The 2014 Golden Gods Awards. The guitar award is named after Dime, Rex Brown is nominated for best bassist.
Make sure you tune into the Golden Gods Awards on Wednesday, April 23! The guitar award is being renamed for Dimebag Darrell. Rex Brown is nominated for the “Paul Gray Best Bassist” Award and is also presenting an award. Amazon.com is streaming the awards. http://amzn.to/1kXT80Q
Pantera’s COVERS FROM HELL ‘Top 10 Heavy Metal Showdown’ starts TODAY! Due to an overwhelming amount of amazing videos that were submitted, we had to randomly select 10 from our list of favorites. Now we’re turning to YOU to vote your favorite videos in the finals.
Click here to VOTE for your favorites now! Voting Ends MAy 4, 2014.
AndrewHaug.com, Australia’s first 24/7 rock and metal online radio station recently conducted the following interview with Rex:
Nev Pearce of Australia’s “Rabid Noise” podcast recently conducted an interview with Rex:
By Rick Florino
Far Beyond Driven changed the face of heavy metal. It skyrocketed to the top of the Billboard Top 200 without the band sacrificing its patented intensity. In fact, it trumped both Vulgar Display of Power and Cowboys From Hell in terms of being visceral. It’s uncompromising, unmitigated, and unique to this day. The 20th anniversary addition of this earth-shaking album is out now, and it includes Far Beyond Bootleg – Live From Donington ’94—a recording of their legendary Donington performance.
Given the album’s gravity and importance, ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino spoke to Philip Anselmo of Pantera about the record and so much more.
Far Beyond Driven feels like Pantera at its purest or most unbridled. In some ways, this is the rawest spirit of the band.
That’s an interesting way to put it. It’s hard for me not to endorse the way you put it, but it’s also hard for me to endorse it. I think, at that time, we were all very much on the same page, so to speak. Let me side step really quickly and just remind you. Pantera had a lot of success before I was in the band. When I first joined the band, I was singing fucking tracks on Power Metal after two weeks of being with them. Then, we wrote Cowboys from Hell all throughout the rest of 1987 and 1988. We had been playing those songs live. We had been through a lot up to the point as far as personalities go and getting to know each other. Becoming a trusted member and true singer for this band was a process to where I didn’t have the rest of the band peaking over my shoulder like, “What are you writing about?” By the time I got to Far Beyond Driven, it was, “I’m going to write what the fuck I’m going to write”. So, I was very comfortable at the time. I guess the rest of the guys were like, “Leave Phil alone. Let him do his job” [Laughs]. It felt so fucking natural.
Were those Far Beyond Driven sessions particularly intense?
Well, I knew that’s what I wanted. There was a lot of speculation out there about what type of record we were going to make. I definitely had a chip on my fucking shoulder because there was no way in hell I was going to go the fucking commercial route. At the time, I think we were very aware of other heavy metal bands that had found a little bit of fame and taken that “commercial route”, so to speak, with their music. I very much instilled that there was no fucking way I was doing that into the other guys. I think they were on board quite a bit. It’s like when you have a favorite band, you follow their entire career, you wait anxiously to buy their new record, you open up it, you put it on, and it’s a letdown. That’s a shitty feeling. We knew what our fan base wanted. We were very focused on delivering what our fan base had come to know and come to know of us. A lot of people like to say we did things in reverse. Meaning, we didn’t start out this heavy fucking band and get more commercialized. It was kind of the other way around. That was the main focus there. When I laid my vocals on that fucking record, I wanted people to feel the fucking spit on their faces coming out of the speakers [Laughs]. I meant every fucking second.
What was inspiring you back then in 1993?
