Rex Brown Talks New Book About Pantera Years + Upcoming Kill Devil Hill Album
Former Pantera bassist Rex Brown was the guest on Full Metal Jackie’s radio show this past weekend. Brown spoke about his decision to write his book 'Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story of Pantera,' which reflects on his years with the legendary metal act. He also talks about upcoming material by his new band Kill Devil Hill. If you missed Full Metal Jackie’s show, check out her interview with Rex Brown below:
I want to talk to you about this book you have coming out ‘Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story of Pantera.’ People reading your book might be surprised to find out how musical you are in terms of composition and theory. What fascinates you most about the mechanics of a song?
I think it’s just writing a good song, regardless of what kind of genre it is. I listen to anything from Sinatra to Slayer as long as it’s a good song, that’s all that really matters. Some of the stuff you’re talking about, composition and all that kind of stuff that was back in high school so that’s been a while ago but I still take some of that – I guess it’s instilled in me. I was pretty good back in the day.
The book details the peaks of your success and the valleys of your disappointment and loss, living through all you have, what makes you still feel excited about music like when you were a kid?
It’s just all I know and all I love to do. It’s a great feeling loving what you do and hopefully putting a smile on somebody’s face for the day, when you go and play live and you give it to the crowed and the crowd gives it back to you – that’s what I look forward to even to this day.
Publicly, you seem to be the most private member of Pantera. What made you most comfortable about being so revealing with your book?
I thought it was about time to – I didn’t really say much when all the break down stuff went down. I’d say break down instead of break up because it really was more of a break down than it was communication and not being on the same page and we all kind of needed to get away from each other and I just never really told my story. It started as a conversation and now it’s turned to a book and it took me two years to do it and it’s kind of hard putting 20 years of your life in just 300 pages -- it was laborious to say the least.
It’s just something I thought it was time to do, I didn’t want to do it when I couldn’t remember it anymore, if that makes any sense. It was just time to go ahead and speak my truth and this is just about me. This is just my story, it’s not anyone else’s. I don’t know if you got a chance to read it, I just wanted to make it enjoyable to the reader where they would want to flip the page share some of the anecdotes, the good and the bad because that is life - the good and the bad and we just take it as it comes and we move on with it.
Rex you’re upfront with this book, very candid in telling your side of the Pantera story. Was anything off limits to you and have you heard anything about what Philip [Anselmo] and Vinnie [Paul] think about the book?
When I started this, I think Phil knew that I was writing the book and as far as Vinnie - this is just my interpretation of what went on and it is the truth and there’s a lot of collaboration and also corroboration that goes on with this book, of different things I might have left out, when we interviewed different people for the book, for different sections of it.
It was time for me to go ahead and speak out a little bit. I was always the silent guy in the band and I am kind of a private guy, when it’s time to put the guitar it’s full bore, when it’s time to get off the stage, it’s time to get off the stage – that’s just me, I didn’t live that life all the way around, even though I did at certain points. I just wanted to tell the truth my truth and that’s all there is to it. I don’t want a person to get analytical about anything that’s in it. If you read the book from start to finish, you’ll figure out the reason I did write it.
Rex tell us what’s going on with Kill Devil Hill and what else you’ve got going on at the moment.
We are nine tracks deep into the new Kill Devil Hill album, it’s co-produced by Jeff Pilson and we’re doing it up at his house. Vinnie [Appice] really likes the drum sound that Jeff has in his room and Jeff’s a hell of an engineer, he’ll put a different hook in the songwriting process here and there that we probably not have thought about. If you like the first one, you’re going to love this one. It’s still heavy as hell but the vocal melodies are – there’s a lot deeper subject matter in this one and it’s just turning out to sound really good. We’re trying to get that out for a late summer release so time telling, we’ll have that out soon.
Full Metal Jackie will welcome vocalist Greg Puciatio of the Dillinger Escape Plan to her program this coming weekend. She can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.