The following is an excerpt from an interview with Neil Daniels, author of Reinventing Metal, from Classic Rock Revisited. Please visit their website for the full interview.
I finished your Pantera book. WOW. That is a good stuff, man. I like how you focus on the entire band and not just Dimebag.
If you look at the band from Cowboys from Hell onwards you see a short body of work that is vital to the progression and growth of modern American metal. They made a huge splash on the scene and throughout the 1990s with Slayer they were the two bands that kept the flag flying for metal. Dime was also an incredibly gifted guitarist and obviously became one of the greatest in metal. Before Cowboys they made fun party pop metal. Don’t forget they were just kids self-releasing their own music. Their live shows went down with a storm and they were hugely popular on the Texas club scene. Dime – then known as Diamond Darrell – proved his worth very early on.
What do you learn about a band like Pantera when you spend so much time researching them and talking to people about them?
Anselmo is certainly a complex man with a difficult past. I’m looking forward to reading his book. He’s a fascinating individual. I didn’t speak to any members of the band but rather ex-members, producers, roadies, friends. I think it gives the book an objective slant.
As for the split, it takes two to tango. I think everyone had their own part to play but of course everyone has their own side of the story. The second Down album killed it for the band – Rex and Anselmo were concentrating on Down and Pantera was coming to an end. It was a nasty break up but most band break ups usually are. But I don’t think one individual can be blamed.
If you could go back in time and do an interview with anyone in the music business, who would it be and at what particular point in time would it be?
There’d be a few – Tina Turner in the 80s, Billy Joel in the 70s, Freddie Mercury after Live Aid, Ozzy during No More Tears; there are too many to name.
With a wide array of research and many first-hand interviews with those who knew the group well, Reinventing Metal is an unauthorized, first-ever biography that focuses on the entire band Pantera – from its Texas high school start to the global mega-success that anchored Pantera as one of the most important metal names ever.