Zakk Wylde Addresses Upcoming Pantera Shows – ‘Of Course It’s Not Pantera’
This December, Wylde — Ozzy Osbourne's lead guitarist and Black Label Society bandleader — will join Charlie Benante — the drummer of Anthrax — when the two musicians take the place of Pantera's late Abbott brothers, guitarist Dimebag Darrell and drummer Vinnie Paul, as Pantera return for their first shows billed under that name in over two decades.
On Wednesday (Oct. 26), Wylde told Ultimate Guitar, "It was so funny, because somebody was like, 'It's not Pantera!' Of course it's not Pantera. [Laughs] It's Phil [Anselmo, Pantera's lead vocalist], Rex [Brown, Pantera's bassist] and two of their buddies getting together to honor Dime, Vinnie and all their achievements."
He added, "It's a celebration of Pantera and all the mountains they conquered. It's the way I look at it."
Wylde continued, addressing past rumors of Pantera reunions or tributes, "There was always word about that going around. And I just always said, 'That's up to the guys.' It's almost kind of like, the way I always viewed it, if Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding called up Eric Clapton because Eric and Jimi, they're all friends. And they're just like, 'Eric, we're gonna get together, and we're gonna go honor Jimi. Would you sing and play Jimi's stuff?' Of course Eric would do it. I mean, that's his buddy."
Building on that notion, he mused, "It's like, 'Zakk, would you ever do it?' It's like, 'Well, of course I'm going to do it. Why would I not?' I'm going to do best job I can, obviously, but that's not my decision, that's the guys. Back in the day with Vinnie, there were discussions, and then, after Vinnie passed away, I didn't think anything would ever happen. I remember Phil called me one night, and was like, 'Zakk, me and Rex would really love it if you would honor Dime.'
Wylde recalled, "I was like, 'Of course, guys, I would always be here to honor Dime and all your achievements.' The way I looked at it. It's just a bunch of friends getting together, honoring their buddies."
When news arrived in July that Pantera would tour again with the reformulated lineup, rock and metal fans responded. The next month, word emerged that the concerts would kick off later this year. Pantera then released a teaser video honoring the Abbott brothers.
Vinnie Paul, later of Hellyeah, died in 2018 from heart failure. Dimebag Darrell was killed onstage in 2004 during a show by his and Paul's post-Pantera act, Damageplan. Their joint gravesite is in their home state of Texas. Pantera last release was the studio album Reinventing the Steel in 2000.
See Pantera's upcoming tour dates below.
Pantera Fall 2022 World Tour Dates
Dec. 2 – Texcoco, Mexico @ Heaven & Hell
Dec. 6 – Monterrey, Mexico @ Metal Fest
Dec. 9 – Bogota, Colombia @ Knotfest
Dec. 11 – Santiago, Chile @ Knotfest
Dec. 13 – Santiago, Chile @ Theater Coliseo
Dec. 15 – Sao Paulo, Brazil @ Vibra
Dec. 18 – Sao Paulo, Brazil @ Knotfest