DISTURBED's Mike Wengren has paid tribute to Vinnie Paul Abbott, saying that it was "an honor" to have befriended the former PANTERA drummer.
In a Facebook post, Wengren wrote: "Still can't seem to find the words.
"Vinnie Paul was an idol of mine back in the 90s. He was a huge influence on my playing. Then Ozzfest 2000 PANTERA is on main stage and DISTURBED second stage. It was our first-ever major festival touring experience.
"As a second-stage artist, your laminates were restricted to certain areas.
"We met Vinnie and Dime. They welcomed us into their dressing room regardless of what our passes said. They took us under their wing and showed us how to treat your fellow touring mates. It never mattered that they were headliners and we were openers. To them, we were all brothers. We have continued to follow that attitude throughout our careers and treat our opening bands and crew as family.
"So many stories throughout the years.
"We used to jam together whenever our paths crossed on the road. They would join us during our set when we would cover 'Walk'. I would have Vinnie play my kit and I'd join in on the floor toms.
"To have met him was a dream come true. To become his friend was an honor.
"Vin, I will be forever grateful for your impact on my life. Rest in peace, brother. Say hello to Dime for me. Until we jam again in the afterlife."
Vinnie Paul passed away on Friday (June 22) at the age of 54. The former PANTERA drummer apparently died in his sleep at his home in Las Vegas. Sources close to the musician told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he suffered a "major heart attack," but that information has not been corroborated by an official source.
After an official cause of death has been determined, Vinnie's body will be flown to Texas to be buried between his mother and brother.
Abbott's brother, guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, was shot to death in December 2004 while performing onstage. The Abbotts founded the bands PANTERA and DAMAGEPLAN together. After Dimebag's death, Vinnie Paul joined singer Chad Gray and other members of MUDVAYNE and NOTHINGFACE in HELLYEAH, who have released five albums.