Zakk Wylde Opens Up on How He Really Feels About Playing in Pantera, Recalls Working on ’Rock Star’ Film

Zakk Wylde reflected on joining the current version of Pantera, featuring him on guitar and Anthrax’s Charlie Benante on drums, alongside classic members Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown. The announcement that something was going on first came in July 2022, with Wylde and Benante being announced not long after.

During his recent Q&A session with fans over at this year’s Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp event, one of the attendees reminded Zakk of his participation in this new version of Pantera, thanking him for doing it and bringing the show to fans worldwide.  

“Yeah, it was a great time,” Zakk offered (transcribed by Killer Guitar Rigs). “It was a beautiful thing.”

Zakk Wylde Q & A during Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp 2023

One of the most interesting things about this tour for Zakk is when Phil asks everyone in attendance whether they saw the band back in the day and if this is their first time. The guitar legend continued:

“It really is pretty mind-blowing because Phil asked the crowd pretty much every night, ‘How many people saw Pantera back in the ’90s, exactly?’ And then you have everybody raise their hand. And then Phil’s like, ‘How many people this is the first time seeing Pantera?’, and it really is pretty amazing, I’m just saying.”

The new version of Pantera played the first show on December 2, 2022, over at Mexico’s “Hell & Heaven” festival. This marked the first performance under the Pantera moniker in about 21 years. This year in May, the band had their first show in the US with this new lineup.

🔥PANTERA🔥Full First Show (Multicam) - Hell & Heaven Fest 2022 👹 - 02.DEC.2022

“So it’s a beautiful thing in regard to all those kids that didn’t get to see the magic that the four of them created,” Zakk added, reflecting on the importance of these live shows.

“And everybody that saw it back in the day — it’s a nice trip down memory lane. And just honoring Dime, Vinnie, and obviously, Philip and Rex and everything that the four of them created — to me, it is a beautiful thing to honor the guys every night.

“Just like when we do the Experience Hendrix thing,” added Zakk, comparing the current Pantera lineup to live events honoring Jimi Hendrix. “It’s always a beautiful thing because we’re all up there honoring Jimi’s greatness.”

Pantera - Walk/Domination / Hollow/Cowboys From Hell (Freedom Mortgage Pavilion) Camden,Nj 8.2.23

“And every day when I’m playing with Ozzy, and we play all the Randy stuff, we’re honoring St. Rhoads,” he also added. “So to me, it’s a beautiful thing.”

During the same Q&A session, Zakk was also asked about participating in the “Rock Star” film from 2001, starring Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston. Inspired by the story of Tim “Ripper” Owens joining Judas Priest, it also featured some big names in rock music, including Zakk. When asked how that came to be, Zakk replied:

“So people came down — we were working on the ‘Stronger Than Death’ record [the Black Label Society album], and they come down to the studio and introduce themselves to me.

They were like, ‘Zakk, we’re doing this movie with Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston, and we wondered if you wanted to be in it.’ I said, ‘Well, what is it you need me to do?'”

ROCKSTAR (2001) - Behind The Scenes (with ZAKK WYLDE)

“They were like, ‘We just want you to play a guy who is in the band, shoots guns, drinks beer, and we wondered if you could do that.’ That’s quite the stretch. [Laughs] I was basically like, ‘And you’re gonna pay me for this? Yeah, no problem.'”

“But it was a great time,” Zakk added. “Everybody on it — like I said before, Mark and Jennifer, everybody that was involved in the movie were all super cool people and it was just a great time.”

Last year, not long after it was announced that Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown would be reuniting under the Pantera name with Zakk and Charlie, a video of Vinnie Paul from 2014 surfaced again, with the late Pantera drummer sharing his stance on a potential reunion without Dimebag Darrell. At that point, there were rumors flying around that the classic lineup could reunite with Zakk Wylde taking the spot of Dimebag Darrell who tragically passed away in 2004.

Vinnie Paul explains why a PANTERA REUNION with Zakk Wylde would never be possible

“People are selfish, man,” Vinnie said. “They want what they want. They don’t care what you want, you know? And it’s unfortunate that people go, ‘Oh wow, they could get Zakk Wylde to jump up there on stage and it’s Pantera again. No, it’s not.'”

“It’s not that simple, you know? If Eddie Van Halen wants to get shot in the head 4 times next week, would everybody be going ‘Hey man, Zakk, go play for Van Halen, just call it Van Halen,’ you see what I’m saying? It’s really selfish for people to think that, and it’s stupid.”

Photo: Elekes Andor (Pantera (7))

  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.

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