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Vinnie Paul

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Vinnie Paul
Vinnie Paul in 2008
Vinnie Paul in 2008
Background information
Birth nameVincent Paul Abbott
Born(1964-03-11)March 11, 1964
Abilene, Texas, U.S.
DiedJune 22, 2018(2018-06-22) (aged 54)
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
  • Musician
  • producer
  • Drums
Years active1976–2018
Formerly of
RelativesJerry Abbott (father)
Dimebag Darrell (brother)

Vincent Paul Abbott (March 11, 1964 – June 22, 2018) was an American musician best known for being the drummer and co-founder of the heavy metal band Pantera. He also co-founded Damageplan in 2003 with his younger brother, "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, and was a member of Hellyeah for 12 years from 2006 until his death in 2018.

Several rock media outlets have ranked Abbott as among the greatest metal drummers of all time.[1][2]

Early years[edit]

Vincent Paul Abbott was born in Abilene, Texas, on March 11, 1964. His parents were Jerry, a country music songwriter and producer, and Carolyn Abbott. Abbott originally played the tuba after being assigned to it in school band class, but was directed towards the drums by his father who said there were no career prospects for a tuba player. His father bought him his first drum kit.[3]

Abbott cited Peter Criss,[4] Alex Van Halen and Tommy Aldridge[5] as his biggest influences as a drummer.



Abbott formed the heavy metal band Pantera in 1981 with his brother Darrell Abbott and Terry Glaze on guitars, bassist Tommy D. Bradford, and vocalist Donnie Hart. Upon Hart's departure, Terry Glaze assumed vocal duties. In the summer of 1982, Bradford left the band and was succeeded by Rex Brown. The band released three albums with that lineup.

Pantera recruited vocalist Phil Anselmo in 1987 and released Power Metal (album) in 1988. By 1990, the band had been signed to Atco Records and released Cowboys from Hell, which proved to be the band's turning point. Over the course of four more studio records, a live album and a greatest hits compilation, Anselmo and Pantera were nominated for four best metal performance Grammys for the songs "I'm Broken", "Suicide Note Pt. I", "Cemetery Gates", and "Revolution Is My Name".

In 2001, Anselmo decided to put Pantera on hold because of back pain while he toured and recorded with his side projects. Pantera's official disbandment took place in 2003 for several reasons, but mainly because of the ongoing dispute between Anselmo and the Abbott brothers, although Rex Brown remained neutral. In the years to follow, animosity would stir up between Abbott and Anselmo although Anselmo had publicly announced that he wished for Abbott to forgive him and reform a friendship. However, Abbott stated that he was not interested in speaking to Anselmo.[6]


After the breakup of Pantera, the Abbott brothers formed the heavy metal band Damageplan with former tattoo artist Bob Zilla on bass and former Halford guitarist Pat Lachman on lead vocals. Damageplan recorded one album, New Found Power, which was released on February 10, 2004.[7] The song "Ashes to Ashes", a collaboration with Alice in Chains guitarist/vocalist Jerry Cantrell, was not completed in time to be featured on the album,[8] but it was featured on the soundtrack to the 2004 film The Punisher, and was a bonus track on the Japanese version of New Found Power.[9][8]

On December 8, 2004, while on tour to support Damageplan's album, Darrell was shot and killed along with three others by Nathan Gale at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio.[10] Damageplan disbanded shortly thereafter. In a 2016 interview with Loudwire, Abbott revealed that there are five unreleased Damageplan tracks that were meant for the band's second album that was set to be released in 2005, but that those tracks have no vocals, only him and Darrell playing on them.[11] Abbott said that he didn't know what to do with those tracks, but he often thought about having some of Darrell's favorite singers like Rob Halford of Judas Priest and Chris Cornell of Soundgarden to record vocals for the songs, but he didn't have time to do it because he was focused on his band Hellyeah.[11]


Abbott performing with Hellyeah

After the death of Darrell, Abbott formed Big Vin Records in February 2006 and released Rebel Meets Rebel and a DVD, Dimevision, Volume 1. Abbott, along with Cristina Scabbia (co-lead vocalist of Lacuna Coil), wrote a monthly question-and-answer column in Revolver. Abbott maintained endorsement deals with ddrum, Sabian cymbals, and Vic Firth drumsticks. He previously endorsed Tama, Pearl drums, and Remo drumheads and hardware.

