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Vinnie Paul’s Damage Plan = David Allen Coe!

taken from classic rock .com

 By A. Lee Graham

To say Vinnie Paul has tasted tragedy would be an understatement. 

Not only did the drummer watch Pantera dissolve, he also witnessed his own brother murdered before his eyes.

“It changed my life,” says Paul, who remembers Dec. 8, 2004 as if it were yesterday. Most heavy metal fans know the story: Damageplan, Paul’s post-Pantera project, rolled through Columbus, Ohio to give the Alrosa Villa nightclub a night of unforgettable music. That changed when Nathan Gale killed guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott and three others before falling to a police officer’s bullet.

The tragedy claimed one of metal’s most respected axmen, but more importantly, it robbed the world of a truly giving human being. Paul could scarcely imagine soldiering on without the brother so much a part of his life.

But like the survivor he is, Paul eventually picked up his drum sticks and returned to work. Instead of focusing on a second Damageplan album, he vowed to complete a project buried deep in he and his brother’s soul.

“There ain’t nothing like Rebel Meets Rebel,” says Paul, his voice suddenly energized and sounding 20 years younger. His enthusiasm is understandable.

Rebel Meets Rebel mixes heavy metal and country, two tastes that taste great together.   Believe it.

“Nothin’ To Lose,” “No Compromise” and “Heartworn Highway” are among 12 tracks recorded between 1999 and 2003.

Marrying blistering distortion with soulful harmonies and signature twang, Rebel Meets Rebel is spicier than Paul’s own cooking – well, almost.

“It’s what my brother and I were really into for years,” says Paul, remembering when David Allan Coe entered their lives.

After one of Coe’s shows in Fort Worth, Texas, Dimebag waited in line for the rebel country artist’s autograph. He also gave the musician some Pantera merchandise, striking up a partnership that united tattooed metaller with tattooed country boy.

Paul was elated.

“I’m just so excited about getting this music out there,” says Paul, planning a May 2 release of Rebel Meets Rebel’s self-titled debut on his new label.

Big Vin Records is among Paul’s many pursuits. It sees the drummer explore music’s business side after savoring success as co-owner of The Clubhouse, a Texas strip club.

As if that weren’t enough, he’s known to man the drum throne at select Disturbed and Anthrax gigs among others acts. But he also kicks out the jams with Gasoline, a garage act of sorts that’s seen the likes of former Pantera mate Rex Brown on bass and Pumpjack frontman Thurber T. Mingus on vocals.

Gasoline played a rare New Year’s gig at Hot Rods and Hoggs in Arlington, Texas, a show that saw Paul and Brown jam publicly to the delight of a few lucky fans.

Many moons have passed since the duo first locked rhythmic horns in Arlington. The year was 1981, and metal ruled suburbia. Whether Motley Crue or Judas Priest, many bands made an impression on Vinnie, Darrell and Rex, who formed Pantera that year. Joining them was vocalist Terry Glaze.

The quartet gigged tirelessly and released four albums on their own Metal Magic label. Produced by the Abbott’s father, Jerry, each outing saw the boys distill their influences into something that would become monstrous when Glaze bailed and a certain Louisiana native joined the fray.

Having crossed paths with Pantera more than once with his own band, Razor White, Phil Anselmo eventually auditioned for what fans would come to know as the Cowboys From Hell.

Power Metal ended the band’s Metal Magic days before Cowboys From Hell took them worldwide. The Atlantic release galvanized the metal community, paving the way for Vulgar Display of Power and a litany of equally punishing releases that would see the Texas boys rule the metal world even as grunge tore at its heels.  But Anselmo and his band mates eventually parted ways, with the vocalist devoting his time to Superjoint Ritual, Down and several other projects. Frustrated by Pantera’s dissolution, Vinnie and Darrell recruited Bob “Zilla” on bass and vocalist Pat Lachman for Damageplan.

Though not as well received as Pantera, the act vowed to carry metal into uncharted waters and never let the music die. But the Columbus concert changed those plans forever.

Now sit back as a busy Vinnie takes 5 Minutes Alone – OK, 10 minutes – with Classic Rock Revisited.




Lee: Rebel Meets Rebel just may herald the next step in rock and roll – country metal. Do you think this sound has the potential to see as much demand in this millennium as rap rock, nu metal and other sounds like in the ‘90s?


Vinnie: I see this as something really different and really unique. I don’t know if anybody will follow the path we’re on. Our goal was just to create a good time. With our songwriting abilities together, it’s really different. And music has been in the doldrums for a while, and something needed to give. I think this will give it a kick in the ass and if it does, we’ll take credit for it.


