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Anthrax's Charlie Benante tells Pantera reunion doubters, “Don’t come”

Charlie Benante
(Image credit: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

Last month, the surviving members of Pantera announced plans to revive the band for a number of shows in 2023, featuring Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante and Black Label Society’s Zakk Wylde as replacements for the late Abbott brothers, Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrell.

The news was met with a mixed reaction, with some fans happy about the prospect of seeing vocalist Phil Anselmo and bassist Rex Brown reunited under the pantera moniker alongside close friends of the band. Others, however, were adamant that it’s not Pantera without the Abbott brothers.

Now, stand-in drummer, Anthrax's Charlie Benante has responded to criticism of the reunion - which was given the go-ahead by both Dimebag and Vinnie Paul’s estates - suggesting that people who aren’t on board with the idea should stay away.

The comment came during a meet-and-greet Q&A session with Anthrax in Orlando, when a fan asked the band about its plans for writing and recording new material while Benante is set for a busy 2023.

“The Pantera thing is not going to change anything we’re doing” answered guitarist Scott Ian. “We’re [Pantera] going to be doing select [shows]” added Benate. When asked if it will be a full block of tour dates, the drummer responded “I don’t think so.”

The questions later returned to the subject of Pantera with one fan addressing that there had been some resistance to the reunion. “Why is there flak?” Benante responded. “Because people are stupid” the fan answered. “There you go!” said Benante, clearly unfazed by online opinions, adding while shrugging his shoulders, “Don’t come.”

The band then joked that the drummer had just delivered a headline, with Scott Ian accurately predicting, “That’s the headline online tomorrow! ‘Charlie Benante on Pantera reunion - don’t come’”. 

Meanwhile, Benante has vowed that he won’t be approaching the Pantera reunion in his own, regular playing style, instead opting to play Vinnie Paul’s parts as closely as possible.

Speaking to Eddie Trunk on SiriusXM, Benante said, “I can’t go into this as the drummer from anthrax because it would be a different sound completely. So, the way I’m going to do that is if you close your eyes, it’s going to sound like Vinnie, basically. That’s how it’s going to be. The sound is going to sound exactly like him.”  

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.