Hey Rita! How are you?
I’m doing alright. Making some Alfredo sauce for dinner.
So you’re a busy lady! You’re the current chair of Ride for Dime and you’ve got Dimevision Volume 2 coming out! How’s life been being this busy?
Trying to be busy. You know. One great thing with Darrell being as creative as he was. He kept notes and drawings and audio tapes and videos. The kind of things that keep me busy. Putting together volume 2 has been an emotional roller-coaster at times. There’s moments that you’ll see you kinda choke you up and before you can tear up, hes doing something that makes you laugh. Its an amazing process and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. If there’s one thing in life I’m damn good at its honoring him.
So the title of Volume 2 is «Roll With It, or Get Rolled Over», would you care to tell us what the inspiration for the title was? I believe it is something Dimebag had said in the past.
Yeah you know, Darrel always had a way with nicknames, picking up little things he’d hear and driving them into the ground and they’d evolve into other things. He had his own language. We’d gone to the fairgrounds in Dallas to catch a show. Darrell was gonna invite a friend to come hang with us. He was getting hard of hearing..playing shows without hearing protection. «We’re goin’ bowling?» « No no dude were gonna see a show.» And later he kept it up. Sometimes he was watching TV or maybe I was cooking food. And I’d ask him a question and he didn’t hear me. He’d repeat it again… «we’re goin’ bowling?» It was the same with Roll With It or Get Rolled Over, he was saying quite a bit. They’d do prep tours and hit all these stations and presses, three or four in a day. He’d leave a voicemail(«dude I’m so beat up…roll with it or get rolled over») there’s a lot of debauchery in it.
What, if anything, changed between Volume 1 and Volume 2. Were there any clips that you were surprised to see again?
Uh you know there always is. There’ll be stuff Bobby shot that I didn’t see or stuff I shot that Bobby didn’t see. Or there will be stuff we forget about. he’s there with you fresh everyday. A lot of surprises. A lot of fun. Now that a lot of time has passed…it was a lot more melancholy this time around. More of a tribute. We tried to get back to that original recipe of Dime. Definitely more uplifting than the previous.
What is your favourite Dime memory on Volume 2? And what’s your favourite song from Disc 2?
Uh Gosh…Uh… All of them..no(laughs) you know. The CPAP (machine used for sleep apnea) section is kinda funny. I just rolled out of bed with a Gene Simmons top knot on my head and I completely forgot about that and didn’t even know it was being filmed. He couldn’t get the air up on the CPAP machine and he was messin around with it, and even when you wanna get mad at him you can’t. As far as tracks…the process of doing Dimevision…the most difficult thing is deciding what not to use. Trimming it down was the hard part. We’ll use the rest on the next volume..the track is hard to pick. True he did in 1986 you know…and Whiskey Road you know of course is just KILLER. The guitar soloing..soloing out on that. When I hear it I know exactly where he’s coming from and he’s tired and needs to come home… Even the lyrics, when he says «ive been by your side for ten long years» I know he’s talking about me. There’s a lot of things that are sentimental to me.
So we know you are busy carrying on the legacy of Dime, but what do you do in your spare time?
Umm my spare time is Dime(laughs). Like I said I’m pretty blessed to have so many things that are about him that keep me busy all the time. Spare time-wise, a lot of writing. Cataloguing videos going through music… Every morning (dirtbag recorder) he’d set up in the bathroom, we called it the shitter and he was the «shithouse poet». He’d turn on the recorder we called the «dirtbag recorder.» If he had a riff in his head he’d lay it down. He’d be off in the shitter goin over whatever idea he had. I’ll go in and listen and say to him «what do you got to tell me today»… Sometimes I’ll hear myself and didn’t even know we were recording.. I’m fortunate enough that this keeps me pretty busy. Sometimes I go out with bands and help out with merch or help out with production. I like to hang out with his friends and get to be out on the road. But yeah… but things pretty much all revolve around him, like I said that’s the one thing I know I’m good at.
Do you think Dimebag would be surprised to know he’s been compared to people like Hendrix, Randy Rhodes & Eddie Van Halen for re-inventing the way people play guitar?
