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Talking Truth With Rex Brown

"It's more about the jam, it's more about getting onstage. It's not about the rock stardom or anything like that"

Interview and all photos by: Brandon Marshall 

Publish Date: March 12th, 2013



hile Rex Brown may have been a monster on the bass, creating a wall of sound during his tenure with Pantera, he remained largely silent and let the music do the talking. Very rarely would Brown grant interviews, guarding his rock star mystique in the age of the internet and social media……. until now.

 The Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story of Pantera offers a perspective from the eyes of the silent member of Pantera. Often humorous, tragic, brutally honest, and always entertaining, The Official Truth is a unique view told in the way only one man could say it.  

 Scheduled for a March 12th release and published though  De Capo Press, The Official Truth is a must read for any fan of Rock, Metal, and Pantera. Co-Authored by Mark Eglinton, The Official Truth is filled with shocking revelations, mostly chronicling Brown's time in Pantera, and offering a depth story that surely will surprise the reader with each turn of the page. The Official Truth is a 259 page book that flies by, while still leaving some questions and statements open for interpretation. Filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, The Official Truth is a rollercoaster ride that you want to keep speeding along with. Bottom line, The Official Truth is similar to the music of Pantera, no compromise with no room for bullshit.

"There were only four of us in the band that really knew what went on with the internal Pantera situation. I thought it was about time for me to go ahead and spill some truths."

Sonic Excess:You stated in your book several times how much you value privacy and how you preferred to stay out of the public eye. Was the decision to publish a difficult one for you?


Rex Brown: This book it just my truth about what my eyes saw. I had the really good, cheap seats. There were only four of us in the band that really knew what went on with the internal Pantera situation. I thought it was about time for me to go ahead and spill some truths. Even with the private life I do like to lead, I think that there was something inside of me that said, “OK Rex, it’s time to go ahead and let this thing out." It’s just my side of the story.

Was it tough to get the words out, onto paper, about certain subjects?

Rex Brown: Of course, the whole Dime thing was fucking.. some days were fun, thinking of the great things, and then others, the sad times. Absolutely, I had to brush through this thing like ten times with a toothbrush, dot the I’s and cross the T's. Some days were good, and some days were really rough.

Did you place limits on what to print and, in hindsight, do you wish you left some things out or added a few more topics in?


Rex Brown: Probably add topics in. I have 600 pages of stuff on the cutting room floor that I wanted to put in, but the book company didn’t want to. Maybe this is just the start, maybe I’ll do number two. The reaction so far has just been great. Now that I know how the publishing side works, who knows. I have a bunch of stuff that would be just funny stories.

Why did you write a book mostly about your time in Pantera instead of an autobiography?

Rex Brown: For me, it was all about the jam. I didn’t care about the press or anything like that. So, I never really said anything. To me, it’s more about the jam; it’s more about getting onstage. It’s not about the Rock stardom or anything like that.

What do you think will be the most surprising revelation for the reader? What do you hope they gain after reading the book?

Rex Brown: Whatever you want to take out of it. Pick your favorite story; pick your worst, I don’t care. I put my truth out there, my experiences and my point of view.

Terry Glaze is the only member of Pantera quoted throughout the book in depth. Why not include Vinnie and Phillip?

Rex Brown: Because, it’s my book, and they can write there own damn book.

"This is through my eyes, but there are different stories that go along with it."

Phil has an autobiography in the works. Have you been helping him with ideas, stories, or anything like that?

Rex Brown: Umm NO! Phil and I are still great friends. We talked about a year ago and he said you are going to do your work, and I’m going to do mine. We are not going to talk about it in the press, and that’s the way it is. I don’t want to turn the fans off what he does, and he doesn’t want to turn the fans off of what I do. It’s an amicable decision.

What I found unique about this book was how you included contributing thoughts from friends and family, from front to back, in the book. Did you want to include anyone else but declined?

Rex Brown: I basically can tell my truths and my story, but there is always collaboration and corroboration with what’s going on in the book. To me, at least it’s honest, and that’s why I call it The Official Truth, because I’m not bullshitting anybody. This is through my eyes, but there are different stories that go along with it. It’s all in the same picture, the same genre, and I’m not bullshitting anybody.

In your book you state, “I’d read books like Hammer of the Gods and shit like that. I loved reading about the drama of Rock n’ Roll bands and what they did on tour.” Do you think the fans will enjoy the drama that’s in your book?

