Shortly after the death of Vinnie Paul, a flood of tributes came in from throughout the music and entertainment world. Paul's longtime Pantera bandmate Rex Brown, meanwhile, held back his thoughts, explaining to the public that he needed time to process the death of his friend and promised a statement would be coming. Brown has made good on that promise, offering a lengthy statement reflecting not only on the talents of Paul, but sharing fond recollections, speaking of their relationship and giving one of the more well-rounded tributes painting the picture of the man he knew.

In his tribute, sent to Rolling Stone, Brown says he declined interview requests because this was not about him and he wanted to make sure the moment was all about Vinnie. Brown also states, "There were a lot of great metal drummers who Vinnie was influenced by, but once he got behind the kit, every single one of them had to take a look at what Vinnie Paul, the Brick Wall, was doing. He changed the game. He was the original for his generation, a generation that’s still going. Everybody wanted to play like him. People always thought those were sampled tracks – they were not. Period."

Brown shares stories from their pre-Pantera youth, offers recollections of both Abbott brothers and reflects on the force that Pantera became in their heyday with a focused determination toward their music. Check out Brown's statement below.

Paul died on June 22 at the age of 54. An official cause of death has yet to be confirmed by the coroner.

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