Zakk Wylde has commented on how long he plans to continue playing guitar for PANTERA.
PANTERA guitarist Zakk Wylde took part in the question-and-answer portion of Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy Camp‘s “Metalmania III” in Los Angeles, and was asked if he is planning to continue playing with PANTERA “permanently”. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET; video by TheSilverdude): “Yeah. I told the guys [singer Philip Anselmo and bassist Rex Brown] whenever… as long as they wanna do it. I don’t know why you would wanna end it, ’cause all you’re [doing is] going out there and you’re just celebrating the fellas. I think it’s a beautiful thing and I get to hang out with my buddies.”
Zakk was also asked about his relationship with ‘Dimebag‘ Darrell‘s brother, late PANTERA drummer Vincent “Vinnie Paul” Abbott. He said: “Oh, Vinnie was great too… With Dime and Vinnie, every night was Friday night or Saturday night. ‘Cause it wouldn’t be Sunday. And even if it was Sunday, it would be Sunday Night Football. You know what I mean?
“Every night was Friday night, man. I mean, it just literally was. I always say it, if you [were hanging out with] Dime and Vinnie, there was zero time to get depressed. If you were bummed out, it’s, like, ‘Zakk, call the fellas up. We’re gonna have a party.’ You could either be depressed or you could be loving life and whooping as much ass as possible. They were always about having a good time. I mean, Dime would walk in a room if somebody was depressed as could possibly be, [and] he would just light up a room. Same thing with Vinnie, man.”
Reassembling under the PANTERA banner, the band, featuring surviving members Anselmo and Brown, alongside Wylde and drummer Charlie Benante from ANTHRAX, is set to headline major festivals across North America, South America, and Europe. Additionally, they will host their own headline concerts and provide support for METALLICA during an extensive stadium tour spanning 2023 and 2024.
Initial reports in July 2022 hinted at Anselmo and Brown joining forces with Wylde and Benante for a global tour as PANTERA.
Billboard confirms that the lineup has received approval from Dimebag and Vinnie Paul’s estates, as well as from Brown, who previously indicated in 2021 that Wylde wouldn’t be part of a PANTERA reunion tour. The reasons for his change of stance remain unclear.
Vinnie Paul and Dimebag co-founded the band PANTERA. Following PANTERA‘s dissolution in 2003, they went on to create DAMAGEPLAN. Tragically, on December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was fatally shot onstage by a troubled schizophrenic.
In 2011, Dimebag‘s longtime girlfriend, Rita Haney, urged Vinnie and Philip to reconcile in tribute to Dimebag.
Vinnie, who was also Dimebag‘s brother, and Anselmo had not communicated since the breakup of PANTERA in 2003. The situation intensified when Vinnie suggested that some statements made by the vocalist about Dimebag in a recent interview might have played a role in inciting Dimebag‘s killer.