Exclusive: Pantera Producer Reveals Existence Of Lost Dimebag Darrell Riff Tape
Arguably the heaviest record ever to top the Billboard 200, the accomplishment stands as a massive testament to both the power of the band and their ability to unify what was quickly becoming a factioned metal scene by the early '90s. Ahead of the anniversary, we spoke with the group’s longtime producer, Terry Date, whose work outside the Pantera catalog includes albums for Soundgarden, Deftones, Limp Bizkit, and Bring Me The Horizon. Sharing with us the stories behind the songs, Date revealed a previously unknown tidbit about Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell, which inarguably altered the course of the now-classic recording forever.
“We were in Nashville staying in this big Holliday Inn highrise plaza or something, a big high rise hotel, and [Darrell] liked to change rooms kinda often, and I remember one day, he came in the studio and said, ‘Yeah, I gotta change my room so I just packed all my stuff up and someone from the hotel’s gonna move it into a new one for me.
And the next day he comes in and he goes, ‘I lost a DAT tape,' which I don’t know if you remember DAT tapes, but he would record his – late at night he’d get a riff idea and he’d just record it onto this tape, and he had a tape with 250 riffs on it, that just ended up missing. Probably left it under a bed or something, whatever, never showed up.
So for [Far Beyond Driven], that was the early stages of the record too, when they were writing songs, so for that record he had over 250 riffs on there that he was gonna draw from, to use for the record – and he just lost 'em. So there’s 250 Dimebag riffs out there someplace, and here’s Dime, you know, lost all of his riffs that he prepared, and he says, ‘Eh, I’ll just write some new ones.'
So he just wrote new ones for the record, just on the spot, that’s just how amazing that guy was. But yeah, so there’s a DAT tape out there someplace with 250 riffs from Far Beyond Driven that never got used.”
We suppose that makes it more or less open season on the thrift shops of Nashville. Our full conversation with Terry hits the net tomorrow, in the meantime (while you’re not out searching for that Holy Grail of riff tapes), re-familiarize yourself with all things Far Beyond Driven era, through the group’s final home video, (which includes the visuals for singles “5 Minutes Alone” and “I’m Broken”) Watch It Go, below.