Nickelback’s Bassist Recalls The Time Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul Drank Him Under The Table

Mike Kroeger by JK Music Group
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Metal is known for its hard-partying personalities, but few musicians could give even experienced drinkers a run for their money quite like Pantera‘s Abbott Brothers. When Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul walked in a room, there was a Crown Royal in everyone’s hands, and when they left, there was vomit on everyone’s shirts. Now, Nickelback bassist Mike Kroeger (brother to frontman Chad) has revealed his night of drinking with the Abbotts — and man, it sounds rough.

During a recent appearance on Talkin’ Rock With Meltdown, Mike recalled how he and his brother had befriended Pantera’s guitarist and drummer. But while Chad tried to keep up, Mike quickly learned his limits.

“They were closest with Chad because, to be honest with you, Chad was willing to run with them and tried to keep up the alcohol consumption pace,” Mike recalls, “which if you are partying with those guys, you know what that means…It’s essentially a death march, and that’s not an exaggeration. I only had the misfortune once of getting mixed up in a ‘party situation’ with them where Dime was bartending, and oh boy… Honestly, I ran away like a coward.

“I got to the point where my legs didn’t work anymore, I couldn’t see, and I just did the Irish goodbye, and I just never came back. I was like, ‘These guys are gonna kill me, man.’ And they were having a great time too. They had, both brothers — Dime especially — had this magnificent tolerance. They could just drink this stuff like water and they just kept getting funnier and funnier – or maybe I got more and more drunk.

“Then you would start to notice that your motor skills are going, and that’s when they really pull it on to really get you over the finish line, so to speak. And I remember reaching that threshold where I was like, ‘This is gonna be bad.’ I was thinking I was gonna make one of their home videos or something, and I got the hell out of there.

“My wife was actually on my bus with the kids and everything, and I would not want to see a video of me getting on that bus and kind of stumbling and crashing into stuff on the way to bed, crawling into the bed with my wife. She indicated that I had an odor of a distillery, that I should probably stay on my side of the bed or else I should go sleep someplace else, and it was pretty rough.

“I’m not gonna tell Chad’s story, but let’s just say he reached the target zone that Dimebag and Vinnie were looking for. They finished him off really good.”

Pour yourself a stiff drink and listen to the episode here:


Words by Chris Krovatin