Rex Brown says that he would be willing to reunite with the other surviving members of PANTERA in honor of the band’s late guitarist, “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott.
Talk about a possible PANTERA reunion intensified when singer Philip Anselmo regularly joined Zakk Wylde‘s BLACK LABEL SOCIETY to perform PANTERA‘s song “I’m Broken” during DOWN‘s 2014 stint on the “Revolver Golden Gods Tour”. That buzz only got stronger after Brown joined the jam on May 23, 2014 when the tour swung through Texas.
During an August 2 appearance on the “Trunk Nation” show on SiriusXM channel Volume (106), Brown was asked about his current relationship with Anselmo and former PANTERA drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott. “I saw Philip [a couple of] months ago,” Rex revealed. “And Philip and I have been tight forever. Vinnie… You know, we’ve reached out a couple of times in e-mails and stuff like that, ’cause we still have business to run.
“I just say, ‘Never say never,'” he continued. “With something like that, there’s a bunch of water underneath that bridge that needs to be cleared up, and I wish it would — I really do. But, look, I’ve gotta keep on trekking down the road, baby — that’s what I’ve gotta do.
“You know, you never say never. This life that we have is too short, too precious. But at the same time, I look back at those memories that we had, and if it weren’t cut short — especially as I sing in one of my songs, in ‘Buried Alive’ — if it weren’t cut short, those [ties] are still there.”
Rex added: “Vinnie is Vinnie, Philip is Phil, I’m me. But there’s no hard blood between Philip and I. It’s just… Vinnie will not speak with either one of us. So there you go.”
Asked if he means that he will “never say never” in terms of reconnecting with Vinnie or playing the music of PANTERA music live again, Rex said: “Oh, both. Both. I think number one is with Vince. I would love to sit and hash this out, man, and just become friends again. I really would. I mean, I’ve tried to leave olive branches.”
He continued: “There was a bunch of shit in my book [2013’s ‘Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story Of Pantera’] that was not supposed to be in that book, and I went through ten different edits and they put it in there anyway, and it left a fucking bit of sour in some people’s mouths. And look, I was just telling my own truth. But at the same time, we’re all like that, man. He’s got his grievances, I’ve got mine, but let’s come to a common base. Am I saying it’s gonna happen tomorrow? Probably not. But can we shoot for the next day? I think that is important. We shared too much of our lives together to just let it go down the tubes. But it’s been a long time that we haven’t been in touch.”
Rex also reiterated that he is open to the possibility of performing PANTERA songs with Philip and Vinnie as a way of celebrating Dimebag‘s legacy.
“I think number one, we’d have to sit in a room and talk, and then we’d strap our instruments on and let’s see if we’ve got the chemistry together,” Brown explained. “I mean, it’s not just, ‘Let’s get on stage…’ You have to do this in remembrance of Dime. That music died when he did… It did not die, but you know what I mean — I mean, the chemistry, definitely. It would be very hard, but at the same time, like I say, I never say never to any kind of stuff like that, because, like I said earlier, man, it’s our history. That’s just the way that I feel. But there’s a lot of water underneath that bridge that needs to be taken care of.”
Dimebag‘s longtime girlfriend Rita Haney in 2011 called on Vinnie Paul and Philip to settle their differences in honor of the guitarist, who was shot and killed by a crazed gunman while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at a Columbus, Ohio rock club in December 2004.
Vinnie, who is Dimebag‘s brother, and Anselmo have not spoken since PANTERA split in 2003. But the relationship got even more acrimonious when Vinnie indirectly blamed Philip for Dimebag‘s death, suggesting that some remarks the vocalist had made about Dimebag in print just weeks earlier might have incited Dimebag‘s killer.
Brown‘s debut solo album, “Smoke On This”, was released on July 28 via Entertainment One (eOne). The disc marks the first time in Rex‘s career in which he serves as both lead vocalist and guitarist in a band.