Former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach spoke to KNAC.COM about his decision to perform a cover version of PANTERA's "Cemetery Gates" on his current tour as a tribute to Vinnie Paul Abbott. "We're not trying to do 'Cemetery Gates' exactly the way it is on the record," he said. "We're trying to pay tribute to Vinnie, and the screams at the end — I'll be the first one to tell you — I can't do them exactly like Phil [Anselmo]. But I can do it pretty fuckin' close! [Laughs]"
He continued: "It's my version — and even for any singer to get up in that register, I'm not doing it exactly like him but I am almost doing it like him. Y'know, that album [PANTERA's 'Cowboys From Hell'] was recorded in '89… And it's two thousand fucking 18, so my voice can still get up in that area.
"We're not doing that song for any other reason other than to pay tribute to our friend who died, and all of our friends loved PANTERA, and there is no more PANTERA," he explained. "So, how rare is it and how cool is it to hear a band play fuckin' PANTERA? And my drummer Bobby [Jarzombek] was one of Vinnie's favorite drummers."
Sebastian went on to say that "the saddest thing" about Vinnie's death is that "he loved living so much. If you had to pick a guy who loved life, it would've been Vinnie, because he always was rockin', and it was just sad," he said. "But he doesn't get to enjoy his old age. He got wiped off the planet, and it's not fair. He should've had the opportunity to be an old man and look at his scrapbook instead of fuckin'... y'know, just be a human being, and he didn't get those opportunities."
Back in 2015, Bach told Australia's "The Morning Show" that PANTERA was the "craziest" band to tour with. "I warm up my voice doing scales — all this boring vocal stuff — and they would warm up by doing 14 shots of Crown Royal [whisky]," he said. "'We're ready! Let's go!'"
After PANTERA guitarist — and Vinnie Paul's brother — "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott was murdered on stage in December 2004, Bach released a lengthy message in which he said that "it was an absolute dream to stand on the side of the stage every night witnessing PANTERA's rise to fame, night after night, city after city," when SKID ROW and PANTERA toured together in 1992. "To have those crazy fuckers as my friends was something I will never forget," he said.
Vinnie Paul was buried on June 30 next to his brother and their mother, Carolyn, at Moore Memorial Gardens cemetery in Arlington, Texas.
Vinnie passed away on June 22 at his home in Las Vegas at the age of 54. The drummer's death "did not appear suspicious," according to the official report of the event recorded by Metropolitan Police officers. Sources close to Vinnie told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he suffered a "major heart attack," but that information has not been corroborated yet by an official source.