Saxon’s Biff Byford On Pantera Reunion: ’It’s Controversial’

In a new interview with Anne Erickson of Audio Ink Radio, Saxon frontman Biff Byford has shared his thoughts on the collaboration of Pantera’s surviving members with Zakk Wylde and Charlie Benante. While he is aware that it’s controversial to keep the band going without the original members, he also acknowledged that ‘it should be done.’

Discussing the Pantera comeback, he said:

“Yeah, I like Pantera. All the guys in Pantera were massive Saxon fans. We met them a few times back the day. We know Dimebag was a huge fan. But they all were really heavily influenced by a Saxon, Judas Priest, Motörhead. So, yeah, I like Pantera. And I think Zakk’s playing guitar, I think, Zakk Wylde. I think it’s good. I like Pantera and the music should be played live. I know Dimebag and Vinnie are not there anymore, but I think they’re there in spirit, definitely.”

The rocker is mindful that Pantera would still be going if the rest of the members were alive. He continued:

“I know it’s controversial, but I think it should be done, because it’s not as if the guys aren’t there. They’ve gone on, they’ve passed on, so, it’s not as if they’ve not been invited to the party. I’m sure if they were alive, Pantera would still be going — wouldn’t they? — if Dimebag was still alive.”

Fans’ Initial Thoughts On The Pantera Reunion

Pantera’s surviving members, Philip Anselmo and Rex Brown, have joined forces with guitarist Zakk Wylde and drummer Charlie Benante for a global tour under the Pantera banner.

While some thought it might be ‘cool,’ but is ‘definitely not a reunion’ since the Abboth brothers are not there anymore, some thought it would be a way to honor both Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrell. One user went even further to state that Pantera should ‘stay dead’ because Phil Anselmo is a ‘white supremacist.’

Despite the comments, the rockers are filling the stadiums with thousands of people. And it seems that Anselmo loves being back on stage under the name Pantera:

“It’s empowering. It is incredibly beautiful, and you feel so much love when you’re up there. And if you take it in, it’s a great feeling, man. These days, man, that’s where me and Rex, you know, we get to dig the shows more.”

What Other Rockers Think Of The Pantera Reunion?

The current members are happy with how things turned out, and so is Biff Byford. But he is not the only musician to comment on the reunion.

Steel Panther guitarist Satchel has expressed his views on the reformation of Pantera, emphasizing that fans should come to terms with the fact that the band will inevitably sound different with the new lineup, as opposed to the original members. Still, he appreciates the new members as well:

“I saw Pantera when they had the original lineup, and it was so ridiculously good that… I’ll be honest with you, it’s gonna be hard to [replicate that.] It’s never gonna be the same – like it was. But I do love Zakk. I’m a huge Zakk Wylde fan, and I’m also a fan of Charlie as well.”

You can listen to the interview below.