It’s been a few days since the official announcement that Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown will be reviving Pantera in some form and taking the band on tour. It didn’t take long for rumors of Zakk Wylde and Anthrax’s Charlie Benante replacing Dimebag and Vinnie to start flying around. And, what’s more, these rumors were officially confirmed through Billboard magazine, finally revealing that Wylde and Benante will be joining Anselmo and Brown.
Of course, Wylde has been one of the most popular candidates for a hypothetical Panthera event featuring Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown. After all, Zakk was a close friend of Dime and this would have been the most respectful option to the late guitarist. Things, however, weren’t that simple to pull off as drummer Vinnie Paul wasn’t really in the best relations with Anselmo and Brown. This is one of the reasons why some fans weren’t up for this kind of a tour since neither Vinnie nor Dime, who were crucial and technically only original members, are obviously not here to give their blessings.
In a recent interview conducted by Danny Wimmer Presents, Zakk Wylde finally addressed the issue, officially announcing his recruitment to this Pantera reunion tour. He offered:
“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.'”
“It could be like Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell asking Eric Clapton if he would go out and honor Jimi [Hendrix] 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. I think it’s a beautiful thing.”
“It’s like when we do the ‘Dimebash’ [events in honor of Dimebag], 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.”
However, Zakk also adds that this tour cannot ever be seen as the real deal, the Pantera with the Abbott brothers. He explains:
“Obviously, it’s not Pantera. 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 told Jason, I was just, like, ‘Dude, you crushed it, man.’ It’s a great thing just to hear them play that music again.
“I’m beyond honored to be a part of it.”