In the April/May 2014 issue of Revolver magazine, the surviving members of PANTERA — vocalist Philip Anselmo, drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott and bassist Rex Brown — speak about the making of the band’s classic 1994 album, “Far Beyond Driven”, which is being re-released next week as a 20th-anniversary, two-disc edition. The new version will include a newly remastered version of the original recordings along with a new live performance from the 1994 Monsters Of Rock festival.
Speaking about PANTERA’s touring activities that followed the release of “Far Beyond Driven”, Vinnie Paul said: “When we went on the road, that’s when the wheels started coming off and people didn’t know what other people were doing. Phil had his own bus. Things started turning into what they turned into in the end.
“Phil started isolating himself from the rest of us. It got to the point where we wouldn’t see each other until about 20 or 30 minutes before showtime. You never knew if he was going to be in a shitty mood or a good mood. You just hoped it was good enough to get through the show. That’s truly where some of the shows started lacking. They weren’t as good as they used to be, and he would start his rants and go on for 20 minutes while we stood around and looked at him, like, ‘What the fuck are you saying to these people, dude? They want to hear us play some songs. Let’s play some music.'”
Said Anselmo: “The touring was really a mixed bag for me. The [chronic back] pain was intense, but the thrill was still there much of the time, and when I was onstage, that part of it I enjoyed very much. But during this time, I was drinking an entire bottle of Wild Turkey every night before a show to numb the pain I was experiencing.
“I felt trapped, man. I felt lost even trying to explain to the guys in my band, who were so used to seeing Superman up onstage, that I was not Superman anymore. I felt like a trapped animal, honestly. I felt cornered and very confused.
“The words that would come out of my mouth [while we were on stage] were abrasive. I was lashing out at other bands when I really had no business mentioning other bands during a PANTERA show. I was going slowly insane throughout the touring of this record, whether it be from pills, alcohol, or the mental stress from carrying around the chronic pain along with the addiction.”
When PANTERA broke up in 2003, Vinnie Paul and his brother, PANTERA guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott formed DAMAGEPLAN. On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was shot and killed onstage by Nathan Gale. He was 38 years old.