Mike Wengren Evolution1

Disturbed’s Mike Wengren Wants to Fill in as Pantera’s Drummer, If Needed

Mike Wengren, the stalwart drummer for Disturbed and a self-professed Pantera enthusiast, recently spotlighted his deep reverence for Pantera’s musical heritage and the indelible mark left by their late drummer, Vinnie Paul.

During an interview with The Break Down With Nath & Johnny, Wengren expressed his admiration for Charlie Benante, Pantera’s current drummer, commending him for his dedication to preserving Vinnie’s sound and spirit on stage.

Wengren, who is familiar with Pantera’s entire catalog, mentioned, somewhat playfully, that he could take over the drum kit if ever needed.

“Oh, I mean, honestly, if they told me, like, somebody took Charlie out tonight, I think I could step in. Actually, you know what? Let me make sure I clarify this. All respect to Charlie, ’cause he’s killing it, man. He is doing everything in his power to make it sound like Vinnie is up there,” said Wengren.

This respect and readiness stem from Wengren’s long-time admiration for Vinnie Paul, who he cites as a pivotal influence during his formative years as a drummer. Reflecting on his career trajectory, which notably intersected with Pantera at Ozzfest 2000, Wengren shared anecdotes about the generosity and brotherhood extended by Vinnie and his brother, Dimebag Darrell.

“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,” Wengren reminisced.

The possibility of Wengren stepping in for Benante was highlighted amid discussions about the latter’s busy schedule with both Pantera and Anthrax, especially with an upcoming Anthrax album on the horizon. While there’s no official plan for Benante to step away from either band, Wengren’s offer to fill in underscores his commitment to the music and legacy of Pantera, highlighting his readiness to support the band in any contingency.

Wengren’s dedication is not just about filling in; it’s about a shared history and a profound respect for the musicians who shaped his own path. His encounters with Vinnie and the personal impact they had on him shine through in his eagerness to help continue Pantera’s legacy.

“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,” Wengren stated, reflecting a deep emotional connection to the late drummer.

As Pantera continues to tour and celebrate their rich history, the presence of dedicated musicians like Wengren, ready and willing to step up, ensures that the legacy of Vinnie Paul and the music of Pantera will resonate with fans old and new for years to come.

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Written by Nick

Nick is a drummer, percussionist, and blogger from Milwaukee, WI. He toured extensively with Vinyl Theatre, opening up for acts like twenty one pilots, Panic! at the Disco, and more. Now no longer touring, his passion lies in gear and playing the kit as much as time allows.

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