In June 2006, after an 18-month hiatus, Abbott was not sure if he would return to music, but eventually joined the heavy metal supergroup Hellyeah, which featured vocalist Chad Gray and guitarist Greg Tribbett from Mudvayne, guitarist Tom Maxwell from Nothingface, and bassist Bob Zilla from Damageplan, who was a replacement for original bassist Jerry Montano. Abbott recorded six studio albums with the band. In May 2019, it was announced that Hellyeah would tour for the first time since Abbott's death to support the final album he recorded with the band, Welcome Home. Stone Sour drummer Roy Mayorga was chosen as Abbott's replacement.[12]


In 1995, he mixed the songs "Narcissiques anonymes" and "Nits" on Ego, the first album of a Quebec metal band called TSPC.

In November 2008, he handpicked several of his most memorable drum parts to demonstrate in a promotional video for the drum company ddrum: "Use My Third Arm", "Primal Concrete Sledge", "13 Steps to Nowhere", "Domination", and "Becoming".[13] In 2009, he started American Drummer Champions with the aide of friend and influence M. Ludowise, former Downset drummer.

In August 2013, Abbott was featured in a music video for Black Label Society's cover of "Ain't No Sunshine", appearing alongside a horse-masked Zakk Wylde.[14] Wylde and Abbott were well known to be close friends, with Wylde also having been particularly close with Abbott's brother Darrell before his death in 2004.

For several years, Abbott had been trying to publish a cookbook called Drumming up an Appetite with Vinnie Paul.[15][16]


On June 22, 2018, Abbott died at his Las Vegas home at the age of 54.[17][18] It was later revealed that Abbott had died from "dilated cardiomyopathy and coronary artery disease."[19] News of his death was initially released on the official Pantera Facebook page, stating his association with the bands Pantera, Damageplan, and Hellyeah, along with a statement requesting that the privacy of his family be respected.[17] Five days before his death, Abbott's final performance took place at The Vinyl at the Hard Rock Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas.[20]

Following his death, tributes from all over the metal community began pouring in, including members of Black Sabbath, Guns N' Roses, Metallica, Megadeth, Alice in Chains, Lamb of God, Periphery, Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold, the Acacia Strain, In Flames, and many others. He is buried beside his mother, Carolyn, and brother, Darrell, at Moore Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Arlington, Texas.[21][22] In late 2020, a protective fence was installed around the Abbott burial ground in an effort to stop vandalism; years earlier, following the defacing of his brother's grave, Abbott had remarked that the vandalism was "a real disrespectful thing".[23]


Abbott performing with Hellyeah in 2013

Abbott used Tama drums during the Cowboys from Hell album and tour from 1990 until 1992.[24][25] On the Vulgar Display of Power and Far Beyond Driven albums and tours respectively, he used Remo drums.[26][27] Abbott endorsed Remo until The Great Southern Trendkill, when he changed his endorsement to Pearl drums.[28] He endorsed Pearl from 1996 until 2008,[29][30] when he made his latest change to ddrum.[31] Abbott used Sabian cymbals and Vic Firth drumsticks throughout his career.[4] He played the drumsticks backwards, holding the tapered end of the sticks. The tapered ends were carved to give extra grip.[32] Abbott was also known for using triggered samples mixed with live-miced drums during live shows.[33] Starting in 2010, he used a ddrum Vinnie Paul signature series drum kit, with Evans drum heads, drum hardware, ddrum and Roland electronics, and Danmar red wood beaters and kick pads.[34]





David Allan Coe and Cowboys from Hell[edit]


