Johnny and Vinnie Paul

Recently, drummer Vinnie Paul weighed in on the topic of his former band, Pantera, coinciding with the 20th Anniversary and re release of the Pantera classic ‘Far Beyond Driven.

The demise of one of the most influential bands in metal history came about in most part by frontman Phil Anselmo’s ongoing drug abuse.  Also, the untimely death of guitarist Dimebag Darrell also seemed to have prevented any possible reunion of the band.

In an upcoming interview with Metal Hammer celebrating the 20th anniversary reissue of Pantera’s ‘Far Beyond Driven,’ Vinnie discussed the band’s highs and lows including watching frontman Anselmo overdose on heroin onstage.

“None of us had any clue that [Anselmo] was even thinking of doing heroin — we used to be the most anti-drug guys in the world — and when he OD’ed in Dallas, when we played our big homecoming show to 18,000 people, the first thing that came to my mind was that he’d passed out because of the heat,” said Paul. “When I saw him laying on the ground, blue, I was, like, ‘What the f—?’ If it hadn’t been for our drum tech, Kat, chasing down some paramedics, [Anselmo] wouldn’t be around anymore. And it really would have been a shock because none of us had a clue.”

The drummer went on to hint that Anselmo spelt the end of Pantera, saying, “We kept working, and, really, our intention wasn’t to stop.” He continued, “Until Phil decided he’d rather go and do Down and Superjoint Ritual, we never stopped. I really felt like we were gonna be the Rolling Stones of heavy metal, and we could have been.”

Many fans continue to hope for some sort of reconciliation between Anselmo and Vinnie Paul, and reuniting Pantera with bassist Rex Brown and shredder Zakk Wylde in place of the late Dimebag, however the drummer has gone on record to say that “Without Dimebag Darrell there is no Pantera.”