Vinnie Paul hopes that this is the year for Pantera.
One of the top heavy-metal groups of the ’90s, the quartet got nominated for a Grammy for Best Metal Performance Jan. 6, the third consecutive year the band has been nominated.
“The last two years, Soundgarden and Rage Against the Machine won, and neither band considers themselves to be heavy metal,” Pantera drummer Paul said from a tour stop in Dallas. “[The nomination] doesn’t mean a whole lot if we don’t win it. It’s like being a football team. It’s not enough to make it into the playoffs; you want to win it all.”
With four albums to its credit, and nearly 8 million in sales worldwide in seven years, Pantera has been winning fans. Paul, vocalist Philip Anselmo, guitarist Dimebag Darrell and bassist Rex Brown pull into Lewiston Jan. 26 for a 7:30 p.m. concert at the Central Maine Civic Center.
Opening for Pantera that night will be Cold Chamber and Anthrax, two groups Pantera has toured with frequently over the past four months.
“Cold Chamber is one of my favorite up-and-coming metal bands,” Paul said. “Anthrax is kicking it again and will have an album out soon. So the concert is 3 1/2 hours of nonstop entertainment.”
The hammering sound of Pantera in concert has been captured on “Official Live — 101 Proof,” behind which the group has been touring since July.
In preparing the album, producers Paul and Darrell taped 60 shows, which eventually got narrowed down to 20 because of technical difficulties.
“We searched for songs that were performed almost perfect, since you lose that visual aspect,” Paul said. “The best one would stand out like a sore thumb.”
In conjunction with “Official Live,” Pantera also released its third video collection, “3: Watch It Go,” in November.
“It’s a day in the life of Pantera,” Paul said. “It’s a lot more about us being candid, being people, than it is about music. It’s to let people get to know us better.”
In addition, the band got chances to play with and acknowledge some of their influences.
Through last June, Pantera was part of Ozz-fest, which featured Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Marilyn Manson, Machinehead, Fear Factory, Type O Negative and Powerman 5000.
“Ozz-fest was awesome,” Paul recalled. “Some of the bands we had toured with before. It was awesome to see Black Sabbath and Ozzy. It was the easiest tour I’ve ever been on. It proved to those who say that heavy metal is dead that they’re wrong.”
Also, Darrell, with Paul’s help, recorded “Snowblind” for Shock Records’ Ace Frehley tribute album.
“All of us are huge KISS fans,” Paul said. “Dime and I work closely together, so it made sense for me to go down, engineer and play drums on it, and help him through it. We really enjoyed it.”
Pantera is on one last swing through the Midwest and Northeast, which wraps up soon. After a May tour through South America and a June tour in Europe, the group plans to start writing for its next studio album, which it hopes to put out late this year or early next year.
To what does Paul attribute Pantera’s success?
“We’re honest with each other, and honest with our fans.”
Tickets are available at the CMCC box office or by calling at 783-2009 and at all Strawberries outlets.