Rex Brown: I hope so. I put in entertainment value so you could turn the page, so you want to keep reading this thing. I’ve read so many books. Actually, to tell you the truth, I was reading Life by Keith Richards, Keith’s a hero of mine, and I kind of ripped the old boy off. Mine isn’t 900 pages, it’s 300 pages. It’s hard to get 20 years your life into 300 pages. Just the way he talks in the first person, and how he has other corroborating stories to go along with it.

What was the process of writing the book? How many hours did you log?

Rex Brown: Down was in Spain, and we had like five days off. I rented a cottage. My co-author and I just stayed in and got like 60 hours of tape. That’s a lot of coffee. Just going through and trying to dig. He had his work in front of him prepared out, and we had to just edit it. That’s the hardest part. Trying to get everything into 320 pages for years of your life.... Like I said, I am a private person, but it was time. I didn’t want to be 65 years old and say, “OK, I’m going to write a book.” The time is now, and I think it’s a good read.

"We've got a ton of offers on the table, but until things are water underneath the bridge between Phil and Vince, I just don’t know."

Do you think you will receive backlash for the way you portrayed a few people in the book?


Rex Brown: I couldn’t give a shit less.

Do you have any plans on a full book tour and signing copies at a stores throughout the USA?

Rex Brown: Yeah, it’s in the works. I’m trying to get the record done with Kill Devil Hill at the same time. So my plate is pretty much full. We're trying to go to as many places as we can to sign these books, but the problem is the book stores are going out of business, just like the record stores. It’s hard. You've got to find the mom and pops, but that’s what I like to do anyway.

Any interest in being added to the New York Times best seller list?

Rex Brown: If it comes to me, great! My expectations are always at five. You keep them there, and if it goes below five, you bum out a little bit; if it’s at ten, what the fuck!

Hypothetically, if Pantera were still together, how would you want the last chapter to end?

Rex Brown: Without Dime around, that is not an easy question. I would just answer that I just hope we would have worked our stuff out by now. We all get into the same room, beat the shit out of each other, go to rehab together, and figure it out. We can’t do it without the original band. There is just no way.

"If you like the first one, this is going to knock your damn dick off."

Is the Pantera reunion talk frustrating for you?

Rex Brown: Not at all. I think it’s kind of funny, in a weird way. Who are you going to get to replace Dime? Who’s going to be able to play the way he did? There are a ton of players our there, there are a tone of pickets out there, and we've got a ton of offers on the table, but until things are water underneath the bridge between Phil and Vince, I just don’t know. Let me say this also, I never say never. Phillip and I, we are open armed. It’s up to Vinnie if he wants to go ahead and do something like that, but I just don’t see that in the immediate forecast.


You stated in your book that Vulgar Display of Power was your favorite album to record and that magic was in the studio. Do you have that same feeling now with Kill Devil Hill?

Rex Brown: It’s just come full circle, being able to play with the guys I’m playing with now. We have just become so tight as brothers and that feeling again. It’s full circle, invigorating  and the hunger, and just that feeling in your stomach when you know that it’s good. I’ve never been known to put out crap, and I feel confident in what I’m doing with these guys. As cliché as it may sound, when I first plugged in with these guys, I blew an amp up at the practice studio that we had, and we got down to business. We only played like four or five tracks here in Texas, but I never met these guys before, except for Vinnie (Appice). We have been good friends and acquaintances for 20 years. I get to play with the baddest mother-fucking drummer on the planet. I’m just blessed. These two other guys are just as good as we are, and so this adds to this big aura of .. again, a music journey. How many time are you going to get blessed? You are not going to take things for granted.

You stated earlier that you are recording Kill Devils Hill 2nd release, tell us about that.

Rex Brown: We have nine tracks that are finished down, and vocals are going on as we speak. Jeff Pilson is co-producing this with us. Jeff is a brilliant engineer, and it’s so good to have that kind of ear. Jeff is so good with the vocals, because he is such a great vocalist himself. He knows what works, and what doesn’t. Dewey (Bragg) is writing everything (lyrics) for this record, but it’s more of a collective and collaborative piece of work than the first one. I just kind of came in and put my spice onto it. Half the songs were written before I came in. We played a few shows, then went into pre-production, and put the record out. Now, Mark (Zavon) and I will come up with a riff. I’ll say yes, or he’ll say no, and that’s cool. We take it to Vinnie, and he will put his two-cents in, and then Dewey will sing what he’s gotta sing. If you like the first one, this is going to knock your damn dick off.

Any final words?

Rex Brown: Go check out my book and the New Kill Devil Hill album, this August or September. We may tour in between there, you never now. Thanks again.



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