Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian, one of the founding fathers of thrash metal, recently described what it was like when he met Dimebag Darrell, describing the shredder Pantera as one of his “heroes”. In the interview, Ian also explains why he thinks Pantera’s legacy will only continue to grow, despite the band splitting up nearly twenty years ago.
Speaking in an interview with Revolver, Scott Ian opened up about how Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell inspired him and what the Texas shredder was really like on a personal level. Naming the guitarist as his personal hero, despite Pantera’s emergence on the metal scene after Anthrax, Ian says it was the guitarist’s ability to “give people what they wanted” that allowed the band to gain popularity. notoriety throughout the 1990s.
“He was everything you wanted him to be, and more,” he explains. “We met in 86; Pantera opened for us at a club in Houston. We were nobody back then [but] he would give people what they wanted. I think people have an expectation, based on albums and home videos, [of] who was Darrell…and he was 100% that guy! When he was there, he never let anyone down. Dime was truly one of a kind…”
The Anthrax guitarist continues, claiming that it was Dimebag Darrell’s powerful live performances that made him so beloved by fans and fellow performing artists:
“He was just a big, big human, he really did everything for all the right reasons. If it made him smile, that’s all that mattered.
“Any of the trappings of being in a successful band, or any of that bullshit – none of that mattered to him. Putting that guitar on, and whether it was 30 or 30,000 people, he didn’t care. For him, it was just about playing guitar in his band, and how awesome it was. He really was that guy, and Vinnie too. The two brothers were such amazing people.
Elsewhere in the interview, Scott Ian explains why he thinks Pantera has continued to grow in popularity, despite the guitarist’s death nearly two decades ago.
Looking back on the band’s ever-expanding legacy, the guitarist says the pioneers of groove metal are more important than ever, in large part because of the impact they had on musicians of all genres:
“Every week there are thousands of new kids coming out and buying these records and buying the t-shirts [and] that’s what he deserves. The impact they had on the music between 1990 and 2002… there’s no way to quantify it. Every band that exists and every subgenre of metal, be it deathcore or metalcore, is thanks to Pantera.
He continues, reminiscing about the band’s heyday in the 1990s, “There are hundreds of bands making records and having huge success that wouldn’t exist without what Pantera did in the 90s. It’s not like people try to hide it. Why would you? […] If Darrell was your influence, you’d want to wear him on your sleeve. What a shining moment for music in the 90s as they ruled the world.
Find the full interview with Scott Ian on Revolver.