While Pantera - Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown, along Zakk Wylde and Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante - have been, by most accounts, crushing it on their just-launched tour, there have still been plenty of detractors that have criticized the foursome for uniting under the Pantera banner without founding guitarist Dimebag Darrell and his brother, founding drummer Vinnie Paul, who passed away in 2004 and 2018, respectively.
And while Wylde and Benante have from the get-go been adamant about the fact that this is a tribute to the band's music and legacy, rather than a full-on reunion, in a new interview on Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk, Benante addressed the critics, calling such comments "disrespectful to both Darrell and Vinnie."
"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."