During a recent interview with Loudwire, Rex Brown (Pantera, etc.) confirmed that he is no longer a member of Kill Devil Hill. With this news, he also revealed that he has a “darker” new solo album in the works.
Brown said the following about his split with Kill Devil Hill:
“About 2014 in the summertime, I had just about had it. I spent 30 years on the road and you have to remember that after Pantera when Dime got murdered, I went straight into a thing with Philip and in 2005 did Down and did another five or six years, did a bunch of recordings down at Willie Nelson’s place. It’s just been one project to the next, and I really haven’t had the time. I had all these songs that I wanted to get out.
So I think our last gig was September 2015, and I put the solo record out and it did what it did and I’ve spent the better part of 2018 … man, I’ve got 18 tracks in the can, and I’m gonna finish up all this stuff in March. So really, I’ve just been going from one thing to the other to the other since I’ve been 17 with some breaks in between, but man I had to get off that road.
With Kill Devil Hill, the guys are starting to gig again and with them, it’s very amicable. They are some of my best friends in the world. I just felt like I was keeping a damper on them so might as well take care of this thing now. It’s a very amicable split and everybody’s happy with the whole deal. It probably should have happened a year ago, but you never know. You’ve just got to keep things open. But I’m doing my thing and they’re doing theirs and it’s all cool.
I’ve got more music in me and a lot of these songs just don’t fit what I was doing before. I was always that Zeppelin dude in the fuckin’ background with a joint in his mouth, and I loved playing metal. Then Pantera happened and we had a very heavy cross to carry for a long time. So I’ve continued working, but I’m just a lot happier now.”
He also added:
“When Vinny Appice was in the band, it was ferocious. It was something new and something different, and in 2013, he’d decided he had enough and so he took off. So I brought my good friend Johnny Kelly who I’ve known for 25-30 years plus and it was just about 2014, and then the timing of metal was just kind of crazy.
You’ve got to get those good bookings and that kind of stuff and it just didn’t pan out and I was sitting in the back of the bus one day and I said, ‘Look man, I gotta take a break sooner or later. I’ve sacrificed 25 years of my life for this.’ And at that point it was still about half of my being. So I took about nine months off and I got the itch again and started writing songs for the solo record.
We’re still close, close friends, but it’s just if they’re being booked, I don’t want people to think that I’m going to be there, cause I’m not. That’s the one thing I want to get across. Yes, it’s an amicable split, but it’s not that big of news. I think people saw the writing on the wall, and maybe if they couldn’t, they will now.”
Brown also had the following to say about his new solo album:
“I’ve got a really introspective record coming. I went through a totally different songwriting process on this one and yes, it’s very introspective but at the same time it’s kind of dark. We haven’t finished it yet, but I’ve got so much stuff in the can, it’s just ridiculous.
It’s a darker record for me, but it’s one of those things where you’ve just got to let it out when it comes out. It’s kind of Nashville in that sense. So we want to get it done and hit the road.”
He also added the following when asked if it has a bluesy, rock vibe like “Smoke On This”:
“Yeah, I’d say it’s still bluesy, but the songs are more well rounded. We just wanted to get my feet wet the first time. But this one’s got its rockers on there and some doomy kind of [Pink] Floyd stuff on it — that kind of vibe. I wanted to use the studio kind of more as a palette for what I was doing rather than the other way around.
Also, it’s all about the songs. I brought in several new people on this thing and wanted to get the vibe of how it was going to work, but I ended up writing everything and with the help of my producer, I’ve done just about everything on this record. It’s got some different characters on it, and I went to different jam sessions in Nashville and it was really cool. I’d never written like that before. Every single line, we would stop and say, ‘Where does it go from here?’ Usually you write a riff and put something over the top lyric-wise, but I was writing the lyrics as we went on some of it — just to get the first verse down and then we could go on, but it came real organically.
It was kind of cool that on the studio premises, there was about five acres and they were a bunch of these tiny houses. They had about two or three of those on the property and when I felt my ears were a little flawed, I’d go down there with a nice speaker setup and go down there and sit and write for hours at a time, and then I’d come back and we’d track everything. I really didn’t have any preconceived notion for this. I just wanted to let the beans fall where they were.”
On another note, Brown also opened up about Vinnie Paul’s death once again:
“Vinnie was just an incredible drummer and I really miss the camaraderie of years past. It was just another phone call of, ‘Are you sitting down?,’ and I’m like, ‘Oh my god, who is it now?’ Never in a million years would I have thought it would be Vinnie. It’s just wild, and it’s insane. It started coming through in some of my lyrics, and I had to step back a little bit.
I had to reflect on it and it’s something you have to process. I learned the first time with Dime, and it took me years in therapy to get the fuck over. When those tragedies hit, you just pull your boots up as much as you can and you go. We just had a hell of a rhythm section, and it hasn’t been touched since, so. I don’t want to sound egotistical about it, but we were pretty fucking tight, dude … even at our sloppiest (laughs) … even at our drunkest (laughs).”
You can read more from Brown over at Loudwire.