In the interview, he shared that meeting the two brothers early in life helped give him focus during a turbulent period in his teenage years.
Before joining Pantera, his first band, Neck and the Brewheads, got popular when he was just 15. Such a young rock ‘n’ roll success story could have caused him to act out, but instead, the influence from the friends he made kept him on the right track.
“Then I met these two brothers; they are no longer with us, God bless ’em, and that changed everything. I had met Vinnie (Paul) about the same time I joined this band. He was playing drums in the jazz band that I went to. So, it was just one of those things that kept me—my dad died early in my life—out of trouble. Just a focal point of who I was.”
When asked about how Pantera initially formed, he explains:
“Vinnie had a little brother named Darrell, and when I met him at 15, he still hadn’t picked up the guitar yet. And then, [around] ’81, he tucked himself inside his room, didn’t see him for a summer, and learned all that Randy Rhoads stuff. He came out of that bedroom, and I’d never heard anybody [play like that]. He was a skinny little kit with tight, permed hair. It was just like a complete metamorphosis.
“They had the band already stated, playing ‘Loverboy’ and that more Top 40 kind of stuff, while I was more into hippie. When I joined the band—Hell, I was 17 years old, so it was make it or break it. We played clubs until ’89.”
He also explains that while the initial band lineup had a lot of fun with their glam rock roots, he is grateful for how Phil Anselmo transformed the band:
“Once we got Philip (Anselmo) in the band, it developed into something else, and that was the Pantera that we know now, and that’s why we never talk about those old records.
“Hey, look, it’s great to go back memory lane and all that kind of stuff, but those are the farthest things that I wake up for in the first of the morning. ‘Oh, remember that one tune ‘Nothin’ On (But the Radio)’, and the singer?’ No!
“I mean, I hate fucking songs like that, but it was a growing process, and now, because the things are out, and they’ve been bootlegged a hundred thousand times, people consider it a part of our history. It’s not. Unless Philip’s singing on it, it’s not Pantera. That’s the way I look at it.”
Check out upcoming Pantera tour dates here.