October is Metal Month at Radio.com. Throughout the month, we’ll have artist interviews as well as mini-documentaries about metal, metal fans and the birthplace of metal. And book reports: reading is fundamental, even for headbangers, and we’ll have reviews of some of the best recent metal biographies and retrospectives. Horns up!
“I’m just speaking my truth, man.”
It’s a phrase that comes up often in conversation with former Pantera and Down bassist Rex Brown. Another recurring theme: distrust of anyone who broadcasts their opinion about music. He’s never been one to talk to the media that much. As he tells Radio.com, “I was basically the silent guy in the band,” which wasn’t a problem, as the group’s frontman Phillip H. Anselmo, drummer Vinnie Paul and late guitarist Dimebag Darrell were never at a loss for words. “I was all about getting up on stage and jamming.”
Brown puts the blame of Darrell’s death at least partially on the media. As he says in the prologue to Official Truth: 101 Proof, “In my opinion the music press had been pushing all the wrong buttons with fans by constantly re-igniting the debate as to who was responsible for the breakup of Pantera… if the press had shut their f*****’ mouths and let us — the band — resolve our differences, I believe that Darrell would still be alive today.”
So, why did a guy who didn’t like to talk to the media decide to publish his memoirs? “It took about six months of me saying ‘No,’ and then I started really thinking about it. I thought, maybe it is time to tell this story now, while it’s still fresh in my mind. I wanted this to be not so much a ‘heavy metal book,’ but just a story. It’s my story, it is true. From my perspective. I was reading Keith Richards’ book, Life, at the time, which I think is brilliant. Just the way it was written, it must have taken him years to put that thing together. I would have liked to have had his advance, but I didn’t do this for the money, either. It’s about my life. It’s about my life with Pantera. Is it the official Pantera biography? By no means. This is just where I was sitting at the time.”
What song changed Rex’s life? Does he believe in God? Find out what we learned from the book at Radio.com.