US metal legends Pantera are set to return to the stage in 2023 with two original members, Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown. The band’s return without the late guitarist Dimebag Darrell and drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott has naturally raised a lot of opinions among metal music lovers, and now Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Zoltan Bathory has his own opinion on the comeback. I
n an interview with WRIF, Bathory says that he himself would go and see Pantera live if the opportunity arose, but stresses that he considers the band to be a cover band performing Pantera’s music.
Bathory expressed his opinion on the band’s return as follows:
“Well, here’s the thing: it’s gonna be a Pantera cover band, really, if you think about it — even though there are previous members. The fans would want to hear that; otherwise it wouldn’t be happening.
“Pantera had a massive influence on me. And I would go and see this. Obviously, it kind of splits the crowd, because [some] people are, like, ‘Well, this is sacrilege because the brothers are no longer here.’ And at the same time, well, people wanna hear it.
“Look at it this way: this is an homage. This is paying respect to that music. This is paying respect to the band that was very influential for many, many people. If you approach if from that perspective, then, yeah, these are the right guys. Who else would play the guitar, for example?
“So, I don’t know. I don’t have an opinion, really.”
“This is the thing about the music industry, man — the fans decide everything. So it’s always up to the people. So pick any artist and anybody can hate any artists who are extremely successful. You can throw crap. Pick anyone — Justin Bieber. The kid is really talented, first and foremost, and people love him.
“So who are you, who anyone is, to prevent that from happening? If the people want this, the people love an artist, who is anyone to prevent that or criticize it or go, like, ‘Well, this shouldn’t happen.’ It’s as ridiculous if you say, like, ‘Hey, I don’t like tomatoes, so I think all tomato farmers need to go out of business.’ What? It’s that ridiculous.”
Listen to the interview here.