Zakk Wylde Reacts to Cancelation of Pantera’s Shows in Germany and Austria, Explains Importance of Marshall’s JCM800 Amp

Recently, Guitar World published a lengthy interview with Zack Wylde, Scott Ian, and Gary Holt. The three metal guitar legends were interviewed to promote the co-headlining tour of Black Label Society and Anthrax, with Exodus acting as special guests.

During the chat, Zakk Wylde was reminded of Pantera’s recently canceled shows. Two of these were supposed to take place in Germany over at Rock am Ring and Rock im Park festivals. The third one was scheduled for Vienna, Austria at the city’s Gasometer venue. The cancelation was done due to Phil Anselmo’s controversial behavior at 2016’s “Dimebash” event. Asked on the matter, Zakk replied:

“There’s nothing I can do about that, you know what I mean? In terms of my role, it’s always a case of being ready for whatever – as in seeing if the fellas want to add any more songs or anything like that while we’re out rolling together on this tour.

“If I get a call from Phil or Rex and they want to change up the set or do whatever, I’m usually just in the back lounge working on more songs!”

Further on, Zakk was also asked about his approach to playing these Pantera tunes and how he managed to put his signature style in there while staying true to the old original recordings. He commented:

“It’s inevitable I will end up sounding like me. If Dime was playing with Ozz and doing my stuff, it would sound like Dime playing the solo to ‘No More Tears‘ or ‘Mama, I’m Coming Home.‘ It would be Dime’s vibrato, Dime’s tone.

Black Label Society - In This River [Official Video] HQ

“It would sound like him playing my stuff. Even if he did it note-for-note, it would sound like him because that’s his sound, you know what I mean? 

“So yeah, we’re having a blast out there playing these songs. I’m just honored I get a chance to pay tribute to the brothers. It’s a pretty special thing that’s happening right now. I can’t say I have a favorite song or solo, though.

“Just like when I’m playing with Ozz, I enjoy the whole thing. I love all of it and any of it, from the first note we play to the last note we play. It’s *all* awesome.”


The aforementioned festivals shared the news of cancelation through their social media profiles, explaining the reasoning behind their decision for the event that will take place in early June:

“Pantera will not be performing at Rock am Ring and Rock in the Park 2023, as announced.

“In the last few weeks, we have had many intensive conversations with artists, our partners and you, the festival fans, we have continued to deal with the criticism together and decided to remove the band from the program.”

Zakk Wylde rips amazing guitar solo over Andy James track, EMGtv

Elsewhere during the interview, all three of them were asked about using amplifiers with EL34 power tubes in them, typical of traditional British-style amps. Zakk said:

“It all depends on what you want. Like Father Scott [Ian] said, with certain things like EVH amps, Soldanos or Wizards, they have a lot of gain. The beautiful thing about JCM800s is that it’s such a simple circuit. There’s a good amount of overdrive, even more if you put a pedal in front.

Zakk also explains how he prefers to achieve clean tones through this classic amp:

“If you want to clean it up, just turn the pedal off and roll the volume on your guitar down. It’s all good. There is no right or wrong way to do it. All it comes down to is whatever works best to get the tone you enjoy!”

Marshall JCM800 2203ZW Zakk Wylde Signature | Playthrough Demo (EL34 and KT77 Power Tubes)

Later on, Zakk also added:

“Every amp after the 800 is a derivative, to some extent. Those Marshall amps are like the wheel. The same goes for Les Pauls and Strats. Everything that came after is a variation or tweak on that, like a pair of Levi’s and a Fruit of the Loom t-shirt. The original is always simple and works for everyone!”

Last year in an interview, Zakk Wylde looked back on talking to drummer Vinnie Paul while he was still alive about a potential Pantera formation with himself on guitar replacing Dimebag Darrell. Asked about how the current lineup came to be as well as whether he discussed anything with Vinnie before he passed, the guitarist said:

“The fellas… 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.

Zakk Wylde plays Dimebag's Guitar Live

“And they’re just like, ‘Eric, we’re gonna get together, and we’re gonna go honor Jimi. Would you sing and play Jimmy’s stuff?’ Of course Eric would do it. I mean, that’s his buddy. Of course, I would do it.

“It’s like, ‘Zack, 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 the 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 Phill called me one night and was like, ‘Zakk, me and Rex would really love it if you would honor Dime.’”

Pantera - Cowboys From Hell! Crazy crowd @ Knotfest Chile 2022!!!

“And 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, you know what I mean?”

Of course, the whole “reunion or not” thing was a hot topic and is still present online even in 2023. Zakk addressed the issue, finally setting the record straight on his end by saying:

“It was so funny because somebody was like, ‘It’s not Pantera!’ Of course it’s not Pantera. [laughs] It’s Phill, Rex, and two of their buddies getting together to honor Dime, Vinnie, and all their achievements. It’s a celebration of Pantera and all the mountains they conquered. It’s the way I look at it.”

Photos: MrPanyGoff (Black Label Society 2015, Sofia 08), Tilly Antoine (Phil Anselmo Hellfest 2022)


  • 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, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.