I had always followed the sport of boxing. In 1993 and 1994, I was probably in the midst of the Evander Holyfield reign of boxing, the heavyweights, and his battles with Lennox Lewis, Riddick Bowe, and all of these fucking fighters. Aside from boxing and horror flicks, it was always music. At that point in time, I had gone through about my third phase of jamming a lot slower stuff. It was a Sabbath phase, so to speak. Also, it was Black Flag—the My War and Slip It In era when they did more slow, droning, ugly-sounding tunes instead of hardcore anthems. That was very effective and influential. Also, at that time, Morbid Angel really brought me back to death metal. To me, that was a great revelation as far as getting back into faster music, more modern faster music, and shit like that. I think I got a little bored with thousands of thrash bands trying to emulate Slayer. Morbid Angel stuck out because they were doing different things with riffs and ideas. Not to mention, Pete Sandoval was extremely innovative. Trey Azagthoth was also very innovative. I was listening to a lot of different music whether it was Witchfinder General or Morbid Angel. Then, there was Suffocation’s Effigy of the Forgotten record. If you put things into context, 1994 was about five or six years removed what I consider the first wave of black metal as well. Bands like Sodom and Bathory were not called black metal bands when they first came out. To me, the true genre of black metal started in Norway and Finland. I was very much into a handful of those bands. Other than that, I loved the attitude of black metal. I loved the intensity of certain death metal back then. With hardcore, it was Victim in Pain by Agnostic Front. That’s still my favorite record they ever did. Also, Poison Idea’s Pick Your King record was really balls-out, one-take hardcore that fucking delivered. I’m a frigging music nerd, dude! I wear that shit on my sleeve. I think everybody knows that. Any influence I could fucking take from this, whether it be cupping the mic for effect like Frank from Suffocation did or absolute disdain for over-pronunciation in the vein of Mike Williams from Eyehategod or Seth Putnam from Anal Cunt, all of that shit was an influence on me.
When was the moment the whole vision of Far Beyond Driven crystallized for you?
Well, ever since I joined the band, it was recognized that one of my strongpoints, for sure, was not just song structure, but the way an album flows. In other words, that’s synchronizing songs as far as which one would go first, second, third, fourth, and so on. I always need to see what we have before I put them in order. I had to wait and see exactly what we had. You’ve got to take into consideration that “Planet Caravan” fell from out of nowhere. We had originally recorded that for a Black Sabbath cover record. Through label politics, of course we couldn’t be a part of that record. We were sitting on top of “Planet Caravan”. I thought it would be ironic to end such a blazing record with something that, to me, people would think would be the last song Pantera would ever cover. Considering there are so many heavy Black Sabbath songs out there, we would pick that one. I just knew the musicianship in Pantera. These guys were the most fucking talented band I’ve ever been around and talented group I’ve ever worked with in in my life. They could play anything. When they took an influence and made it their own, it was a special fucking thing man. I had to consider that shit, “Are we really going to put this song on there? Is this the right thing to do? Is this the wrong thing to do?” At the end of the day, I’m happy as shit with the tracking and how the record flows. Once again, that’s a strongpoint for me. I guess that was a first round knockout right there. I felt good about it then. I still feel good about it.
How did “Use My Third Arm” come together?
I know the middle breakdown part was Rex Brown’s riff. It was part of a song called “Piss” at one time. I did always like that riff because it had a certain Black Sabbath flavor to it. I think there were instances where Vinnie Paul would come up with drum patterns and we would all fall in accordingly. “Use My Third Arm” sort of reminds me of how a song like “Primal Concrete Sledge” started out. Here’s Vince playing this massive percussive part. Dimebag Darrell is looking at me, and I’m looking at him like, “Fuck man, let’s do something. This thing kicks ass. Where’s the riff?” [Laughs] Dimebag and Rex would fall in accordingly. We’d get to start shaping the song up and putting into a structure that made sense and was best for the song. It was really exciting adding Rex’s riff. There are several riffs on Far Beyond Driven that we’d had for a very long time. At the time of writing previous to the album, they weren’t right. Case in point would be the breakdown on “Slaughtered”. There’s a very syncopated riff on that song. Dimebag had that riff for five or six years. We tried it several fucking ways and not until this particular record did it really mesh and we found the correct groove to us. “Use My Third Arm” was one of those kinds of songs. The riffs we had were there, but they didn’t come to usable fruition until this album. Once again, it shows you where our minds were. We also got to use riffs that were there but not applied correctly, so to speak, until we did Far Beyond Driven.
Did you ever play “Throes of Rejection” live?
You know we may have done it a couple of times. One thing we always did was use the final riff of that particular song at the end of one of our other songs live because we know that riff was the money shot for sure. In a way, we’d use pieces of it. Normally, it was that outro riff on “Throes of Rejection”.
What song represents the record’s spirit the most for you?
