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Zakk Wylde on Upcoming Pantera Tour: “I’m Beyond Honored To Be a Part of It”

"Obviously, it's not Pantera ... it's a Pantera celebration"

Zakk Wylde Pantera Tour
Zakk Wylde, photo by Antonio Marino Jr.
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    Zakk Wylde has confirmed his participation in a recently reported Pantera tour set for 2023, saying he’s “beyond honored to be a part of it.” The guitarist has been tapped along with Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante to fill the shoes of late brothers Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul, respectively.

    Wylde and Benante will join surviving Pantera members Philip Anselmo and Rex Brown for a series of North American and European festival dates next year, as well as a number of headlining shows. No specific dates have been announced yet, but Wylde is eager to start “celebrating all the mountains that Pantera conquered and crushed.”

    While speaking with Jose Mangin and Matt Pinfield at the Inkcarceration festival over the weekend for promoter Danny Wimmer Presents’ YouTube channel, Wylde explained that “obviously, it’s not Pantera,” but more of a “Pantera celebration.”

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    “When Vinnie was still alive, when the fellows were all talking about doing it, I just always told ’em, I said, ‘Of course I would … If you asked me, why would I not do it? I’m gonna honor Dime’,” remarked Wylde (as transcribed by Blabbermouth). “It could be like [Jimi Hendrix Experience members] Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell asking Eric Clapton if he would go out and honor Jimi, and Eric playing Jimi’s stuff and singing Jimi’s songs and they’re going out as the ‘Jimi Hendrix Celebration.’ And he’s gonna honor his buddy and he’s gonna play his songs.”

    The guitarist continued, “I think it’s a beautiful thing. It’s like when we do the [annual] ‘Dimebash’ [events], it’s a celebration of Dime’s greatness. It’s a Pantera celebration — that’s what it is… You’re celebrating Vinnie and Dime’s greatness and you’re celebrating all the mountains that Pantera conquered and crushed.”

    He went on to say, “Obviously, it’s not Pantera. Pantera is those four guys — it’s Phil, Rex, Dime and Vinnie. But it’s just like when Zeppelin went out with Jason Bonham playing, it was phenomenal. I told Jason, I was just, like, ‘Dude, you crushed it, man.’ It’s a great thing just to hear them play that music again.”

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    Wylde concluded, “I’m beyond honored to be a part of it.”

    Benante, meanwhile, hasn’t done any interviews since the report of his participation, but he did tweet out the dictionary definition of “celebration” on Friday, also suggesting that this lineup shouldn’t be considered Pantera, but more of a celebration of their music.

    While we wait for details of the Pantera tour to be announced, Benante and Wylde will hit the road together as part of Anthrax’s joint tour with Wylde’s Black Label Society. The summer North American outing kicks off July 26th in Phoenix, Arizona, with tickets available here.

    Watch Zakk Wylde’s interview and see Charlie Benante’s tweet below.

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