In 1985, Pantera released their third album, I Am the Night. It would be five years and two albums until their 1990 breakout, Cowboys From Hell. Is that the trajectory that Hellyeah is on? Drummer Vinnie Paul seems to think so, according to a recent interview, where he once again shot down any hope of a Pantera reunion. During an interview with MusikUniverse.net, Paul stated that his only focus right now is Hellyeah:
I don’t live in the past, man. I wanna look forward, I wanna keep moving forward. I understand [fans] wanting to see it, especially people who’ve never had an opportunity to see Pantera, but without my brother being part of it, it just doesn’t make any sense. I’m not gonna trample on his legacy to make some people happy. We had 14 amazing years together and we sold nearly 40 million records around the world. That’s some pretty amazing stuff. And the band is, actually, to me, bigger today than it was then. I mean, it really is; it’s really grown and grown and grown. There’s plenty of DVDs and videos out there for them to watch. And I would highly suggest you come and see me play with Hellyeah, ’cause that’s what I do.”
He later added, “I have no interest in playing with those guys. I love [Hellyeah], I’m really into it. And I really believe if I stick with it long enough, it will see the same kind of success eventually.” Well, not to take away from Paul, because as 1/3rd of the surviving members of the band, he’s certainly entitled to his opinion, and his brother’s legacy is at stake. At the same time, each successive Hellyeah album has sold less than the last, and unless the album after the next one Hellyeah releases is a seismic shift away from their previous material the same way Cowboys From Hell was, it’s safe to say that the band isn’t on the same career trajectory as Pantera was.