From the Archive: Dimebag Darrell Discusses Pantera's New Album, 'Reinventing the Steel'
Here's an interview with Pantera's Dimebag Darrell from the May 2000 issue of Guitar World. To see the complete cover, and all the GW covers from 2000, click here.
"Come on, dude!" shouts Dimebag Darrell. "We've got steaks to eat, booze to drink and tits to see.”
For the last hour, Dime bag has been hanging out in a Hilton suite, answering a continuous barrage of questions about Pantera's new album, Reinventing the Steel (Elektra). It's been four long years since Pantera's last studio effort and there has been a lot of catching up to do. But it's a Saturday night, Guitar World is in town and new adventures are waiting to be had.
What seems like only seconds later, we're in a swank SUV speeding down a freeway on the outskirts of Dallas, heading toward Dimebag's pad. Dime pulls out a freshly mastered CD of songs from the new album, pops it in the player and cranks up the volume. Although he did a pretty good job of describing the intensity of the tunes earlier in the evening, his commentary can't compare with the sensation of listening to the album at 120dB while cruising at 100 mph.
A four-year hiatus can be dangerous for many bands, but Pantera fans can rest assured that the band has not mellowed with age — they haven't done anything foolish like cut off their hair or discover the "genius" of Andrew Lloyd Weber. Although the definition of metal has changed in Pantera's absence, the band is back to show everyone how a heavy rock record is supposed to sound. "We're the full-meal deal," says Dimebag. "This album is fresh and updated, but it's still us. It's full of fuckin' lead guitar playing, lead singing, drumming up the ass, bass lines that walk and move you, and songs, man, songs. We're reinventing the steel."
By the time we pull into the Bat Cave like secret entrance to Dime's digs, our brains and bodies have been numbed by songs like "Hellhound," "Goddamn Electric" and "Yesterday Don't Mean Shit." Inside the house, Dimebag gives the CD a second spin, and it sounds even more ominous on his home system. The low end of Rex's bass and Vinnie Paul's machine-gun drums rumble like a sonic boom, Phil Anselmo's screaming vocals sound menacing and energized, and Dimebag's guitar wails, chunks and roars. Reinventing the Steel is the first studio album that the Pantera boys have produced on their own, but even without their longtime producer Terry Date behind the desk, they've managed to outdo themselves.
The beer is poured, the steaks are served, and now it's time for more entertainment. Anyone familiar with Pantera's long-form videos knows that Dime is pretty handy with a camcorder. It is, in fact, rumored that his rowdy backstage footage of the band had a profound influence on Steven Speilberg's bloody battle scenes in Saving Private Ryan. But little prepared us for the guitarist's self-produced and -directed opus, Y2Gaines.
As Dime bag pops the video into his VCR he explains that "Y2Gaines is a moving story about a father who searches for milk for his baby boy, Clim." The father is played by a striking fellow with unusually green teeth, and Clim is a plastic doll that sports a crude hand-painted goatee. As you might guess, the boy and his pappy have no trouble finding any number of ladies who are more than ready, willing and able to deliver the milk.
After the movie reaches its climax (several, actually), we're back on the road and headed toward the Clubhouse, a classy and comfortable gentlemen's club owned by Dimebag and his brother, Vinnie Paul. Having "invested" a substantial amount of their hard-earned income at various Dallas strip bars in-between tours and while making albums, they realized it would probably be cheaper if they bought one of their own before taking their extended vacation. The Clubhouse is a classy, comfortable lounge filled to the brim with Dallas debutantes gone wrong. In addition to the requisite catwalk, there's a "secret" shower room where patrons can hose the girls down with fluorescent paint.
Settling into a plush, overstuffed chair, your intrepid and intoxicated reporter commissions a three-girl lap dance, only to realize that he has just two bucks in his wallet. But before the lap dance turns into a slap dance, Dimebag comes to the rescue with a wad of $20 bills, and once again life is good.
Considering all of Dimebag's extra-curricular activities, one would assume that the band just kicked back and took it easy during their downtime, but anyone familiar with Pantera knows that the word "easy" doesn't apply to them. Over the last four years they have gone out on several tours, played opening gigs for Black Sabbath and Kiss and released a live album. They've recorded songs for the Detroit Rock City and Heavy Metal 2000 soundtracks, composed a theme song for the Dallas Stars hockey team and collaborated on an album with David Allan Coe, the country outlaw legend who penned "Take This Job and Shove It."