Although a far cry from what was to come, their ‘80s releases made a huge splash in their native state, and showed off the prodigious skills of guitarist Dimebag Darrell - then Diamond Darrell - in particular, on gems such as ‘All Over Tonight’, and ‘Hot and Heavy’.
Talking about those formative years, Rex said; “this is like going back and looking at your old high school notebooks and going; “look at how far you’ve come in between”.
Pointing to band’s early work ethic, he admitted that although they worked hard, he did not expect that the albums would still be being talked about today: “I will say this; a lot of bands didn’t have the opportunity at 17 years old to fuckin’ put a record out. We just happened to do it, and we paid for every fuckin’ lick of it; none of it was given to us. We paid for the studio time, we paid for the pressing of the record, and we never thought that that would go anywhere, nationally, globally, so it’s almost like, after the fact. But we really learned how to write a song, and be a band”.
Dismissing the first three albums, Brown said it was with the addition of Anselmo that the Pantera story really began; “The old singer? Shit, it was going nowhere, really quick. He just was not on the same wavelength as the three of us. The dude’s never had a job in his life. I see him shootin’ his mouth off in some of these magazines, and it’s like; “dude, you were in the band for fuckin’ four years”, you know what I’m saying? “Now you’re wanting claim to fame, 35 years later? Sorry, pal, you missed the boat!” So I don’t want to give any credit where it’s fuckin’ undue, you know? Once we got Philip in the band it developed into something else, and that was the Pantera that we know now, and that’s why we never talk about those old records”.
Looking back, the Down co-founder conceded; “hey look, it’s great to go back memory lane, and all that kind of stuff, but those are the farthest things that I wake up for in the first of the morning. “Oh, remember that one tune ‘Nothing On (But The Radio)’, and the singer?” No! I mean, I hate fucking songs like that, but it was a growing process, and now, because the things are out, and they’ve been bootleged a hundred thousand times, people consider it a part of our history. It’s not. Unless Philip’s singing on it, it’s not Pantera. That’s the way I look at it”.
When asked outright to clarify that he had absolutely no desire to ever see those records reissued, officially, Rex was emphatic; “God no, god no! The brothers were against that, and I’m against it, and that’s just it. Period. It ain’t coming out”.
‘Reinventing The Steel’ 20th Anniversary edition was released on 8th January 2021, on digital, CD and as a double-LP set on silver vinyl featuring the new Terry Date mix on one album, plus eight rare bonus tracks making their vinyl debut on the other. Limited to 5,000 copies, the 180-gram audiophile vinyl comes in an embossed, foil jacket.
Read the full interview on eonmusic from Monday 8th February 2021.