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EXHORDER's KYLE THOMAS Thinks "It's Good For Hard Rock And Metal" That PANTERA Is Back

"The more, the merrier."


The metal scene thrives on its rich tapestry of influences, and one debate which has sparked discussion through the years is the connection between New Orleans thrashers Exhorder and legendary genre giants Pantera. While both bands carved their own unique paths, a persistent narrative suggests Exhorder's aggressive sound predates Pantera's shift towards heavier territory. However, vocalist Kyle Thomas remains refreshingly level-headed about the comparisons.

In a new interview with the "Scars And Guitars" podcast (transcribed by Blabbermouth), Thomas acknowledged the frequent inquiries about Exhorder's potential influence. He maintained a diplomatic stance, appreciating fans' enthusiasm while recognizing that Pantera's success stemmed from sheer hard work and dedication.

"Every once in a while I meet somebody who feels the need to pull me aside and tell me how important it is that they tell me that they think that we were before Pantera. Like, whatever. And I always try to take it and deal with it in the most polite way possible 'cause people aren't saying that necessarily to incite me in some kind of way; usually they think they're telling me something that I'd like to hear."

"I think there's room in this world for both bands. I think it's a good thing Pantera is back in business. I think it's good for hard rock and heavy metal, and the more, the merrier. They worked extremely hard — a lot harder than we did — for their success, and who cares whether the chicken or the egg came first. To me, they're both delicious." Thomas added.

The personal connection between Thomas and Pantera vocalist Phil Anselmo adds another layer to the story. Recalling a gift from Anselmo, Thomas acknowledged their mutual respect and the influence they've had on each other's careers.

"I've been friends with Phil for a long time. I always got along nicely with Darrell and Rex. That platinum record on the wall right there was a gift from Phil for Far Beyond Driven, presented to me and my band Penalty at the time, which became Floodgate. It was just his way of basically saying, 'Hey, thanks, man.' And I know what he meant. We were a big influence on him personally, and he returned the favor by spreading our demos around to people and turning people on to us. He was, at one time, probably the biggest cheerleader this band ever had."

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