Lee: The Rebel Meets Rebel site is really gaining some anticipation with the daily countdown. Do you sense a growing excitement?


Vinnie: Man, you know there’s been a lot of anticipation for a long time. Because me and Dime always talked about this in all the interviews in the last few years. It was a record my brother and I really loved. It’s really great to finally put out.


Lee: Would it have been different if Dime were here today to put the finishing touches on it and update it?


Vinnie: No. The great thing about it is that it was all done. It was in the can. Dime designed the artwork a long time ago. It’s 99 percent in its original packaging. We bounced ideas off each other. I’m really proud of it. He’d be very proud.


Lee: So it’s part of his legacy that lives on.


Vinnie: Yeah, this kind of thing will ensure his legacy. He will live forever. He made music, videos – all this stuff for everyone’s enjoyment. There’s no reason it should remain in the vault. It changed our lives.

Lee: I must ask what David Allan Coe thinks of heavy metal. Does he “get it?”


Vinnie: He didn’t know what to think. Dime went to one of his shows and waited in line to get his autograph from him and (Coe) said, “Wow, this guy had to be somebody. He has tattoos and this goatee.” He (Dime) said, “I play in this band from Texas called Pantera.” He got in his bus that night and said it floored him. “Here’s this guy waiting in line to meet me, and he’s playing for 20,000 people in Japan. What the fuck?!”


Lee: You lived under the radar last year, at least compared to the years with Pantera and Damageplan. Now you seem gung-ho about Rebel Meets Rebel and are really re-emerging, so to speak.


Vinnie: It’s given me something to live for. I don’t want to have to get into it in any depth. It’s unfathomable to be able to explain. I’ve done everything in my life with my brother. And this makes me feel like I’m working with him again. It took me a long time to get my head square. I thought I’d be done with music, over with it. Someone who’s supposedly a fan took him from us. I know I wanted to play again. I’ve been lucky to have Sammy Hagar, Disturbed – all these bands inviting me onstage.

Lee: So guest-drumming is part of the healing process.


Vinnie: Yeah. I look out there and see how many fans love you and after all that happened, I didn’t even look at my drum set for two and a half months. I had a benefit coming up with Disturbed and Anthrax in Chicago. I was almost scared. But I got behind the drums and started ripping, and it came back to me how much I missed it.


Lee: Fans are waiting with baited breath for the Dimevision Vol. I DVD. What can they expect when comparing it to Watch It Go and Vulgar Video? Will it have any extended soloing from the early-‘80s club days?


Vinnie: Yeah. It includes stuff people have seen before with Dime and all the tomfoolery, him doing crazy shit. We’ were watching it here in the office and couldn’t hardly stop from laughing. It’ll bring a tear from your eye and, at the same time, put a big smile on your face.

Lee: Your plate is obviously full, but have you considered joining a band full-time?


Vinnie: I’ve considered anything that came my way, but my focus in on my record company and getting it off the ground. But every time I get to get up and play, it’s great. I put a band (Gasoline) together and played on New Year’s Eve. It was awesome.


Lee: Any chance of performing or writing with Rex once again?


Vinnie: Maybe in the future. We kind of buried the hatchet and it just depends. He has his own agenda.

Lee: Your love of cooking also is quite well known. Any thought to busting out with your own products or cookbooks like Joe Perry or Sammy Hagar?


Vinnie: Yeah, hot sauce. I have “Drumming Up An Appetite With Vinnie Paul” put on the back burner. I definitely plan on putting it out in the future. I highly advise anyone at the Hard Rock Café to get the Mad Anthony’s Grilled Skirt Steak (named after Van Halen bass player Michael Anthony). It’s skirt steak with this fuckin’ hot sauce.


Lee: Could there one day be a Vinnie Paul signature dish?


Vinnie: I love seafood, so something like sea bass. Definitely.


Lee: Ever thought about opening your own restaurant and becoming the rock ‘n’ roll version of (Dallas restaurateur) Stephen Pyles?


Vinnie: I’ve thought about it, but to have the attention a restaurant requires, I’d have to be there all the time. You’re at the mercy of people working for you. The last thing I’d want to be is on tour and not there to ensure the quality.

Lee: Anything you’d like to tell your fans?


Vinnie: I just want to tell them thanks. There’s sure no way I could have lived on without them.

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March 12, 2006 - Posted by | ROCK

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