Last June, the metal world was jolted by the sudden death of legendary Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul. His presence as a musician and metal ambassador was immeasurable, and one band in particular who felt his impact first-hand was Disturbed.
We sat down recently with David Draiman to discuss the band’s latest album, Evolution, and during the video interview (watch above), the conversation turned to Vinnie Paul, and the support that the drummer and his brother, Dimebag Darrell, showed Disturbed when they were first starting to break.
“As far musically, when I first joined Disturbed, stylistically they were very much like Pantera,” Draiman told us. “Mike [Wengren], our drummer, his idol — one of the reasons he started drumming — was Vinnie.”
He continued, “As we got to know the guys from Pantera, which really happened during our first Ozzfest … they always were the warmest people, Vinnie and Dime both, Rex [Brown], as well. Phil [Anselmo] wasn’t quite in the best state at that point… but Vinnie and Dime were always so welcoming. They basically taught us that that was important. To be inclusive with other bands, and not make it seem as if you’re above them.”
“Vinnie was the guy who first fell in love with Disturbed from the band,” added Draiman. “Dime didn’t get it originally, to be perfectly honest … They came out to a show the very first date on our second Ozzfest — they flew out to Chicago just to come out. They weren’t on the bill. And that was the day we headlined the second stage in Chicago where 25,000 people came to an area that can only accommodate 10,000, and Sharon Osbourne called us and said, ‘We gotta move you to the main stage.’ They witnessed that, and it was an incredible moment. And for Vinnie and Dime to be a part of it, it was incredible.
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Draiman went on to talk about a time when Vinnie invited him and Wengren to his home in Dallas for a couple days of drinking and partying, remarking that they actually outdrank Vinnie and Dime, “miraculously”.
He concluded, “We developed an amazing camaraderie and friendship over the years, and I miss [Vinnie] so much. Pantera, and Vinnie in particular, were more a part of the beginnings of Disturbed than people realize. His loss is going to be felt by the community for generations to come.”
Watch our video interview with David Draiman above to see his full thoughts on Vinnie Paul and Pantera.