The Perfect Valentine's Gift

Nothing says "I love you" like fork-tongued thrash metal. That's why, just in time for V-Day, we bring you the romantic saga of Dallas-based Damageplan, the new noise gods on the block formed by guitarist Dimebag Darrell and drummer Vinnie Paul, formerly of Pantera. With Pat Lachman on vocals, Bob Zilla on bass and, we figure, Lucifer on cow bell, Damageplan has recorded New Found Power, a full-length that came out February 10 on Elektra. It's filled with valentines such as "Soul Bleed" and "Fuck You," which features the sly seduction: "Fuck this, all of this/Bitch and moan and piss." Awwww. I think we can agree that New Found Power is the perfect Valentine's Day gift, especially if your lover prefers switchblades to Cupid's little arrows. After all, what's a dozen roses when you could give her "Blunt Force Trauma" (track 12)? Gosh, honey, you shouldn't have.

Recently, we spoke with drummer Vinnie Paul about his new band and his New Found Power.

This album is intense. Do you ever wake up and go, "Dude, I'm hungover. I don't want to do this"?

There's an old saying we came up with: A hangover is inspiration.

My first-grade teacher used to say that. So where did the band's name come from?

Originally, the working title was New Found Power. When Dime[bag Darrell] and I first sat down to start a band, we said this'll be a lot harder than we think, and we'll have to reach down inside and find a newfound power. But the name had to be more powerful than that. The only thing that came to my mind was that when they built the atomic bomb, they had one thing in mind, and that was a fucking damage plan.

So where did the new singer, Pat Lachman, come from?

Patrick was in [Judas Priest lead singer] Rob Halford's band. He gave me a demo, and it gave me goosebumps. I called Dimebag and said, "Whatever you're fucking doing, put the CD in and call me back." He called me back five minutes later and said, "Wow."

I always wonder: Doesn't Pat hurt his voice with all that screaming?

Man, I hear him practicing every night. Your voice is like any muscle in your body. You just have to build it up and teach it what you want it to do.

So when you guys write a song, how does it begin?

Anywhere, and that's the most beautiful thing. It could be a drum groove or guitar riffs or lyrical ideas. Pat basically wrote all the lyrics himself, about personal experiences or things we went through. Or they were inspired by working titles. A song like "Cold Blooded," it just had a cold-blooded vibe.

I'm noticing that Dallas is a hard-rock city. Why is that?

They've got a strong radio station in KEGL. And The Clubhouse is right up the street, so all the bands that tour through can go there.

Oh, right. You and Dimebag Darrell own The Clubhouse, an all-nude strip club, don't you?

Yeah. The finest in adult entertainment in the Southwest, and everybody from Kid Rock to Metallica to Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath has been there. It's got an aura about it--you never know who you're gonna run into. It might be the Dallas Stars, the Dallas Cowboys. We even had Jack Wagner in there.

From General Hospital? Are you kidding? Can I go?

Oh, sure. March 10, we're doing a record release there.

So would you say New Found Power is the perfect Valentine's Day present, like, ever?

Absolutely. For me, at least.

Good Records--that bastion of indie cred and, well, good records--has brought back Good Mondays at the Meridian Room. In short: giveaways, new music and half-price drafts all night. We're so there. Especially this Monday, February 16, when Good Records premieres the DVD from Superchunk, those nutty Chapel Hill über-indies whose 14-year career has been an inspiration to hipsters and child actors everywhere. Crowding Up Your Visual Field features 12 of the band's videos, all based around some silly premise--Superchunk in a shack! Superchunk as marionettes! Fireworks in the mouth!--but pulled off with flair, if a tad unpolished (and would we have it any other way?). Commentary from the band reveals such insight as the fact that Mac McCaughan's dad appeared in the "Mower" video and that McCaughan almost killed the band following its underwhelming 2001 tour. That tour is the subject of Quest for Sleep, an hour-long documentary. They cut up, they eat sushi, they crack wise, but always, they endure. And pogo!