In the February 2006 issue of Revolver magazine (web site), several of PANTERA's former business associates recount the band's amazing rise to the status of the biggest extreme metal act in the world and the circumstances that led to their eventual break-up.
Though it would be unfair to blame PANTERA's demise directly on vocalist Philip Anselmo's side band DOWN, it's clear that the project — as well as Anselmo's many other projects, like SUPERJOINT RITUAL — became another snowball in the avalanche of bad feeling that eventually overwhelmed the band. Certainly, the lack of direct communication between Anselmo and the Abbott brothers (Darrell and Vince) also had something to do with it, as did the "he said/they said" salvos that were fired back and forth between the two camps — with bassist Rex Brown caught in the middle — via interviews in print magazines and online publications.
"Really, it was just a complete lack of communication [within PANTERA], and the wrong things being said at the wrong time," offers Kim Zide-Davis, who joined the band's management team a few months after the group's "Far Beyond Driven" CD came out. "Philip doesn't have a real understanding that he needs to be careful of who he says what to, and how people can misconstrue what he's saying. It got to the point where I'd come into the office and Phil was out on tour with DOWN or SUPERJOINT RITUAL and had just said something else. Honestly, it was gut-wrenching.
"I spent the better part of the last three years [with PANTERA] working with them on and off, trying to keep them from disintegrating. The brothers were ready to go, and so was Rex. But Philip was beyond anybody's control."
"I blame the media for making a circus out of the fact that there were a few things I wanted to get out of my system, and we were going to take a break," says Anselmo today. "The media blew this 'we hate each other' thing up to the sky."
But while the "who broke up PANTERA" argument can (and probably will) rage well into the next millennium, the premature death of Dimebag Darrell ultimately renders it moot. Though drummer Vinnie Paul has vehemently stated that he and his brother would have never participated in a PANTERA reunion, Brown would like to think otherwise. "Maybe somewhere down the road we would've smoothed stuff out — the four of us getting together in a room and beating the shit out of each other or whatever," he says. "We can’t do that now. All that we can do now is move on and do the best we can and try to preserve the legacy that we built, and at least keep Dime's musical legacy alive."
The February 2006 issue of Revolver magazine — containing a lengthy interview with Anselmo and comments from many of the group's longtime associates — will hit newsstands on December 6. To order a copy and/or to subscribe to the magazine, visit www.revolvermag.com.
(BLABBERMOUTH.NET would like to thank Shawn Thompson of www.VinnieAndDime.com for providing the scans that were the basis for this story)
For more information on the war of words that contributed to PANTERA's eventual demise, read these previous BLABBERMOUTH.NET stories:
Story#1: PANTERA's ANSELMO: "Enough Is Enough" - Feb. 16, 2002
Story#2: PANTERA's PHILIP ANSELMO Denies Break-Up Rumors - Feb. 20, 2002
Story#3: PHILIP ANSELMO: If DOWN Was To Take Over PANTERA, I'd Say It Was Damn Worth It - Mar. 9, 2002
Story#4: PHILIP ANSELMO: If PANTERA Called It A Day Today, We Will Have Done Something Very Special - Mar. 15, 2002
Story#5: PHILIP ANSELMO: I'm Still In PANTERA - May 9, 2002
Story#6: PHILIP ANSELMO: DIMEBAG Has To Root Out Some Things In His Life Before We Can Be Happy Again - May 13, 2002
Story#7: PHILIP ANSELMO: "Sometimes It Feels Good To Be Miserable" - June 7, 2002
Story#8: PHILIP ANSELMO: Done With PANTERA, Sticking With SUPERJOINT RITUAL - May 14, 2003
Story#9: PHILIP ANSELMO Says There Are No Immediate Plans For A New PANTERA Album - May 21, 2003
Story#10: PHILIP ANSELMO Speaks Out On The Future Of PANTERA, DOWN And Collaboration With TONY IOMMI - May 27, 2003
Story#11: PHILIP ANSELMO Says He Feels More Comfortable In The Underground Scene - June 6, 2003
Story#12: PHILIP ANSELMO: 'The PANTERA Guys Won't Talk To Me' - July 25, 2003
Story#13: PHILIP ANSELMO: 'There Ain't Nobody Like Me' - Aug. 8, 2003
Story#14: PHILIP ANSELMO On New PANTERA Album: 'It Ain't Gonna Happen' - Aug. 26, 2003
Story#15: DIMEBAG DARRELL: 'PANTERA Is Officially Over' - Nov. 24, 2003
Story#16: Ex-PANTERA Drummer: 'PHILIP ANSELMO Was Afraid Of Success' - Nov. 25, 2003
Story#17: PHILIP ANSELMO Slams DAMAGEPLAN: 'They're Not Doing Anything Different' - Nov. 27, 2003
Story#18: Ex-PANTERA Singer PHILIP ANSELMO: VINNIE PAUL Is A 'Crybaby' - Dec. 18, 2003
Story#19: DIMEBAG, VINNIE PAUL: 'Dope-Fucked' PHILIP ANSELMO Can't Keep His Story Straight - Jan. 19, 2004
Story#20: DIMEBAG DARRELL Says He Tried To Help PHILIP ANSELMO Beat His Drug Problem - Jan. 24, 2004
Story#21: VINNIE PAUL: PHILIP ANSELMO Stabbed Us In The Back - Jan. 30, 2004
Story#22: PHILIP ANSELMO: VINNIE And DIME Can't Shut Up About How Much I Fucked Them Over - Feb. 3, 2004
Story#23: DIMEBAG DARRELL Has No Fear About Facing PHILIP ANSELMO - Apr. 22, 2004
Story#24: PHILIP ANSELMO: I Would Sing PANTERA Songs With DAMAGEPLAN - Apr. 24, 2004
Story#25: VINNIE PAUL: PHILIP ANSELMO's Willingness To Jam On PANTERA Tunes Made Me Laugh - Apr. 28, 2004
Story#26: PHILIP ANSELMO Apologizes For Holding VINNIE PAUL And DIMEBAG Back - Apr. 29, 2004
Story#27: PHILIP ANSELMO: I Love Everybody In PANTERA - May 16, 2004
Story#28: DIMEBAG DARRELL: 'Me And VINNIE Were The Heart And Soul Of PANTERA' - May 27, 2004
Story#29: Ex-PANTERA Drummer VINNIE PAUL: REX BROWN Got The Biggest Free Ride Of Anyone - June 3, 2004
Story#30: PHILIP ANSELMO: 'PANTERA Is Dead' - July 16, 2004
Story#31: PHILIP ANSELMO: SUPERJOINT RITUAL Is Not A Precursor To A PANTERA Reunion - Aug. 2, 2004
Story#32: DIMEBAG DARRELL Says PHILIP ANSELMO And REX BROWN Took PANTERA For Granted - Nov. 14, 2004
Story#33: PHILIP ANSELMO: 'DIMEBAG DARRELL Deserves To Be Beaten Severely' - Dec. 1, 2004