Seven months after the death of Pantera / Hellyeah legend Vinnie Paul, Nickelback bassist Mike Kroeger has offered his take on Vinnie’s passing. According to Kroeger, Paul was often sad while attending Nickelback gigs and hanging with the band, leading Kroeger to believe the drummer “didn’t really wanna be alive anymore” following the murder of Dimebag Darrell.

Losing both Abbott brothers has left a hole in metal the size of two larger-than-life brothers. Having witnessed the murder of his brother onstage, Vinnie Paul struggled with that image for the rest of his life, but Kroeger believes “it broke him.”

"The story of Dime and Vinnie, it's a pretty tragic story," Kroeger told Silver Tiger Media. "The truth is that I think Vinnie gave up a lot when he had to witness his brother being murdered. I think he lost a lot of his life. And I really felt like he was so sad that he didn't really wanna be alive anymore. He really struggled until the end; it never got better for him. It was a really horrible experience, obviously, seeing your only brother get murdered onstage while performing. But then, following that, he had his band, he played in Hellyeah, and he did some things, but I don't think anything could distract him from how sad he was.”

Kroeger continued, “He struggled terribly with it after Dime was killed; he really had a hard time. So it was kind of tragic from the beginning. And [the 14th] anniversary [of Dimebag's death] just went by a few days ago [in December]. I keep in touch with the guy who was the responding police officer [James Niggemeyer] who had to take out the shooter that day. He sends me a text message every year on that anniversary. It just went by last week. And ever since that day, I don't think Vinnie was the same ever again, unfortunately. I think it broke him. And that's a terrible, terrible thing. And it was really hard. Because Vin would come out and see us play — he came out and saw us play in Vegas and stuff. It's just sad. He was really sad."

Jan. 24 will see Dimebash 2019 take place, with musicians like Dave Grohl, Corey Taylor, Rex Brown and more set to perform in honor of Dimebag Darrell.

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