Dimebag Darrell: Cra-Z-Boy
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 hardearned 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 break. The Clubhouse is a classy, comfortable lounge filled to the brim with Dallas debutantes gone wrong. Besides the requisite catwalk, there’s a “secret” shower room where patrons can hose down the girls 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.
With all of Dimebag’s extra-curricular activities, one would assume that the band just kicked back and took it easy during their down time, 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.” And the band relaxes as hard as it plays: Dimebag mentions that he’s gone through three La-Z-Boy recliners over the last four years.
“My last La-Z-Boy got ragged and busted up from us getting all drunk, turning on loud music and pile-driving into each other,” says Dimebag. “I just replaced it a few weeks ago with the deluxe model that has the vibrating back massager in it. You’ve got to have that comfort rig after your belly is full of cow and cold beer and you want to watch some Y2Gaines.”
But now that Reinventing the Steel is completed, Dime won’t have much time to wear out his newest chair. The band takes off for Europe immediately after the album comes out, then they’ll return to the States this summer to play Ozzfest. After that, they’re touring Japan, and the live action will probably continue well into next year. “We’re ready to get on the road,” says Dimebag. “Everybody’s got the itch. This record is geared for live performance. We’re sitting on the best record we’ve ever written, and I can’t wait to play these tunes in front of some rabid, hungry fans.”
GUITAR WORLD Why did Pantera take the last four years off?
DIMEBAG DARRELL Let me go all the way back. Way before we got a record deal, we were playing clubs seven nights a week, three one-hour sets a night. Then we got the record deal, and we took off on the road and stayed out. On the Cowboys from Hell tour we were driving around in an RV, fuckin’ ragged out. If you’ve seen our first home video you have an idea what that was like. Then we went right into making Vulgar Display of Power and doing another tour. It’s been bam, bam, bam—non-stop. Most bands don’t make it past two albums and tours, if that. We pulled it off, and everybody’s been happy and cool, but we got to the point where we knew it was time to take a break. So we took a fuckin’ break. But we started working on the new record last summer, and we’ve been kickin’ ass ever since. That’s where our heart’s at, that’s where we belong, and here it comes. And here we go. Off the recliner!
GW What did you do during your down time?
DARRELL I met the great country-punk western legend David Allan Coe. What we are to heavy metal rock and roll, he is to country and western. I was just going to see him play, but I met up with that cat and ended up shooting the shit with him for two hours backstage. I’ve come to find out everybody loves ol’ David Allan Coe, even people like Kid Rock. I had a copy of our third home video on me, and I gave it to him, saying, “Hey man. You probably ain’t heard of us. That doesn’t matter. Here is what we do. We’re pretty much in the same boat. We’re both rebels.”
We ended up talking about all the stuff we had in common. He called me up a day later and said, “Hey, Dime. It’s David Allan Coe. I’m gambling, and I just hit $50,000 on a slot machine. I want you to play on my new record.” David had a week off, so I invited him to fly in and stay at my house. We started cutting shit, putting together this crossover project called “David Allan Coe and the Cowboys from Hell.” It’s a rebel-meets-rebel kind of thing. We’ve finished eight songs and we have two more to record. That took the whole summer, because we were mostly partying and hanging out.
Collaborating with a country and western legend like him is cool. I love the idea that he’s an outlaw and sticks up for people like Kid Rock and Pantera. He opens his show playing Pantera songs and shit like that. Sometimes he goes into medleys of our tunes. He’s always up there talking about hanging out with Dimebag, getting drunk. He reads more rock and roll magazines and owns more rock records than most kids I know. He’s on top of it.
GW Are we going to hear you do some chicken pickin’ on that record?
DARRELL It’s got quite a bit of Southern twang on it. But there are some pretty cool heavy metal moments on it, too. There’s quite a bit of bluesiness too. And there’s some Bob Seger–type rock and roll. It’s a wide spectrum. It’s good party music. It’s crazy how many country and western people love hard rock and how many rockers get off on David Allan Coe outlaw shit. We’ll be talking to these kids, and they’ll say, “Ah, dude. I saw you at the Coe show.” It’s not alien to them at all.