Former PANTERA Bassist: ‘If DIMEBAG Was Alive, I Believe We Would Still Be Jamming Together’

Metal Mark of recently conducted an interview with former PANTERA and DOWN and current KILL DEVIL HILL bassist Rex Brown about Rex‘s memoir, “Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story Of Pantera”. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. For starters, you were always considered the “quiet” member of PANTERA, and you really hold nothing back in the new book. Was it challenging or weird for you to let people in more than you ever have before?

Rex: It was more cathartic for me than anything else. It was a lot harder than I expected, but I think it turned out great. Writing a book ain’t easy, man. [laughs] Trying to get all those words in, all the stories in, and everything else in 320 pages was really difficult. It could have been over 900 pages, but we made sure it wasn’t, ya know. As for it being weird, I would never say it was weird, because I had a story to tell, and it’s finally coming out for everyone next week. For me as a PANTERA fan, reading about where you were the moment you heard about [the death of PANTERA guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott] and the days after, it was tough to get through. How hard was it for you to go back to those memories and sort of relive them for this book?

Rex: Bro, the word cathartic just keeps coming up for me. Having to rewrite this thing so many times, it was good, but at times it was really sad. I really wanted to put my experience out there, because I’ve heard so many others, so now people know my experience with hearing the news as well. It’s still devastating to think about, but I think we all feel that way. It was definitely tough, though, man; I won’t lie. As you mention Dime, the parts in the book about all of you growing up together is really an awesome read. From the classrooms to the jam sessions, it’s really cool to learn. Of course, no one could have imagined how huge PANTERA would become, but it seemed right from the beginning that you knew that this was going to be something good.

Rex: Yes and no. We were four completely different individuals, even in the beginning, but we had that drive to be the best we possibly could. We just went through a crazy ride that took us to the top and it was unreal at times. It wasn’t always good and fun, but in the end, you mention PANTERA and the amount of respect that name brings is something I’m sure we are all super proud of still to this day. As you know, with every musician’s book, there will be those people who say it’s only your side of things and it may not be completely accurate. How do you respond to those who say that?

Rex: It’s all true, man. I didn’t fabricate anything. I threw in entertaining stories, to keep the reader involved, but it’s all true. Everyone that has read it can clearly feel the honesty, and that was important to me. The bottom line was if I was happy with it, and I am, so people can respond how they choose. I’m very proud of this book. This is just my story, man. I didn’t write it for money or to piss people off; it’s just me telling the story from my eyes, because I lived it. There were only four of us who knew what went on, and this is my story. I can’t stress that enough. Throughout all the bad things that may have happened during those years, it does not take away that you four guys lived a dream that only a few people can say they have. Do you have any regrets looking back on those years?

Rex: I totally agree, man. We were very fucking lucky, we were very fucking determined, and I have absolutely no regrets. The only regret is what happened to Dime, but I had no control over that. It’s a shame that some fucking deranged idiot decided to do that to someone so special in this world. It’s a bigger shame that we will never know what might have happened. As I said in the book, if Dime was alive, I believe we would still be jamming together. To put it plain and simple, I have no fucking regrets. You can always look back and say we could have done things differently, but that’s life in general. You live and you learn, ya know.

Read the entire interview from