Metal Mondays: New Music From Pantera Calls for a Home-Made Vulgar Display

Metalhead or not, everybody's got a soft spot for at least one heavy act. Jim Carrey digs Cannibal Corpse; Cameron Diaz reportedly rocks out to Iron Maiden. The writers of the hit show Californication sneak it into scripts -- all three of main character Hank Moody's novels are named after Slayer albums. And of course, Ron Burgundy famously shouted "Hey Aqualung" while grinding out the heaviest flute riff of all time in Anchorman.

So welcome to Metal Mondays, where I'll do my best to explain what's rattling around in the heads of us headbangers and touch on the latest metal news and happenings.

Though I may not look like it at first glance, I'm a Pantera junkie. (People often assume I prefer Pink over Pantera. Epic fail.)

I discovered the band in the late '90s, long after they ditched the glam metal hairdos and went hardcore and heavy, saving metal from the takeover of grunge, moments away from the genre drowning in its own vomit.

No, it doesn't take much to bring the vulgar display of power out of me --a couple shots of Johnnie Walker, tops. But heavy metal is all about going big or going home, and the month ahead is defined by this mantra: On April 11 in L.A., the Golden God Awards gives the genre props, and on the same day, the Grammy Museum's History of Heavy Metal exhibit debuts with the show.

And then there's big news on the Pantera front. In honor of the 20th anniversary of Pantera's Vulgar Display of Power, the only unreleased Pantera song in existence, "Piss", will be unveiled at the awards show. Recorded in the Vulgar Display of Power sessions, ex-Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul says he can't figure out why the song was cut. According to him it completely embodies the attitude and energy that Pantera was all about, particularly in Phil Anselmo's vocals.

And to accompany the first Pantera release in 20 years? A music video, of course.

Which is why, for the kick-off of this new "Metal Mondays" column, I've decided to go big or go home.

According to Pantera's website, it's time for the fans to be the stars, since those same fans have kept Pantera alive for the past 20 years. The challenge? To film myself rocking out, moshing, and shattering whiskey bottles -- which actually wasn't supposed to happen...I can't imagine my landlord will be too happy -- as hard as I can to my favorite Pantera song.

The spoils? Whoever proves they are worthy to party and rock out alongside Pantera wins a slot in the upcoming music video for "Piss".

Ideally, I would've loved to film in some CFH-laden venue or studio. But my trek to Pantera's strip club and Dimebag's grave isn't until April -- where I'll no doubt ruthlessly force anyone in my path to take Black Tooth Grins shots -- so I have to make do with the place where I rock out to Pantera the most. Cue record screeching noise: my bedroom.

After setting up the camera, introducing myself and including my age (per video requirements), I chose the song that I thought might completely finish off the tear in my right ACL: Far Beyond Driven's "I'm Broken".

Pantera halter top, with all the members frozen forever in a thumbs up? Check. Leather pants? Oh yeah. Mosh-worthy chucks with Pantera printed along the side? Check, check.

The opening riffs shook my entire room. I whipped around and flashed some Cowboys From Hell ink and devil horns before launching a head-banging frenzy, my hair becoming a stinging bouquet of whips -- a move that surprisingly pisses off guys in the mosh pit. Girls remember that; it's one of our only weapons.

I ceased head-banging long enough to grab a gallon bottle of Jack Daniels, and with '80s-style, use it as a microphone while jumping up and down, whiskey spilling everywhere.

"I WONDER if we'll smile ... IN OUR coffins while ... LOVED ONES mourn the day ... THE ABSENCE of our faces, living, laughing, eyes awake, is this too much for them to take?"

Still holding the bottle, I took a running start straight at my wall with the intention (God knows why I thought I could do it) of using it as a springboard to do a back flip. Which I've never done in my entire life. Needless to say I landed on my ass and continued thrashing my hands and head, playing air guitar while the bottle clutched in my hand continued to drain everywhere possible.

I jumped up and ran circles around my bedroom, which obviously isn't the most ideal place for a mosh pit. Case in point: I crashed into my Carmen Electra-endorsed stripper pole anchored in the corner (an addition to my room generously provided by a boyfriend). My only thought? Carmen Electra's got nothing on me when it comes to heavy metal moves. Pause. Well, actually, she's probably way better.

As my two and a half minutes into "I'm Broken" came closer and Dimebag's famous guitar solo picked up, I jumped up on the pole one-handed and swung around, slamming the bottle into the wall on the way down. As if shattered glass and a bleeding hand weren't enough, I decided to flip upside down and try my luck on a couple of ambitious moves.

Let's just say -- shocker! -- that Pantera's favorite liquor doesn't contribute much in the friction department. I don't know who's going to see this, but I but they'll be laughing their ass off, and who knows -- 60% of the time, the traditional whiskey-girl-on-a-stripper-pole bit works every time.

Follow us on Twitter and friend us on Facebook

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lauren Wise has worked as a rock/heavy metal journalist for 15 years. She contributes to Noisey and LA Weekly, edits books, and drinks whiskey.
Contact: Lauren Wise