Metal Mark of SkullsNBones.com recently conducted an interview with former PANTERA/DOWN and current KILL DEVIL HILL bassist Rex Brown. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
SkullsNBones.com: I can’t let this opportunity pass without mentioning the the 20th anniversary of “Vulgar Display Of Power”. The special edition is coming out in a few weeks, the “Piss” video is out there, and all the PANTERA fans are stoked. A lot of people say that “Vulgar Display Of Power” is the best PANTERA album and it still has a major effect on the scene today. What do you think it is about that record that people connected with so much back in 1992 and still to this day?
Rex: It’s really hard to put my finger on it, but I think there was multiple reasons why it had such an effect on people. Concerning PANTERA, it was just the natural revolution of the band. Like we did most of our career, we did what we wanted, but we really showed a natural progression with “Vulgar”. Plus, there was a small window there concerning METALLICA. There was that space between “…And Justice For All” and the “black” album, and we knew we had material to keep the people heavy. Honestly, that record was such a joy to be a part of, man. Every morning I would wake up and be like, “Goddamn, I can’t wait to get back to work on this material.” The way it flowed out of us still surprises me to this day. We had just played 250 shows the previous year and there are a ton of difficult parts to that record, but it just came together so easily. We all clicked so well putting it together, and people really dug it from the get-go. I feel the same way talking about that time in my life like I feel today with KILL DEVIL HILL. Everything is just so positive and it comes together much easier that way.
SkullsNBones.com: I was about to say that you’re basically saying you have the same feeling right now with KILL DEVIL HILL that you did back with PANTERA. That’s fucking amazing, man. It’s come full circle, I guess!
Rex: You know what’s crazy about the whole thing is the first time that I met Vinny [Appice; KILL DEVIL HILL drummer who was previously a member of BLACK SABBATH, DIO and HEAVEN HELL] was at the 1992 Monsters Of Rock tour that will be released on the DVD on the “Vulgar Display Of Power” special edition. That was the first time I met [Ronnie James] Dio, too. I remember PANTERA went on and did our thing, and then it was someone like WARRANT or something and then BLACK SABBATH. You got to remember what year it was, but it was just unfair for them to have WARRANT in between our two bands. [laughs] Fans were throwing bottles at them, man; it got ugly. I’ll never forget watching Vinny that night, though. I remember Phil [Anselmo, former PANTERA singer] and I just sat back behind Geezer‘s [Butler, BLACK SABBATH bassist] stack, and being blown away by his playing. Vinny is the most underrated player out there, in my opinion, but he is also a really good friend. It’s just crazy that all of these years later, we are together again and in the same project. I’m lucky to have him as a friend and now I’m in the same band as him, ya know?! It’s insane. Life is a funny thing, man.
SkullsNBones.com: Speaking of your life, you will be releasing “Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story of Pantera” book in the fall. All we’ve really heard about this book is that it’s “starkly honest and revealing.” What can we expect? Any more details you can say?
Rex: Not really, man. We are still going through the editing process, but it’s basically my tale of the PANTERA years from my point of view. I was always the silent guy in the band. I never did interviews, so I was approached with this idea and I was down for it. I didn’t realize how much work would be involved. [Laughs] But it’s going to be cool, man. I just finished it two days ago and now I need to take a break from it for a couple of weeks. It’s just my inside story of what was going on. It leads up to the breakup, Dime‘s [former PANTERA guitarist ‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott] death, and to now. There is only four people in that band that knew what was going on, so this will just be my interpretation oo those years. I’ll say this, it probably won’t be my last book either. It’s a lot of work, though. We went through a thousand photos, stories, memories — everything, dude — so it’s an insightful view that most fans would never know of if it weren’t for the book. I think it’s got a lot of things that people don’t know and should know, and I hope the people enjoy it. We are shooting for it to be released on November 27th through Da Capo Press, but so many thing can happen, so we’ll see. It’s a good read, for sure.
SkullsNBones.com: Concerning your life, you’ve been in some of the biggest bands to walk this planet, you’re known all over the world, and you’re still kicking ass today. What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned from your music journey so far?
Rex: Perseverance. Patience. Brotherhood. Respect. Everything man. A lot of good things come out of it if you treat people the right way. I think that goes for life as well. I wouldn’t be here where I am today without learning and adapting to those lessons. It’s been a journey for sure, and now another new one begins with KILL DEVIL HILL.
Read the entire interview from SkullsNBones.com.