Oh completely you know..it’s weird i had somebody ask me that question the other day. «Do you really think that?» well yeah I do. He was such a humble person. There were times where he would meet people he looked up to. Growing up there was a friend of ours he really looked up to. It’s like that dude even if he gives you 2 seconds of his time you feel like you’ve known him forever. He wanted to be that kind of person. He was an open book he was just himself. He would be really blown away that he had touched people and always striving to do that.
What was the last conversation you had with Dime?
We actually… I had been out running errands that day and we were tying up some loose ends .and a logo I’d sent him and he’d left me several voice mails(and I still have all of them) he was talking about «you would not believe this dude out here….» and he was just not happy with this person and he didn’t want people to think Pantera was difficult to work with. Darrel and I always made sure through the time we were together that each time we said «I love you» we meant it. The first time he said «i love you» was seven years into our relationship. We had this thing of watching everyone in relationships come and go saying «I love you» until it was a habit and they didn’t think about the meaning anymore. But that particular day on that last phone call before they hit the stage and he told me he loved me that day. It’s crazy that happened to be one of the times we chose to say that to each other and I’m really glad.
How much material is in the Dimebag vault & will it be seeing the light of day at some point?
Um.. honestly it really depends. We were told that there was no market for it anymore. Bands cant sell DVDs so were told. I guess were doing something right in our genre and we have a lot of fans that stick around and it’s doing quite well. Everyone supports it, pre-orders…We gotta prove our label wrong. They have their own cult following, the videos and backstage scenes.
It takes incredible compassion and strength to stand by Dime and continue to honour his memory for so many years. As someone who has experienced my own tragic loss, and who does volunteer community service to honour their spirits, I relate and find what you’re doing incredibly courageous and honest and real. I think he would be immensely proud of you. I just want to thank you for that. But, do you feel that his memory and passing ever haunts you? What do you do for self-care?
Thank you I appreciate that. Darrell taught me you cannot have a thin skin in this business. I’ve known him since I was 8 years old. Wow you know…I …I am so happy because most people who go through something as far as losing Their Person, not everyone has all the things I have and people forget what someone smells like or sounds like…and i think all those years of knowing each other and we had 30 amazing years together, We had plans to be 80 years old sitting on duel rocking chairs. I can’t complain because we did have 30 years. I don’t see it that way. I feel it gives me a purpose. He taught me so many things. Notice the little things going on around you and see the beauty in bad situations. I want to give fans the chance to see him at home to see that he was that way 24/7. I love the fact that I can share it. If it can put a smile on someone’s face you’re doin pretty damn good at the end of the day. It’s not a burden. Of course I get sad, but hey.
Do you see a similar spark you saw in Dimebag in any current up-and-comers in the metal scene? If so, who, and why?
Uhhh That’s a tough one. He was pretty damn magical. I always say that about Dave Grohl. He’s got a bit of Dimebag inside him just gettin out there with a smile on his face bein funny and creative and full of energy. Not really recently. Not saying they’re not out there though.
Where is the Ride for Dime charity heading for the year of 2018?
Were talkin about doing some collabs with Wendy Dio. So uhh hopefully we’ll do some events together and I have a ride for dime comin up in Dallas on Dec. 8th. A few more things like adding in chapters in different locations would be really cool. We’ll know more in January. My goal is, I’d love to see it go overseas. Places like Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Germany, places like that. Where friends can come together and jam and play some of his music and of course, for a good cause.
Alright, thanks for taking the time to speak with us at All About the Rock. We really appreciate you finding the time for us in your busy schedule.
The pleasure is all mine. I appreciate you guys getting behind anything with Dimes legacy we thank you so much.
One more question. How is Dracula Cat doing?
Dracula, I’m glad you know her! She’s good actually. Right now I just went to check on her and shes’ up in her treehouse takin a nap. That means you wont be in here starting me on real loud during an interview. Shes my girl.
Thanks again Rita. It was an immense pleasure and I really mean that. You were an absolute delight to speak to.
Rita: Thank you. I appreciate you helpin out getting the word out there.
Dimevision Vol. 2 drops 24th November 2017, Metal Blade Records
Rita Haney on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dimebagzhag