There are two songs for me. One of them really sums up what Pantera was about. That would be “Becoming”. Darrell had found this new noisy ass fucking pedal, and he came up with this heaving monstrous fucking riff using this pedal. I loved it because it was screechy, fucked up, and original-sounding—and ugly at the same time. Also the drum beat and the kick drum patterns to that song are fucking outrageous. The riff is heavy and very Pantera to the max, and it also has the huge chorus. That song embodies the spirit of Pantera very well. Actually, a very interesting song is the first one we wrote for it. Strangely enough, that would be “25 Years”. That began with my infatuation with The Melvins and their interpretation of The Melvins—playing things drone-y, slower, and unpredictably. That song itself is so different for us in a way because of its elongated intro and almost a perfect Pantera piece. The verses are so signature fucking Pantera it’s ridiculous. I’m proud of both of those songs as far as sticking out. You can’t take anything from “Strength Beyond Strength” or “I’m Broken” either because they have their points of magic as well.
Were you working on Far Beyond Driven during those early Down demo sessions? Wasn’t it the same era?
It was, of course. We did the first Down demo in 1991. We did the second in 1992. Shortly after Far Beyond Driven, we released the full-length in 1995. I was in several bands at that time, but Down was really the second most important band in my life back then. I was doing both bands. To me, that’s apples and oranges though. Pantera had its own sound. Down had its own sound. I was doing different things with both bands to where I felt a more aggressive approach was more appropriate for Pantera. With Down, I felt I should sing a little bit more because of the style of it. Whether it be the Black Sabbath influence or the St. Vitus influence, there had to be some sort of melody there. With Pantera, don’t get me wrong, I had this way of screaming but still in its own strange key to where it did come up and, as a result ,was very hook-y and had its own oddball melody. I always made sure that was the case. Yeah, you’re correct. I was going back and forth. Make no mistake, Pantera was the priority in 1994.
Learn the most popular Pantera songs as well as new material from Kill Devil Hill at JamPlay. Learn from the man himself, Rex Brown! Rex discusses each song and shares stories about the songwriting and recording process. He also describes what they are like to ROCK live! Check out these songs, as well as Rex Brown’s full Artist series where Rex goes over his much sought after tone and picking style.
For access to ALL of Rex’s lessons at JamPlay, signup using coupon code rex50 for 50% off your first month: http://www.jamplay.com/youtube8
Taken from http://www.seymourduncan.com
Grady Champion was Dimebag Darrell’s guitar tech for 13 years, and he was by Dime’s side as he found and continued to refine his tone, from Pantera through to Damageplan, across countless gigs on stages all over the world. Towards the end of his life Dime had been using his signature Seymour Duncan Dimebucker pickup, but Grady tells us that Dime was also a fan of the ’59 Model, using the bridge version of the ’59 in the neck position of his guitars. In between teching for bands like Incubus and Blondie, Grady took some time out to have a chat about how pickups fit into Dime’s tone and what it was like to work with one of the most unforgettable metal guitarists ever.
When did Seymour Duncan pickups first figure into Dime’s rig?
Dimebag SetI don’t know an exact time when Duncan entered the picture. We changed pickups SO frequently, tried new combinations almost weekly sometimes. We tried everything, as you know, the Bill Lawrence was mainstay in the bridge for most of the years. I do remember he wanted a neck pickup with a little more bite and gain, so we tried the bridge ’59. He was always trying to squeeze ‘a little more gain’ out of things. I remember when you guys sent the Dimebucker prototypes out. We had three, maybe four. If I left the last model in it, don’t remember. I still have them. What he asked me to do was, just put a different pickup in the ‘Cowboys’ guitar every night until we went through them. He would say which one he liked best after that. In my hindsight of an opinion, after a few drinks and an hour and a half of eight 4×12′s blowing your head off, his hearing wasn’t too good! I think that is why that pickup screams so much!
Seymour Duncan Dimebag Darrell Dimebucker prototypes
Original Dimebucker prototypes.
Photo: Grady Champion
How would you describe the relationship between the Dimebucker and the ’59 bridge model? What were the qualities that made them work together?
As far as the relationship between the two, for me it’s simple: he always enjoyed everything to be ‘hot.’ Nigel had nothing on Dime: if he wanted 11, Dime needed 15. The ’59 has an edge on it for the bluesy neck position, and the Dimebucker has such an attack with it that cuts through.
