Those who are a fan of ‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott and his talent on guitar have had a LOT of opportunities to enjoy his music, from co-founding Pantera alongside his brother Vinnie Paul to founding Damageplan, he was in the spotlight for quite a long time! As we know however, whilst performing a Damageplan show in December 2004, he was gunned down on stage. This left a massive hole in the heart of not only the music scene, but the lives of many people.

Barring Paul, no one felt this loss more than Rita Haney. She was the life-long partner of Dimebag after meeting back in the third grade. After releasing Dimevision Vol 1: That’s The Way I Have Fun in 2006, Haney was hoping to release a new volume on an annual basis. Unfortunately life got in the way and the follow up release has been delayed until November 24th of this year. Dimevison Vol 2: Roll With It or Get Rolled Over is another window into the life of Dimebag and OVERDRIVE was most fortunate to get to speak to Haney about the upcoming release.

The first topic of discussion was about the subtitle to this release; did it take long to find this hard-hitting but truthful quote? Rita explained how, “It was a pretty easy choice. Whilst we were working on the first Dimevision, it came about then and I decided that we were going to name the next one this. It had already put itself into place when we were working on the first one; we found it when we were going through some phone messages that I had from Darrell where he was saying that.”

During the collection process for this DVD, Haney sat down and worked alongside long-time friend Daryl ‘Bobby Tongs’ Amberger. Not only have Haney and Amberger known each other for so long, Amberger was also the official videographer for Pantera; this meant that it made perfect sense for the two of them to sit down and sort through all the video footage. Haney gave a very personal insight into what it was like getting to sit down alongside Amberger and see footage from so long ago:

“It brought up a lot actually. There’s just no way that you can remember everything you’ve done in your life! It was quite funny; there were times where all of us were laughing so hard that tears were rolling down our cheeks. Of course there were moments where you got choked up and would have to excuse yourself from the room for a minute, but the way life was with Darrell, you just didn’t have time to be sad. The second you felt it start to creep up and grab your neck whilst watching the videos, something funny would happen and you’d just burst into laughter! It was very emotional, but I wouldn’t have traded it for a second. I’ve known Bobby for so long; he’s been Darrell’s brother and they were best friends on the road, as well as being a brother to me meant we caught up over cocktails and got to laugh over everything. We can’t wait to get to work on the next one. I think we make a pretty good team! Of course, this is a project that could never be done without Bobby, so it’s great to have one of his best friends/brothers to work with. There was a lot of stuff that I would film when Darrell and I were home or out and about, whilst Bobby was out on the road and would miss that, or vice versa; we both got to see and experience new stuff that we missed out on before!”

Considering there has been a long time between the first and second volumes being released, this interviewer was curious as to whether there was any set reasoning for the release of volume two now, or if it was just because the time felt right. Haney stated, “That was always the plan (to release an album annually), but it was just crazy. Those first three to five years were just a blur as well. Grieving is a weird process, as time just gets away from you. It just did with all of us with our busy schedules. Bobby was out on the road with Marilyn Manson or Slipknot at the time, plus I was out on the road as well. Our schedules never clicked and the time just got away. Next thing we know, it’s ten years later; it was just the right time where we thought ‘we have got to get this done and start making it happen.’ It’s good that time has passed. It’s given us a lot of time to think and get our wits/focus about us, plus we’ve bought it back to the old-fashioned Pantera home videos with it being quick, upbeat and fun. The first one was more of a memorial. It was a slower pace and had more of a melancholy feel to it, whereas this one rocks. There’s also five new tracks of music from Darrell, plus it’s been enough time that people have gotten to know Darrell more and realise he was the same 24/7.”

Stepping up the insight into the personal life of Dimebag that fans receive, Haney and Amberger decided to release five bonus songs to go with the DVD. These songs aren’t long lost Pantera songs, but personal recordings done by Dimebag on a four-track that Haney gave to him all those years ago. When asked why five songs were chosen to be released with this DVD, Rita went on to explain how, “Bobby Tongs and I were just going through a lot of Darrell’s gifts; he would burn copies, as well as take a little booklet on the road with him. This was called “Dime’s Hits,” which is going to be the title of the vinyl release we’re doing for this. We made sure we took that exact spelling and his exact words! It was also a bit more difficult of a process than people would think; there were so many songs. We were finding parodies, songs where he was joking around, some more serious. Of course we wanted to put everything but we had to narrow it down to a few songs to go as a soundtrack to Dimevision. When we were doing the Pantera home videos, we would use Pantera’s music naturally; but there’s Darrell’s own music, plus Damageplan and Rebel Meets Rebel that would never be used before, so this is a great opportunity! Because we have so much footage, we decided to go with five songs; we thought that would be a good base for 90 minutes’ worth. Thankfully there weren’t too many hard decisions. The hardest ones were deciding which songs to release now, as Bobby wanted to use some and I wanted to use others. There’s still approximately 20 songs left that will be released over the next few volumes!”

Knowing that there is still a month before Dimevision Vol 2 is released, this interviewer was curious as to just how long Haney and Metal Blade Records have been sitting on the finished product. Haney mentioned how, “It’s pretty funny. We had planned for it to be released on Darrell’s birthday last year, but one thing after another lead to it being delayed,” before going into further detail:

“The one thing that I have learnt is whether it’s us being out at festivals selling his merch, to any other project that’s contained Darrell, it’s ALWAYS going to be an adventure! This one was as well; there were so many obstacles, hurdles and jumping through hoops that we had to do so we could pull off some crazy things behind the scenes. I’m really thankful and made respect for Brian Slagel and Metal Blade Records in helping us get this project see the light of day. Both Darrell and I have known Brian for a very long time, plus they have to be doing something right as they’ve been around in our genre for a long time! It was a process, but we learnt a lot of different ways to get shit done; everyone on both sides walked away more knowledgeable.”

Before asking Haney the last question of the interview, I once again took the time to thank her for allowing me to call back a second time to ask the remainder of my interview questions (the original phone-call was cut short); she mentioned how, “Hey, I told you; every project concerning Darrell is an adventure!” with a laugh before she elaborated on how excited she is to get to work with Amberger on Volume 3, as well as just how many volumes she wanted to release:

“Gosh, it’s hard to put a number on it. We’ve got so much footage that we haven’t even had a chance to catalogue it. We could easily put out 50 volumes and probably still have more left over, as there are that many videotapes! I’d like to do one every year for as long as we can. I’m enjoying every little second of it, even when we are struggling; but once you get through it, you have a big smile on your face. Whenever we’re working on a project that concerns him, it’s always magical and unforgettable so the struggle is worth it!”