In a new interview with Ultimate-Guitar.com, former MACHINE HEAD and current VIO-LENCE guitarist Phil Demmel has once again addressed the online rumors about him joining the surviving members of PANTERA — singer Phil Anselmo and bassist Rex Brown – alongside Zakk Wylde and ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante.
He said: “Man, I get asked that from time to time, and somebody asked me: ‘You and Zakk would join Rex and Phil…’ First of all – if you’ve got Zakk you definitely don’t need me.
“And there are so many people that play the Dime stuff better than me that I would have to step down out of respect for everybody else because I know that somebody would be able to do it way better justice than I would. So I would respectfully decline the offer, for sure. [Laughs]”
In a last year’s interview with Chile’s Humo Negro, Phil Anselmo was asked if he would ever consider getting together with Rex Brown to perform PANTERA classics at a show.
“I’m open for anything,” he responded. “And Rex and I, we are in touch and we talk. We’re friends and everything’s cool. So, I keep an open mind – I keep an open mind. We’ll see in the future.”
Speaking about the possibility of a hypothetical PANTERA tribute tour with Rex on bass and Zakk Wylde on a guitar filling in for the late “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, he said: “Well, Zakk is a busy man,” he said. “He does his own band, he does stuff with Ozzy and all that stuff.
“We spoke about it maybe one time,” he continued. “And I think everybody – everybody – is… I guess they’re like me. Keep an open mind about it. We’ll see.
“But I know from all the hard work with THE ILLEGALS here to make those songs right, all of us, we would have to take time off and really practice together and get everything perfect. So it’s a lot of work. And I’m doing a lot of bands, man, right now. [But] if everything was lined up, I would do it – sure. F*ck yeah! Why not?”
Vinnie Paul and Dimebag co-founded PANTERA. When PANTERA broke up in 2003, they formed DAMAGEPLAN. On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was shot and killed onstage by Nathan Gale. He was 38 years old.
On June 22, 2018, Vinnie Paul died at his Las Vegas, Nevada home, at the age of 54. It was later revealed that Abbott had died from a “dilated cardiomyopathy and coronary artery disease.”