Charlie Benante Details His Phone Call With Philip Anselmo When Asked to Join Pantera
Pantera's celebratory tour kicks off this Friday (Dec. 2) in Texicoco, Mexico, which will mark the first time Philip Anselmo and Rex Brown will perform with Zakk Wylde and Charlie Benante as a group. In a new interview with BraveWords, Benante detailed the phone call he had with Anselmo when he was asked to join the group.
The Anthrax drummer noted that he's spoken with Anselmo a lot of the years, so when the singer mentioned him joining them for the tour, he responded eagerly.
"I was ready to do it with them because, as I explained it to him, this was more emotional to me than anything else. It wasn’t about financial gain, or anything like that. I know what those guys meant to me, especially [Dimebag] Darrell, I was very close with him. And the same with Vinnie [Paul] too. But I would talk to Darrell a lot," Benante recalled.
"The one thing that made me feel good about Philip and Rex, they said, 'There’s no one else that we wanted to do this but you.' Not just because of my ability, it goes back to my friendship with these guys throughout the years. That hit me on an emotional level," he continued.
"I wouldn’t want to see anybody else up there but me doing this. After I got off the phone with Philip, I was like, 'That’s it. I’m getting my shit together and I’m doing this the right way.' And that’s exactly how I approached it.”
According to the drummer, he, Anselmo and Brown started rehearsing a bit before Wylde joined them, and in total they were in New Orleans practicing for over two weeks. Some of Pantera's old crew members will join them during the upcoming tour, and told Benante that his playing sounded like Paul's.
"So, with Anthrax, my configuration is different. I play with three rack toms in the front that are smaller than the ones I’m playing with Pantera," Benante explained of his drum kit for the upcoming tour. "I’m playing with two big toms in the front like Vinnie had because I wanted to challenge myself. And I felt that if I set the drum kit up the way he did, I would then approach it in that way, and I would play like that. So, that’s my goal.”
He further revealed that the band will probably play about 13 or 14 songs during their performance this Friday, so stay tuned to see what their setlist looks like. After a handful of performances in December, Pantera will head to Europe in 2023 for some festivals and shows with Metallica. See all of the dates on their website.