."
Vinnie: "This is a new band. We're not PANTERA — we're a new band, it's DAMAGEPLAN. We do have a legacy within ourselves and the fans that are going to follow us."
Dimebag: "We realize that we've got to fuckin' reprove ourselves. We're willing to show that we're sorry people got let down — even though it's not our place to be sorry about it — but we're going to pick up the fucking touch and get on from here, keep it rock fuckin hard, and establish the new band, DAMAGEPLAN."
Vinnie: "I think there's three kinds of fans out there. There will be the PANTERA fans that want to hop on and support us right out of the chute because of what we've done in the past. There's the ones that are going to be skeptical that we're going to have to win over by playing live. Then there are the ones that we're never going to be able to win over, because they're set in their ways. Those are the challenges ahead of us — to go out and kick ass, and prove to everybody that the new band is what we're about and where we're at. The old days were the old days, and they were good days, but we're ready to bring on some new days…"
DAMAGEPLAN's "New Found Power" is due on February 10 through Elektra Records.