It seems there were lots of little customizations on Dime’s guitars – the grip on the volume knob, the tape on the neck pickup, stuff like that. It sounds like he took an extremely active approach to his personal gear…
I did a lot of little customizations for him. The knobs I did with a soldering iron tip, disconnected tone knob, put tape along the neck pickup so no strings would get caught underneath, put foam in between the back plate and springs, and a little piece of foam behind the nut as well. Also, I scratched his .88 Tortex picks with a dart for grip. We worked very close together for many years. He always told me what he wanted and I did my best to accommodate him.
There are a lot of myths, rumours and unconfirmed theories about guitar in general, especially when people get to sharing wrong information online. What’s something that would surprise people about Dime’s guitar playing or his approach to gear, or that you feel has been misreported over the years?
Modified volume knobs on Dimebag’s original ‘Concrete Sledge’ Dean ML.
I get a lot of questions and requests from people wanting to know everything about Dime’s rig and settings and things. They can have all the info they want and NEVER sound like him because they can’t have his hands! HE was the magical formula, everything else were basically good ole tools for the job. His action on his guitars weren’t shredder low, he LIKED to be able to get his fingers under some notes. The gain was amazingly touchy, you simply could not stand in front of his rig with his guitar on and open the volume knob all the way without it feeding back.
We often hear stories of people like Steve Lukather, Nuno Bettencourt and Dweezil Zappa playing through EVH’s personal guitar rig and being disappointed to realise that it didn’t make them sound like Eddie. Was there ever a time when someone played through Dime’s rig and it got away from them?
I can remember Scott Ian grabbing and saying “Dude, there’s so much gain!” Can’t remember specifically anyone being disappointed. On the flip side of this, every guitar Dime played had to be sturdy and stable. He was a beast on them. Case in point, Pantera/Anthrax tour: Anthrax’s guitar player at the time, Paul Crook, gave Dime his guitar to play a song on. Paul is a great player, mucho finesse, total opposite setup from Dimes guitars. Dime grabbed it, immediately did a whammy dive and pulled the whole floyd off the body! Haha! He looked a Paul and said “Sorry I jacked your rig up dude!”
Any last thoughts you’d like to leave us with?
He was a master, best friend and big brother to me and I think of him a hundred times a day…
Pantera’s Far Beyond Driven 20th Anniversary Edition debuted at #3 on the Top Catalog Album charts & #63 on the Billboard Top 200 .
Thanks very much to the 6,048 fans who purchased it! Not too shabby for a record that is 20 years old & has already sold 1.5 million copies. If you haven’t picked it up yet, look to get a physical copy or download from this link: http://smarturl.it/panterafbd or here from iTunes: http://bit.ly/1dsc4nV
From Hornsuprocks.com: Over the weekend, in celebration of the re-release of ‘Far Beyond Driven’ (out now via Rhino Entertainment), our friends from the “Heavy Metal Mecca”, DUFF’s Brooklyn, hosted the OFFICIAL ‘Far Beyond Driven’ anniversary party! We were there documenting the entire event with our camera crew, and dressed our video recap with some exclusive interviews with all of the surviving members of the band: Philip H. Anselmo, Vinnie Paul and Rex Brown!
Vinnie will be on “That Metal Show”, streams of the new HELLYAH songs, and the new HELLYEAH webisode #3.
TUNE IN ALERT! Don’t miss VP on That Metal Show this Saturday night! Watch it on VH1 Classic at 11/10C! Sneak peek here: http://on.vh1.com/sneak1311
Stream the two new HELLYEAH songs:
HELLYEAH: “Blood for Blood” Webisode #3
Down has unleashed the first song off of the upcoming Down IV Part 2. The song is called “We Knew Him Well” and the Ep comes out on on May 13.
Contest! Upload your picture onto the FBD album cover using our app, and you could win a special Pantera guitar and autographed cd!
Show the world your best “Drilled” mug using the Far Beyond Driven Photo App, and you could win a Dimebag Pantera Far Beyond Driven ML from Dean Guitars & a Far Beyond Driven 20th Anniversary 2CD set autographed by Philip H Anselmo!
Here’s how to enter:
1. Create your photo using the photo app.
2. Upload your photo onto Pantera’s Facebook page (click here).
3. We’ll randomly select ONE winner on April 11th to receive their prize combo.
Contest ends April 10th, 11:59PM EST!
What are you waiting for! Go to the app page here: http://pantera.com/drilledbypantera/