April , 1985
By Leslie Thomas
Pantera Poised for Metal Madness
Pantera was formed in the summer of 1981. Brothers Vince and Darrell Abbott (on drums and guitar) had been jamming together in their garage for nearly two years (at the astounding ages of 12 and 14 respectively) and decided to put together their own act to see what would happen. After some initial band problems, the Abbott brothers joined forces with vocalist Terry Glaze and bassist Rex Rocker. The band Pantera was off for heavy metal paradise. The subsequent years have seen Diamond Dave (acknowledged as one of the premier guitarists in the state though he's only 19 years old) Vinnie Paul, Terrence Lee and Rex Rocker carve a name out for Pantera whose music is equal to their enormous fan appeal throughout North Texas.
JAM: Who are your ten favorite all-time bands?
Darrell Abbott - Ozzy with Randy Rhoads, the Scorpions, Van Halen, Motley Crue, Metallica, Judas Priest, Kiss, Iron Maiden, Krokus and Dio.
JAM: Where did the name of the second LP, Projects in the Jungle, come from?
We all felt that the world out there is definitely a 'jungle' and that every experience in life is some kind of project in that jungle. Therefore the name.
JAM: How did Projects come together?
Several musical ideas were left over from our first LP, Metal Magic, and newer, hotter ideas kept coming up at each and every jam session. By the time we got to the studio to begin laying down tracks for Projects, we had approximately half the album ready to go. The other half were written is the studio.
JAM: Where do the ideas for you songs come from?
Our first album contained some songs which were individual efforts. Since that time, Pantera has been putting things together as a group. We like it much better that way. Everybody contributes words, music, licks, ideas, etc. It's mostly a matter of getting together and jamming on different musical ideas until something materializes that kicks everybody's ass. We play it for time and if it continues to have that certain feeling, we record it. If it comes off on tape it becomes part of the LP, if not, there are always plenty of other ideas to work on.
JAM: Who are Diamond Darrell's guitar influences?
Vinnie Vincent, Michael Schenker, Mathias Jabs, Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, Yngwie Malmsteeen.
JAM: What five albums does Darrel Abbott consider a must for guitar players?
Diary of a Madman, Blizzard of Ozz, No Parole for Rock and Roll plus Van Halen’s first two albums.
JAM: What equipment do you use or recommend?
The list is given on the back of the Projects In The Jungle album. It literally changes daily with all the new technology that's developing in the area of music.
JAM: What magazines have you appeared in?
Metal Rendezvous, Metal Forces, Crucible, Hit Parader, Kerrang!, Metal K.O., Aardshock, JAM of course, and many, many more.
JAM: Will Pantera remained Texas based?
We will remain based in Texas until we have gained enough exposure to begin touring and are signed by a major label. A change of base will only occur as business dictates. Today it's Texas, tomorrow it could be New York or L.A.
JAM: How difficult is it to break into overseas markets?
It has really been quite easy for this band. Those people over there are ‘metal heads’ for sure. We were contacted by several major record distributors whose primary markets were overseas as well as many heavy metal magazines. These two factors have provided us with several fascinating connections in the overseas markets.
JAM: Have you come anywhere near to fulfilling any of your goals?
Let me put it to you this way. We have certainly come a long way since day one. We feel like Pantera is as solid in every capacity as any of the major metal acts today. We are pleased with the material we have done to date. We also feel It gets better every time we write something new. This band is striving to totally kick everybody's ass musically, while maintaining some sense of credibility. The Projects album has been on the streets approximately six months now. It is gratifying to know that every review in print has been very, very favorable. We have sold over 30,000 copies worldwide and the record seems to be picking up momentum daily. We have recently been in the studio and laid down the tracks for the new album which should be out later this summer. I can assure you it's going to be a barnburner. Therefore, we are quite confident about the future of Pantera.
JAM: What sort of support do you have throughout America?
We are very well known and play to SRO crowds in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and New Mexico. We have received fantastic support through the Pantera fan club literally from every state in the union, as well as overseas, providing once again that heavy metal rules!
JAM: What are your plans for the future?
Our two main interests are a major label deal and touring. Many labels have expressed an interest in the band, but we have not put the right deal to bed just yet. We have opened for several national and international acts including Accept, Fastway, Dokken, NightRanger, Pat Travers and Nazareth. But most of all, we look forward to touring and getting to meet metal bangers head on.