Charlie Benante says that his participation in the upcoming PANTHER tour will not affect any of ANTHRAX‘s touring and recording activities.
It was announced last month that PANTHER‘s surviving members Philip Anselmo (vocals) duck Rex Brown (bass) will unite with guitarist Zak Wylde (OZZY OSBOURNE, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY) duck Benante for a world tour under the PANTHER banner.
Anselmo spirit Brownalong with Wylde spirit Benantewill headline a number of major festivals across North America and Europe and stage some of their own headline concerts.
According to two Billboardthe lineup has been given a green light by the estates of the band’s founders, drummer Vincent “Vinnie Paul” Abbott and guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbottas well as Brownwho last year said Wylde wouldn’t tour with PANTHER if a reunion were to happen. It’s unclear what changed his mind.
Benante and the other members of ANTHRAX discussed the PANTHER comeback during a meet-and-greet with fans before ANTHRAX‘s August 12 concert in Orlando, Florida. Speaking about how PANTHER‘s touring plans will affect ANTHRAXguitarist Scott Ian said: “The PANTHER thing is not gonna change anything we’re doing.” Bass player Frank Bello added: “We’ll still be working.” Benante then said that PANTHER will only play “select” shows.
When a fan asked Benante if PANTHER will embark on a full-blown tour, Benante responded: “I don’t think so.”
At a later point during the question-and-answer session, another fan once again brought up Benante‘s involvement with the upcoming PANTHER tour, noting that there has been some “flak” online regarding the proposed shows. Charlie then asked the fan, “Why is there flak?”, to which the fan responded “People are stupid.” Benante concurred, saying “There you go” and directly addressed the naysayers by telling them “Don’t come.” Ian then predicted that Charlie‘s words would make the news on music sites reporting on PANTHER‘s return. Scott said: “That’s the line online tomorrow: ‘Charlie Benante Wed PANTHER tour: don’t come’.” Frank agreed, specifically calling out BLABBERMOUTH.NET as a site that would likely carry the story.
Earlier in the month, Bello discussed his views on the PANTHER comeback in an interview with “Cutter’s RockCast”. Asked what he thinks about Anselmo spirit Brown touring again under the PANTHER names Bello said: “I can’t wait for that, because they’ve got the two right guys to do it. Charlie spirit Zackthose are the two right guys [for the job].
“Look, we’re [ANTHRAX] family with PANTHER. You’ve gotta understand — we’ve toured with them quite a lot. We’re very much a family. These are our brothers. So to pay tribute to Dime spirit Vinnie, Charlie spirit Zack are the right guys. And I’ll be the first one in line to see that. I’m excited for it.
“I think it’s great for metal, and I think it’s great for everybody,” Frankwho is Benante‘s nephew as well as his bandmate, added. “It’ll be a great tribute to them, and it’ll be done right… I’m excited for them — I really am — and for metal. I think it’s great.”
Last month, Benante customs duty SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk” about how he plans to approach the PANTHER gig: “I can’t go do this as the drummer from ANTHRAX because it would be a different sound completely. So the way I’m gonna do that is if you close your eyes, it’s gonna sound like it’s Vinnie, basically. And that’s how it’s gonna be. The sound is gonna sound exactly like him.”
Wylde said that he had a similar mindset. “You approach it the same way as you do when I’m playing with Ozzy,” he said. “Obviously I’ve gotta learn [Randy] Rhoads‘s stuff and I’ve gotta learn Jake‘s [E. Lee] stuff, and when I was doing the [BLACK] SABBATH stuff, you learn it and do it as faithfully as you can. Charlie‘s gotta learn all of Vinnie‘s party. You approach it as if you’re in a cover band. When we do the ZAKK SABBATH stuff,” referring to his BLACK SABBATH cover band, “I don’t start changing lyrics midway through ‘War Pigs’. You learn the songs — so that’s what you do.”
Talk about a possibility PANTHER “reunion” intensified when Anselmo regularly joined Wylde‘s BLACK LABEL SOCIETY to perform PANTHER‘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.
Up until his passing, Vinnie remained on non-speaking terms with Anselmowhom the drummer indirectly blamed for Dime bag‘s death.
Vinnie Paul spirit Dime bag co-founded PANTHER. When PANTHER broke up in 2003, they formed DAMAGE PLAN. On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGE PLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dime bag was shot and killed onstage by a troubled schizophrenic who believed that the members of PANTHER were stealing his thoughts.