Metallica’s Lars Ulrich on Pantera Reunion: Having Charlie Benante on Drums Is “Great”

Metallica will be embarking on their 2023-2024 world tour next month, and one of the bands supporting their North American legs is the recently reunited Pantera. While Pantera’s return has been met with some backlash, Metallica stickman Lars Ulrich thinks they have the right guy behind the drum kit.

Pantera are touring with classic members Philip Anselmo and Rex Brown along with guitarist Zakk Wylde and Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante. The latter two are filling in for late brothers Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul, respectively. While the band has insisted that the reunion is a celebration of the legacies of Dime and Vinnie, some fans consider calling the band “Pantera” without the two brothers sacrilegious.

Metallica’s “M72 World Tour” hits North America this summer and fall, and again in the summer of 2024. Pantera will be providing support on the first of two shows in each city, with tickets available here.

In a new interview with Revolver, Ulrich commented, “I think that the idea that they’re out celebrating the music and the magic of Pantera is … I know there’s been a lot of talk in the community about whether people support that or not. But I’m the type of person, if Glenn Hughes wants to go out and play a Deep Purple set, I’d support that.”

He added, “I’m always in favor of people following their musical and creative ambitions; so this Pantera reunion, I think, is good. And obviously having Charlie up there is great. I saw a video from one of the Mexico shows that felt like they were in the pocket. It’ll be fun to have them out.”

The Metallica drummer went on to talk about Metallica’s history with Pantera, saying, “We met the brothers on the ‘Ride the Lightning’ tour and became friends with them. This was in Dallas in — what — 1622 or something? It was about 400 years ago.”

He continued, “We obviously loved both of them, and they had a posse down there, and we would see them whenever we came through Texas. We watched the band evolve over the years from more rock vibes into that creative, unique force that they became. So, we’ve had a relationship with them for decades and decades.”

Get Pantera Tickets

Metallica are also getting ready to release 72 Seasons, their first album in nearly seven years. The highly anticipated LP arrives on April 14th.

Benante, meanwhile, opened up about playing with Pantera in the Modern Drummer interview below.