It's hard to believe, but it's been 30 years since Pantera's groundbreaking "Vulgar Display of Anger" was released. Famous fans of the band have come together to produce comic adaptations of all 11 of the album's tracks, creating a fantastic companion piece to read through as you blast the album at full volume.
Here at Inked, we were most excited to learn that Paul Booth had created a cover for the book. In the following Q&A Booth tells us where he found his inspiration, reminisces about touring with Pantera and more.
What was your impression upon hearing Pantera for the first time?
I'd say what sticks out in my mind the most from that time was that I loved them from the moment I first heard them. Mainly because they didn't remind me of anyone else and the music was so heavy it was ungodly!
What are your personal thoughts and favorite tracks from "Vulgar Display of Power?"
I have to say "Hollow" and "Walk" are my two favorites. Probably because they both touched a nerve with me regarding current events in my life at that time. I guess the lyrics of a song are something I always pay extra attention to when I'm deciding if I like something or not. Overall I really have to say it's one of their strongest albums in my opinion... so powerful.
You chatted with Phil Anselmo to help create this cover as the aftermath of the original cover punch. What was the concept and process here?
When I was first asked to do this, they said make some art that would be tributary to the original album cover. So I thought about it and I really did not want to just paint another guy just punching another guy. The concept that I came up with was about depicting the aftermath of the original album cover—like the next shot in the scene if it were a movie playing out. So I did a photo shoot for it and put together an idea that was mainly photography and Photoshop as a digital Image. I showed that to Phil and explained to him the concept, and he was really into it. He played an important role in what was to be the development of the blurry fist in the foreground that had punched the dude, and adding a bit more blood, of course. Fortunately, we were able to extend the deadline long enough so that I could actually do a proper oil painting of the scene. I'm so thrilled we were able to pull it off! It was always that distorted face in the original album that I loved so much, I wanted to try and capture that and hopefully I did... At least my version of the results anyway.
What was it like tattooing members of the band? Were they fans of your work?
I think it's safe to say we definitely had a mutual respect for each other and each others' talents. My first tour with them was in '94. Igor and Max Cavalera brought me on tour with them. It was Pantera, Sepultura and Biohazard. This was my first time going on the road, and it was pretty crazy! Of course, being on the tour and being backstage all the time, I got to spend a lot of time with the bands and got to know them. Phil was the only one really who I ended up tattooing. I spent time with Dimebag designing a piece for him, but he was a very "in the moment" kind of guy and you could never really make a schedule or a plan, it was always a hit or miss. I never ended up doing that tattoo. But when I met Phil, it was kind of funny because the first time we met, I guess he had heard of me ahead of time, and I of course knew who he was. He was having a party in his dressing room when we first met. We ended up talking and we hit it off because we both have this huge interest in horror movies and haunted houses.
He had started working with his boys in New Orleans with House of Shock, and he ended up inviting me down there to scare people with him. So of course I said yes! I went back every October for six or seven years and just worked in House of Shock and had a good old time on what I considered to be my Halloween vacation.
But yeah, Pantera on tour... Those guys were nuts. I miss those days so much. I would tell stories but I'd probably get in trouble, hahaha.