Enlarge Mario Duplantier via Wikimedia Commons

Gojira Drummer Mario Duplantier on Pantera Reunion: “I’m Just Happy When I See Pantera”


As a metal musician, Mario Duplantier, drummer for groove giants Gojira, was contractually obligated to weigh in on the upcoming Pantera reunion, which will see singer Phil Anselmo and bassist Rex Brown join forces with Zakk Wylde and Charlie Benante for a few festival dates down in South America and Mexico, as well as an unspecified number of other tour dates. Talking with El Expreso Del Rock ( transcription via Blabbermouth), Duplantier said:

“It’s great. I mean, what can I tell? I don’t know what to think about it. I’m just happy when I see Pantera. When I just see the logo, I’m just excited. Phil Anselmo is the best singer ever. So I cannot wait. And it’s good because [Anselmo and Brown] brought some friends — good friends [to play with them]. And why not? They are going to play Pantera, and everybody’s going to lose it. And that’s it. It’s fantastic. I have no criticism.”

In the interview, Duplantier also expressed his love for late Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul‘s drumming.

 “I met—not Dimebag, but Vinnie Paul a few times. Vinnie was a legend. He’s a drum hero—he’s one of my drum heroes—so no one can replace him. But I think it’s great to have just the logo of Pantera and the vibe around Pantera coming back. It’s great. I’m happy.”

Duplantier’s comments echo a similar sentiment to Dave “Snake” Sabo, guitarist for hair metal staples Skid Row, who said he views it as a celebration of Pantera’s legacy, rather than a full-blown reunion.

“I will say this: in no way is it a reunion at all, obviously. This is a celebration of the legacy of a band that changed music, heavy music. And that’s how I believe everybody is treating it. And for me as a fan, I can’t wait to witness it, because those songs are amazing, as was the band. So to be able to go out and turn new people on to the machine that was Pantera, the music that they created, and to celebrate the legacy of the band and to celebrate the lives of Vinnie and Dime, I think everything is right with that. And to be do it in a way — which I know they will — to do it in a way that is nothing but deeply respectful… And I think it’s something, too, that gives people a reminder just how influential they were as a band and how influential both Dime and Vinnie were as musicians and songwriters.

“There’s a lot to digest here, I guess. But really, the thing is that… It’s really simple. It is a celebration of Pantera’s music and Pantera’s history with really great musicians.”

Reunion, celebration or cash grab, the Pantera live appearances are likely to be the year’s biggest metal story. And we don’t even have dates yet!

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