Pantera: Re-Firing The Forge Page 2
by Martin Popoff

Vinnie stresses that things were actually pretty bad during the making of the last studio album proper. Label expectations were high. Every Pantera record is platinum, and Trendkill now hovers at 875,000 pancakes sold in the U.S., a number 96% of the bands you read about can only dream about. Vinnie knows all to well the irony of bitching about such unarguable success. For me to say that that record was unsuccessful, or for anybody to say that, would be completely incorrect. It hasnt reached platinum status, but with this new record, it will. And all of them have reached that status, and its been pretty much without radio, without music television. Obviously were getting more airplay with this record at this point in time than we ever have had, and I think that is just due to the fact that heavy music is definitely coming back around, and people are really interested in it, and interested in seeing the band live and hearing them on the radio.

"But yeah, The Great Southern Trendkill was a difficult time. Like I say, it was at a time when there were a lot of different emotions from different people in the band. We had been doing this for six years straight without going home, non-stop tours. I mean we would tour for two years for Cowboys From Hell, go into the studio for four and a half weeks and made Vulgar Display Of Power, went back on tour before the record even came out, did 297 shows in one year for Far Beyond Driven. It was like non-stop, non-stop. And then '96 comes along and theres a pressure on us to do a record. We wanted to take time off, but we went ahead and did it. It was a dark record, Like I say anti-system, it was a record we wanted to make that was offensive to other people, and at times it was offensive to us, when we were making it, offensive to each other. We had a bunch of different mindsets at the same time. Whereas on this record, everybody was really focused, and it was a working unit so to speak."

The metal mania can be heard within nearly ever track. Reinventing The Steel sounds lively, no other word for it. There's a punk-ish vibe, an ear-to-the-street frenzy about it that crams in loads of activity but manages to sound relaxed at the same time. There's a contentment of, as Vinnie says, digging into the song-ness of song.

Pantera: Re-Firing The Forge Page 3