For Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul to morph from indispensable members of the legendary, hard hitting Texas band Pantera, to the indisputable twin forces behind new band Damageplan, they had to reach down inside and find a ?NEW FOUND POWER.? The phrase became not only the new band?s mantra, but also one of the more ferocious songs on the 14-song disk. It became such a big part of the Damageplan lexicon; they blessed it as the album?s title track. ?We didn?t want to forget our mission,? says Vinnie Paul. ?We had accomplished a lot with Pantera. Always been known for straight up ass kickin?, but now we want to keep that and do some branching out, too.? Never known for mincing words, Dime puts his own ?Dime-bonics? spin on it: ?When people ask me about the spectrum of this album, I say ?what kind of fucking ass kickin? do you want?? Right in the nose? One in the gut, maybe? Or how ?bout the Chinese fuckin? torture TREATMENT? It?s all fuckin? there. This gave us the opportunity to do something fresh and diverse and bring it to our loyal and die hard fans. Why paint the same fucking picture 15 million times??
Born in Texas, Vinnie and Dime grew up in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, where they came from a very musical background. Their father, Jerry Abbott, owned and engineered a recording studio not far from their home. The brothers used to hang out down at the studio on a regular basis, where they got to see their share of Texas legends. Dime and Vinnie were also influenced by such greats as Tony Iommi, Ace Frehley, Edward Van Halen, Randy Rhodes, Tommy Aldridge, John Bonham, Alex Van Halen, and Neil Peart, just to name a few. This helped progress the ?dynamic duo? into the most influential guitarist and drummer of the 1990?s, where they have continued their groundbreaking techniques and styles into the new millennium.
On to Damageplan....
?When we first started putting this band together, we knew we were going to have to get a kick ass vocalist,? says Vinnie. Enter PAT LACHMAN former HALFORD and DIESEL MACHINE guitarist. ?We tried several people, and they just weren?t working out. Patrick was traveling to back and forth to Dallas, and during this time, he had formed a friendship with Dime. The two were hangin? out, listenin? to jams, and drinkin?, when Dime played him the new music we had been workin? on. Pat was blown away and immediately expressed interest in being part of the band, but Dimebag had the guitar already covered, so when Pat said he wanted to sing they were totally surprised.
Dimebag recalls how Lachman proved his vocal prowess. ?We gave him a track and he went back to L.A. and just killed it. He Fed Ex?d it to me and Vinnie and we put an ear to it that night...and it crushed! So we gave him a few more tracks and he kept fuckin? killin? ?em. The key was, he had that aggression, which has always been crucial to what we do, but at the same time, we love a fucking melody, and Pat can bring that too. His style is very diverse. Vinnie and I have always been about the ?Power Groove?, as well as good songwriting.?
Pat says he was very cautious, at first, stepping up to the plate with two members of a group that he had grown up with. ?At first it was a little intimidating, but the personal relationship I had with Dime relaxed me a little bit. There was also that mutual respect on a professional level. I think with good singers, your musical roots have to be there, and the fact that I played guitar also helped. They knew I was coming from solid ground.? Patrick?s musical influences are very broad, from Pink Floyd to Meshuggah. Born in Portland, Oregon, he started playing guitar and writing songs at the age of twelve. When he was twenty years old, he relocated to L.A., where in addition to his work in Diesel Machine, he wrote and recorded 3 albums with Rob Halford, and also collaborated with Tommy Victor. Now he finds himself in Texas where he has found his true calling... as the voice of Damageplan.
New Found Power is indeed a fright-gallery of scorching, molten hard rock masterpieces, from the crushing eye-opener ?Wake Up,? to the thankfully self-explanatory ?Fuck You? - ?the people who think that song is about them know who they are,? says the ever-quotable Dimebag - to the relentless crank of ?Blunt Force Trauma.? But the boys do expand their musical palette. You can hear the difference, even in the gradations of dynamics in a song like ?Reborn? or the feverish ?Crawl?. ?That was one of the first songs Pat attacked,? says Dime. "He wanted that to be the first, because he felt there were so many ways he could express his vocal ability.? As Pat states, ?That song was important; it was an open playing field. I could show what I could do in a variety of ways. It was the one that enabled me to put my foot in the door and make sure it didn?t slam shut in my face.?
Dime and Vinnie also approached their craft slightly differently on the Damageplan debut. ?Of course, we did our usual thing where we just jammed with a fucking hangover,? says Dime. ?But we also trusted our chemistry so much, that we made individual pieces that we each could put our own vision to.? Vinnie elaborates, ?Dime would lay down five to ten riffs and I?d go in and do my thing, just to see where it would go. There was an incredible amount of freedom. It was cool to interject on top of one another like that, and bleed off each other as a part of the creative process. We?d never done that before.?
To add the final completion to the plan, Bob Zilla was brought into the fold. As Dime informs us, ?We really wanted a true bass player with a monstrous sound. We had seen Bob play in various local bands, along with various styles of music. We knew he had the diversity, and he still had the same heavy influences we had grown up on, not to mention, he?s one hell of a tattoo artist too. So he was our first choice to audition. He came down to the studio one night, and after we jammed a few songs together,? Vinnie says, ?Man, dude sounds like Godzilla comin? outta that rig!? Henceforth, he would be notorious, as ?Bob Zilla.?
Born in Waikiki, Hawaii, Bob Kakaha grew up in Southern California, where his mom raised him on Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Led Zeppelin. He started playing drums at age 14, but picked up the bass shortly after. ?I played in a band with my brother for awhile, other than the backyard keggers, we played a gig at the Troubadour when I was almost 18...I was hooked! My music style is aggressive and damaging. I wanted to learn as much music as possible, so I experimented with various styles while playing with bands in L.A., everything from death metal to reggae, funk to rock, but my heart is PURE METAL!!! I?m a huge Maiden fan!?
Eventually moving to Dallas, Zilla explains how he came to know the brothers. ?Over a period of time, I had struck up a friendship, as well as a tattoo relationship with Dime and Vinnie, so when I got the call, I was honored.? When asked how he feels about Damageplan, ?I couldn?t ask for a more killer opportunity. Not only were these guys such a great influence on me musically, but they?re also my friends, and guys I get totally boozed up with. Something like this only happens to a person once, if ever, in their career. I feel honored to play with such awesome musicians. I couldn?t be happier about the entire situation. I have nothing but the best feelings about the outcome, and with the chemistry with what we are creating, how can you go wrong.?
Pat views Damageplan as a natural progression of the nucleus that made Pantera a legend in the first place. ?Comparisons are going to come because it?s the evolution of a legacy, even though we?re not trying to be Pantera. We?re trying to evolve and do something different. As Vinnie states, ?We know we have been very influential on today?s music. Bands tell us all the time how much we influenced them, so we have that legacy, but at the same time, we like a lot of the great fucking music that?s out there now, and with Pat and Bob Zilla, we feel there?s nothing we can?t accomplish. Dime and I lived on the road for 12 years. We can?t wait to get back out there. No pun intended - but we want to unleash some real fucking ?damage? on these motherfuckers.?
Dimebag, as always, is downright philosophical about such a protest. ?After kickin? ass for so long and realizing you?re starting over, it re-energizes you. We know a lot of fucking bands don?t make it past their second record, much less, match the damage we laid down over the years. And then when it?s over and you?ve done it - most of the motherfuckers run from it like ?Goddamn, I can?t believe I?m still alive.? We take the opposite fucking approach. Like goddamn, we were just getting good at this... Really motherfucker...we?re just getting warmed up.?
So, I ask you... how can you go wrong with four badass motherfuckers like Damageplan? The name says it all...Devastation is truly on the way.