Charlie Benante Vows to Sound Like Vinnie Paul at Pantera Shows

Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante vowed to “do it right” when he takes part in next year’s Pantera tribute shows alongside Phil Anselmo, Rex Brown and Zakk Wylde.

In a new interview with SiriusXM’s Eddie Trunk, Benante and Wylde explained their approach to standing in for late Pantera members Vinnie Paul Abbott and Dimebag Darrell Abbott, respectively. The concerts caused some controversy after they were described as a Pantera reunion.

“I can’t go do this as the drummer from Anthrax, because it would be a different sound completely,” Benante said. “So the way I’m gonna do that is, if you close your eyes, it’s gonna sound like it’s Vinnie, basically. … The sound is gonna sound exactly like him.”

He noted that his friendship with the Abbott brothers stretched back to 1986 when Pantera opened an Anthrax show. Benante also expressed his regard for the surviving members. “My friendship with Darrell goes a long way, and I love both of those guys so much,” he said. “So, for me, it was a very emotional thing to do this. … It’s all about those two guys and doing it. I don’t want to see anybody else doing it but me – ‘cause I’m gonna do it right.”

Benante added that he had no information on when the events were going to take place but said, “If it happens, if there’s one show that’s played, great.”

Wylde – who previously compared the Pantera activity to Led Zeppelin’s 2007 reunion show – explained that his attitude was similar to having performed Randy Rhoads and Jake E. Lee’s guitar parts as a member of Ozzy Osbourne’s band. “I’ve got to learn Rhoads’ stuff and I’ve got to learn Jake’s stuff, and when I was doing the Sabbath stuff, you learn it and do it as faithful as you can.”

He added that “Charlie’s got to learn all of Vinnie’s parts. You approach it as if you’re in a cover band. … You learn the songs; that’s what you do. … You’re honoring Dime, you’re honoring Vinnie and you’re honoring Phil and Rex … what they achieved as Pantera and all the mountains they conquered. That’s the way I look at it. That’s the way I’ve always looked at it.”

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