Posted on by Oran

Last week was a whirlwind seven days for Pantera fans. On Thursday, reports confirmed that the band’s surviving members, bassist Rex Brown and frontman Phil Anselmo, had committed to a reunion tour that would be taking place next year. 

It was then reported that Black Label Society guitarist Zakk Wylde and Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante had been recruited to fill the spots left by the late Abbott brothers, guitarist Dimebag Darrell and drummer Vinnie Paul.

Now Wylde has discussed his involvement in the project for the first time, with the  electric guitar superstar saying he is “beyond honored to be a part” of the reunion tour, which he describes as “a celebration of Vinnie and Dime’s greatness”.

In conversation with Danny Wimmer Presents at the Inkcarceration Music & Tattoo Festival, Wylde said he was first onboard with a Dimebag Darrell tribute concert prior to Vinnie Paul’s passing. Now he will be taking the opportunity to pay tribute to both.

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When Vinnie was still alive, when the fellas were all talkin’ about doing it, I just always told them, ‘Guys, of course I would. If you asked me, why would I not do it?’ I’m gonna honor Dime,” he said. “It’d be like Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell asking Eric Clapton if he would go out and honour Jimi [Hendrix], and Eric playing Jimi’s stuff and playing Jimi’s songs, and they are going out as the Jimi Hendrix Celebration – and then they honour his buddy and he is going to play his songs.

Wylde also went on to stress that the touring band’s lineup is “not Pantera”, and that the shows will strictly serve as tributes to the Abbott brothers.

Obviously, it’s not Pantera,” he continued. Pantera is those four guys – it’s Phil, Rex, Dime and Vinnie. But it’s just like when [Led] Zeppelin went out with Jason Bonham [son of late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham] playing. It was phenomenal. It’s a great thing just to hear them play that music again.

I’m beyond honoured to be a part of it,” Wylde added. “When we do the Dimebashes, with Zakk Sabbath, it’s a celebration of Dime’s greatness. And I think this is a Pantera celebration. That’s what it is. It is a beautiful thing. You are celebrating Vinnie and Dime’s greatness, and you are celebrating all the mountains that Pantera conquered and crushed.

Dates are expected to follow soon.

Oran O’Beirne

www.overdrive.ie 2022