You all should know the name Rex Brown. As bassist for Pantera and later, Down, Brown laid the foundation with some of metal’s luminaries. With his latest band Kill Devil Hill, Brown teamed with the legendary Vinny Appice (Dio, Black Sabbath) to forge an album that’s a sum of all its members respective parts yet something completely different. Brown talked with The Blerd13 via phone recently to talk KDH, The Pantera legacy and his upcoming autobiography:
1. How did you get involved with Kill Devil Hill?
I’ve known Vinny for many years playing festivals and playing with Heaven & Hell. I would usually sit behind Geezer’s (Butler) amp and basically watch Vinny play. We’ve just become good friends over the years. They got me to play a couple of tracks and there we have it to give you the short story.
2. The band was announced in March of 2011, how quickly did the album come together?
I would go down about every three or four weeks and go through these songs and rehearse with some shows in between. We finally went into the studio in August and got the record done and then we had to re mix it about three different times and it’s just been kinda been put back and put back and put back and finally it’s coming out on May 22nd. Pick it up kiddos!
3. The record is still heavy but definitely a step away from Pantera or Down, was that a conscious effort on your part when you got involved?
Not really. I think the songs dictate what you play. That’s the way we kinda look at it. We’re not trying to be a Pantera or Black Sabbath cover band.
4. What are the touring plans looking like after the Adrenaline Mob shows?
Yeah, as we speak we’re right in the process of getting everything lined up and this is kind of the crunch period before the record. Yes, we’re going out directly after this. I can’t say with what but it’s gonna be nice. It’s one of those bands that wants to stay around for a while…for a long while. It’s not one of those supergroup, little project things. This is a full blown band
5. You’ve gone from playing with Vinny Paul to Vinny Appice, who’s your favorite?
I’ve had the pleasure of playing with three great drummers in my career. three that are very well known that I thought were exceptional. Three different cats.
6. There’s also the upcoming autobiography due later in 2012, what can you tell us about that? Is a release date set?
It’s the 27th of November through De Capo Books. I was the quite one. I never went in the press. You know, the bass player is always the quiet one. It just kind of talks about the story of when we (Pantera) started and my perspective on the good times and of course, there’s hills and valleys in every kind of relationship and it is a relationship when you’re in a band for that period of time. It’s my outlook on what went on. Someone approached me and I said “Yeah, sure, I’ll write a book!” Don’t ever do it. It takes a lot of time but it’s gonna be worth it, man, and I think the the kids’ll dig it.
7. Why was now the right time for you to do this?
When is the right time, y’know?
8. The anniversary of Vulgar Display of Power is coming up soon as well, Almost 20 years on, did you feel it would be as legendary as it is while making it?
No. Time tells all. Those songs are still pretty timeless to this date. A lot of bands are trying to emulate that style. It was just one of those things where we were just really hungry for what we wanted to do and for what approach we wanted to take. Everything just came out really easily and I think that’s why it’s such a good record because it’s so organic. We all knew what we had to do.
9. Are there any bands out there today that you feel are carrying the torch for Pantera?
There’s a lot of bands that I’m really flattered by and some bands I’m not flattered by but I really wanna talk about what Kill Devil Hill’s gonna do. That’s all I really care about.
10. Speaking of Pantera, is there a song out of the catalog that you miss playing live?
That’s a really tough question. You got me on that one.
Kill Devil Hill’s self-titled debut is out on May 22nd through SPV/Steamhammer.