Hellyeah & Mudvayne Singer Says Vinnie Paul Wasn’t Into Pantera Reunion

Hellyeah & Mudvayne Singer Says Vinnie Paul Wasn’t Into Pantera Reunion
Original Photo Credit: Alfred Nitsch, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The reformed Pantera, consisting of surviving members Phillip Anselmo and Rex Brown along with Zakk Wylde and Charlie Benante, have been touring the world and getting rave reviews from fans for their celebration of the band’s musical legacy. 

When a Pantera celebration was first announced, some criticized the surviving members carrying on without late brothers and band co-founders Dimebag Darrell Abbott and Vinnie Paul. However, the more shows the band does, the fewer naysayers there appears to be. 

In a new interview with The Jesea Lee Show, Vinnie Paul’s former Hellyeah bandmate and current Mudvanye vocalist, Chad Gray, shared his views on the band’s reformation. 

“I know what it is, and I know that some levels of the intention are true and pure, but I also know that from sitting in on a million f*cking interviews with Vinnie Paul and him and I interviewing together and shit, and the whole time, basically, that (a reunion) wasn’t happening,” Gray said. “And there was always some clown interviewer who apparently was just setting himself up for failure, he’d be, like, ‘So what’s the deal with all the mutterings we’re hearing about the Pantera reunion with Zakk,’ and Vinnie would literally go, ‘My brother’s dead.’ It’s all he would say. That’s all he would f*cking say. And they wouldn’t say another f*cking word. And that’s where it was. And that’s the way Vinnie thought about it. Pantera was done ’cause his brother was dead. So when I hear that and I hear how passionately he said that, and I know how much he meant it… He didn’t care. Vinnie didn’t need the f*cking money. Vinnie’s whole heart was in Hellyeah. He loved Hellyeah so f*cking much. It was such an honor to be able to play in that band with him and have him literally bleed for that band. It was everything to him, and he didn’t care about Pantera anymore.”

Gray admitted, though, that he understands why Pantera fans are stoked to see the new version of the group perform the band’s classic catalog. “I’ve talked to so many people about it, and honestly, I think that the general consensus is that people are loving to f*cking be standing on that floor again and listening and having them f*cking, no matter how they sound, f*cking blazing into those f*cking songs and playing that setlist,” he said. “That setlist is mean as f*ck. That setlist is all my favorite sh*t.”

Gray did go on to say that it’s been hard for him to embrace a Pantera comeback because he was so connected to Dimebag and Vinnie.  “I was best friends with one of the f*cking men that did it, that made that band happen and stuff like that,” he said. “And he was never behind it, man. He was just never behind it. So it’s hard, for me to… ’cause I have a lot of f*cking respect for Vinnie Paul. I really do. And I have a lot of respect for Dimebag Darrell. And it’s cool — let it be the tribute thing or whatever, but really question how much longer it goes or what else happens with it. I would just like to make sure that we’re giving love and respect to those two fallen brothers, man, because they were a really, really f*cking big part of music, man. It seems like kind of a cheat that they’re not here to be a part of it, something that they built with their own hands.”

Gray’s full interview can be viewed below.

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