Charlie Benante Says Pantera Comeback Haters Are "Disrespectful to Darrell and Vinnie" | Revolver

Charlie Benante Says Pantera Comeback Haters Are "Disrespectful to Darrell and Vinnie"

"If you don't wanna come, you don't have to come"
Charlie Benante Live Pantera 2022 1600x900, The Tinfoil Biter
Charlie Benante
photograph by The Tinfoil Biter

Since it was announced earlier this year that Pantera would be returning to the stage with a new lineup — core members Philip Anselmo and Rex Brown joined by longtime friends Charlie Benante (Anthrax) and Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society) — there's been a loud cadre of fans who've voiced their ardent disapproval. Surely, you've seen commenters claiming that a Pantera without founding brothers Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul, who died in 2004 and 2018, respectively, "isn't a real Pantera." 

In the lead-up to Pantera's first shows in over 20 years — which just took place on December 2nd and December 6th, and will continue throughout the next two years — Benante and Wylde were diplomatic about the comeback, repeatedly framing it not as a reunion, but a tribute to the music and legacy of Pantera.

But in a new interview on Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk, Benante took aim at the haters and said that such comments are "disrespectful to both Darrell and Vinnie," as well as the current iteration of Pantera. 

"This was never a reunion," said Benante, as transcribed by Blabbermouth. "How can it be a reunion without Vinnie and Dime here? Sometimes people will send me something, and I see things online, and it's so disrespectful to both Darrell and Vinnie, and it's totally disrespectful to us ,too. And it's just, like, 'Man, if you don't wanna come, you don't have to come.'

"One of the first things I said to Philip on the phone, I said, 'This, to me, is more on an emotional level than any other level.' This means a lot to me personally, to go out there and represent those guys and represent the Pantera name. And that's all I'd ever want for me. I don't care about it financially and stuff like that; this, to me, I had to do this. I didn't wanna see anybody else playing these songs but me up there."