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Pantera’s Vinnie Paul Reflects on 20th Anniversary of ‘Far Beyond Driven’

Vinnie Paul
Donald Bowers, Getty Images

Has it really been 20 years? This week marks the 20th Anniversary of Pantera‘s timeless classic, ‘Far Beyond Driven,’ and the band is issuing a special 20th Anniversary package today (March 25) to mark the occasion. Included with the remastered original album is a live performance from the 1994 Monsters of Rock Festival, which was recorded during the ‘Far Beyond Driven’ tour cycle.

During our recent chat with drummer Vinnie Paul about his current group Hellyeah, Paul also offered his thoughts on the ‘Far Beyond Driven’ era and shared his recollection of the  Monsters of Rock show added to the 20th Anniversary collection.

Thinking back to 1994, Paul recalled, “We had a hell of a mountain to climb to get to make a record that would match what we had done with ‘Vulgar Display of Power.’ We came up with the title first and we just pushed each other to next level and when the record came out it made it to number one. It was the first true heavy metal record to be No. 1 on Billboard. Pretty amazing accomplishment.”

The drummer says the band definitely paid their dues on that album, adding, “We went out and did non-stop touring for that thing, I think we did 312 tour dates in one year. It was a big mountain — radio hated us, MTV hated us, major magazines didn’t really pay attention to us. It was all our fans, they were the ones that went out and bought 200,000 units and made it No. 1.”

When asked about the anniversary package, Paul pointed out, “It’s been remastered so it’s up to the new standards as far as the level of the sound and bottom end, etc. It’s got a lot of unseen pictures that were obviously classic from back in 1994 and of course it has the live performance we did at Donington, which was a pretty special day.”

He continued, “It was freezing cold outside, it was about 36 degrees and pouring rain. It didn’t seem like it was going to be a whole lot of fun to play that day. Everyone was standing around in their rain coats and blowing smoke. Next thing we knew, once we hit the deck the crowd f—in went ballistic. Pits everywhere, one of the best audiences I ever remember playing to, you can hear it on the disc. So that’s basically it.”

To purchase the 20th Anniversary edition of Pantera’s ‘Far Beyond Driven,’ click here. To enter our contest for a chance to win a signed copy of the ‘Far Beyond Driven’ 20th Anniversary package along with a t-shirt, check out the widget below. Also, be sure to check out our exclusive videos of Philip Anselmo speaking about the disc by clicking the button below.

Philip Anselmo Explains the Meaning Behind Pantera's 'Becoming'

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