On the latest episode of “The Bay Ragni Show,” Pete Evick, best known as Bret Michaels‘s music director and guitar player for the past 19 years, was asked to share his thoughts on PANTERA‘s recent comeback.
As previously reported, PANTERA surviving members, Philip Anselmo and Rex Brown, reformed the band with Zakk Wylde on guitar (from OZZY OSBOURNE and BLACK LABEL SOCIETY) and Charlie Benante on drums (from ANTHRAX). They will be playing at festivals all over North America, South America, Europe as well their own headline concerts.
“I think Phil‘s a douche. I think Phil‘s a douchebag,” Pete said. And Vinnie was my friend. Not an acquaintance — Vinnie was my friend.”
“Vinnie was great,” Evick added. “And Vinnie was a great producer. He understood the studio. And me and him were friends. He was great to my son.”
On new PANTERA lineup, Pete said: “I think that the world deserves to celebrate the music. I believe that the only [guitarist] that should be allowed to do it is Zakk Wylde. Charlie Benante… Maybe it could have been Mike Portnoy; maybe it could have been Mikkey Dee. There’s a handful of people… Charlie‘s great for it.
“I’m glad that people are gonna hear it, because the PANTERA stuff was… I remember when I was a kid, I was young enough that… When I heard VAN HALEN for the first time, I wasn’t blown away. As I got older and learned… Friends of mine that were maybe 10 years older than me tell this story about hearing VAN HALEN and going, ‘Holy f*ck! That doesn’t even sound like a guitar.’ But I was born in ’72. I was playing guitar by 1978, and I was only six years old. And by seven years old, I was already exposed to VAN HALEN. So I was too young to… It was just another great band. My ears were so fresh. So I loved it, and from the day I heard it to this day, they’re my favorite band. But I didn’t understand the intensity of how hard it was, because I started with it. At seven years old, I wanted to know how to play ‘Eruption.’ So I never experienced that whole thing of… I already played guitar, so I didn’t have to relearn how to play guitar. That’s what most people had to do with VAN HALEN, was relearn everything they knew. I never experienced that with [Eddie Van Halen].
“But I experienced it with PANTERA,” he added. “PANTERA is the only thing I’ve ever heard in my life that I went, ‘I don’t f*cking know how to do that.’ Don’t get me wrong — I love Steve Vai, and I can’t play like Steve Vai, but when I hear it, I know what he’s doing. I go, ‘I know what’s happening. I can figure that out if I really wanted to sit down and figure that out.’ When I heard PANTERA the first time, I went, ‘What the f*ck is that? How do you even make that sound with a guitar?’ Which has to be what all of them felt about VAN HALEN.
“So I respect what [Dimebag] did, and what they did as a team. Just like Alex [Van Halen] and Eddie, they were brothers. That chemistry between the two of them, it was the same exact thing for a different generation. It’s good that the world’s gonna hear the music. But I think that Phil‘s a douche,” Pete repeated. “And I hope he does it right. That’s all I can say, is I hope he does it right.”
When asked for his thoughts on Rex, Pete responded: “I don’t give one sh*t about that guy. [Laughs] I don’t know him. I don’t not know him. I know he the bass player. Me and Vinnie never once had a conversation about the guy. I don’t know anything about him personally. I don’t know that he did anything on bass that was mindblowing. Maybe he did; I don’t know. So I don’t have an opinion. But I’m glad that there’s multiple living members of the band. I think that I like it better that he’s there. I think if it was just Phil, I might be a lot more angry about it.”