Johnson Cummins of the Montreal Mirror recently conducted an interview with former PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
Montreal Mirror: The last time you and I spoke was right after PANTERA played in Montreal, the time Phil Anselmo made some white-supremacist comments from the stage. Your falling out with him has been well documented. Have you two buried the hatchet?
Vinnie Paul: "Nah, I will never talk to that guy again. That Montreal incident was only one of many other dumb incidents he's been a part of, and I'm sure he will continue to do. I just hope a lot of people know that he was never speaking for the band when he opened his mouth. I really have no use for him and just keep my distance — I'll just leave it at that."
Montreal Mirror: A lot of people are wondering when you are going to get back behind the drum kit again. Any plans?
Vinnie Paul: "I definitely still have a passion about it, but running this record label has been really busy and it's ended up being great therapy for me. Thanks to people like Zakk Wylde, GODSMACK, DISTURBED and Sammy Hagar — those people have really pulled through and helped me get playing again. When the right situation comes along, I'll know it, and I'll be back behind the drums again."
Montreal Mirror: You were in a dark place for a long time after Dimebag's tragic death. How did you get out of it?
Vinnie Paul: "Me and Dime did everything together from day one. When it happened, I didn't think I was really going to be able to carry on. There were several times where I would just wish I could die in my sleep. It was just that miserable. When something this tragic happens, you feel totally out of control and totally useless. You never get over it, but you have to learn to dig deep inside and learn how to cope with it. After a period of time, I could feel his energy, and I just know he wanted me to keep going, and I had to do everything I could to keep going. I also felt I had to do everything I could to make sure his legacy lives on forever. If the roles were reversed, I would be the guy in the sky pushing him on.
Montreal Mirror: Do you have any particular memories of Dimebag that stick out in your mind?
Vinnie Paul: "There really are so many. I remember the last time I saw him. We used to have a code word, which was 'Van Halen,' and that just meant to let it all hang out and have a really good time, because we both thought VAN HALEN were just one of the most kick-ass bands ever. He was warming up on his guitar before our show like he always did, and putting chapstick on his lips like he always did before a show. I just went up to him and said, 'Van Halen,' and he looked over at me and said, 'Van fucking Halen,' and we high-fived each other. I didn't know it, but a minute and a half later I would never hear from him again."
Read the entire interview at www.montrealmirror.com.
Vinnie Paul has lined up the following in-store appearances at Steve's Music locations in Canada:
Jun. 03 - Toronto, ONT - 415 Queen St. W
Jun. 05 - Ottawa, ONT - 308 Rideau St.
Jun. 06 - Montreal, QUE - 51 St-Antoine St. W