  1. ^ "The 66 Best Metal + Hard Rock Drummers of All Time". Loudwire. April 24, 2021. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  2. ^ "Fan Poll: 5 Greatest Metal Drummers of All Time". Revolver. March 5, 2020. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  3. ^ Crain, Zac (June 2, 2009). Black Tooth Grin: The High Life, Good Times, and Tragic End of ""Dimebag"" Darrell Abbott. Hachette UK. p. 10. ISBN 9780786748020.
  4. ^ a b "Vic Firth Signature Artist: Vinny Paul". Vicfirth.com. Archived from the original on June 23, 2018. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  5. ^ "VINNIE PAUL: A Lot Of Newer Metal Drummers 'Play Too Much'". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. October 23, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  6. ^ "Pantera's Rex Brown: Vinnie Paul Won't Speak to Me or Philip Anselmo". Loudwire. August 4, 2017. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  7. ^ Loftus, Johnny. "New Found Power - Damageplan". Allmusic.
  8. ^ a b "Pat Lachman interview". Show & Tell. January 29, 2004. Archived from the original on March 2, 2004. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  9. ^ "DAMAGEPLAN's Collaboration With JERRY CANTRELL Confirmed For 'Punisher' Soundtrack". Blabbermouth. February 25, 2004. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  10. ^ "Dimebag Darrell, Four Others Killed In Ohio Concert Shooting". MTV News. December 9, 2004. Archived from the original on May 11, 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Pantera / Hellyeah's Vinnie Paul - Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?". YouTube. November 30, 2016. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  12. ^ Hellyeah announce first album, tour since Vinnie Paul's death Alternative Press
  13. ^ "Vinnie Paul on DDRUMS". YouTube. November 5, 2008. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  14. ^ "Black Label Society - Ain't No Sunshine". YouTube. September 4, 2013. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  15. ^ "Hellyeah Drummer Vinnie Paul Planning to Release Cookbook". Loudwire. February 19, 2015. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  16. ^ "Vinnie Paul Talks Cookbooks, Strip Clubs, and Vehicle City Tacos". YouTube. May 19, 2016. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  17. ^ a b "Vinnie Paul, Legendary Drummer for Pantera & Damageplan, Dead at 54". Billboard. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  18. ^ "How did Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul die?". NME. June 27, 2018.
  19. ^ Kaufman, Spencer (August 27, 2018). "Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul's cause of death revealed". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  20. ^ "Vinnie Paul Final Photo Before Death Revealed". Alternative Nation. Archived from the original on June 23, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  21. ^ "Metal Celebrities React to the Death of Vinnie Paul". Metal Sucks. June 23, 2018. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  22. ^ "See Alice in Chains Dedicate Emotional "Nutshell" Performance to Vinnie Paul". Revolver Magazine. June 25, 2018. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  23. ^ Trapp, Philip (December 28, 2020). "A Fence Now Protects the Graves of Pantera's Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul". Loudwire. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  24. ^ "Pantera - Cowboys From Hell (Live @ Monsters of Rock, Moscow 1991) [HD]". YouTube. July 28, 2011. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  25. ^ "Pantera - Cowboys From Hell (Video)". YouTube. April 7, 2010. Archived from the original on June 17, 2011. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  26. ^ "Pantera - Walk (Video)". YouTube. April 7, 2010. Archived from the original on July 30, 2011. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  27. ^ "Pantera - I'm Broken (Official Video)". YouTube. October 29, 2009. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  28. ^ "PanterA Walk LiVE TV proshot 1996 HD 2012 720p". YouTube. November 27, 2012. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  29. ^ "Pantera - Revolution Is My Name (Official Video)". YouTube. October 26, 2009. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  30. ^ "Pantera - Live Ozzfest 2000 (HQ Audio)". YouTube. February 13, 2012. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  31. ^ "Vinnie Paul on DDRUMS". YouTube. November 5, 2008. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  32. ^ "Vinnie Paul - Drum Cam - GoPro - 2011". YouTube. February 15, 2021. Retrieved June 11, 2024.
  33. ^ "Vinnie Paul: Gearing Up - Modern Drummer Magazine". Moderndrummer.com. July 15, 2010. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  34. ^ "Danmar Percussion Products USA - Endorsers". Danmarpercussion.com. Retrieved August 26, 2017.

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