Zakk Wylde has spoken publicly for the first time about his involvement in a Pantera tour alongside Phil Anselmo, Rex Brown and Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante, saying that he's "beyond honoured to be a part of it." But he's also been quick to state that this is a tribute.
"Obviously, it's not Pantera," he told Matt Pinfield and Jose Mangin of Danny Wimmer Presents at this weekend's Inkcarceration Music & Tattoo Festival [as transcribed by Blabbermouth.net (opens in new tab) and the interview can be viewed below]. "Pantera is those four guys — it's Phil, Rex, Dime and Vinnie [Paul]. But it's just like when [Led] 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."
Wylde has always been the favourite to be the guitarist in any mooted tribute tour, and he told Pinfield and Mangin that he was always open to the call.
"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 honour Dime.' It could 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 singing Jimi's songs and they're going out as the 'Jimi Hendrix celebration.' And he's gonna honour his buddy and he's gonna play his songs.
"I think it's a beautiful thing," added Wylde. "It's like when we do the 'Dimebash' [annual tribute event], it's a celebration of Dime's greatness. It's a Pantera celebration — that's what it is… ."
Anselmo and Brown are still yet to comment on the news that the Pantera tribute will play North American tour dates in 2023, with international dates surely an inevitable follow-up.