Anthrax’s Scott Ian explains why he thinks Dimebag Darrell revolutionised metal

“Whether it was 30 people or 30,000 people, it didn't matter to him [...] it was just all about playing guitar.”

Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian, one of the founding fathers of thrash metal, has recently described what it was like when he met Dimebag Darrell, describing the Pantera shredder as a “hero” of his. In the interview, Ian also explains why he believes Pantera’s legacy is only continuing to expand, despite the band breaking up nearly twenty years ago.

Speaking as part of an interview with Revolver, Scott Ian has opened up about how Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell inspired him and what the Texan shredder was really like on a personal level. Naming the guitarist as a personal hero of his, despite Pantera emerging onto the metal scene after Anthrax, Ian states it was the guitarist’s ability to “give the people what they wanted” that enabled the band to gain so much notoriety throughout the 1990s.

“He was everything you wanted him to be, and more,” he explains. “We met in ’86; Pantera was opening for us at some club in Houston. We were nobody back then [but] he would give the people what they wanted. I think people have an expectation, based on the albums and the home videos, [of] who Darrell was… and he was that guy 100%! When he was out there, he would never let somebody down. Dime was truly just a one-of-a-kind…”

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The Anthrax guitarist continues, proclaiming that it was Dimebag Darrell’s powerful live performances that made him quite so highly regarded by both fans and other artists within the scene:

“He was just a great, great human, really just did everything for all the right reasons. If it put a smile on his face, that’s all that mattered.”

“Any of the trappings of being in a successful band, or any of that crap – none of it mattered to him. Putting on that guitar, and whether it was 30 people or 30,000 people, it didn’t matter to him. For him, it was just all about playing guitar in his band, and just how fucking great that was. He truly was that guy, and Vinnie, too. The two brothers were such amazing people.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Scott Ian goes on to unpack why he thinks Pantera have continued to grow in popularity, despite the guitarist’s death nearly two decades ago.

Looking back at the band’s ever-expanding legacy, the guitarist argues that the groove metal pioneers are more important now than ever before, largely because of the impact they have had on musicians of all different genres:

“Every week there’s thousands of new kids who are going out and buying those records and buying the t-shirts [and] that’s what it deserves. The impact they made on music between 1990 and 2002… there’s no way to ever quantify that. Every band that exists and all the subgenres of metal, whether it be deathcore or metalcore, that’s all because of Pantera.”

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He continues, reminiscing about the band’s heyday in the 1990s, “There’s hundreds of bands out there making records and having huge success that wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for what Pantera did in the 90s. It’s not like people are trying to hide that. Why would you? […] If Darrell was your influence, you would want to wear that on your sleeve. What a shiny moment for music in the 90s when they were just ruling the world.”

Find the full interview with Scott Ian on Revolver.

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