In the vast ocean of metal guitar content that lurks within YouTube, Swedish six-stringer Ola Englund (the Haunted, Feared) is a major force, and deservedly so.
He’s also a huge Pantera fan – and many of his Dime-centric videos have amassed impressive views. In fact, they’re so good that Zakk Wylde watched some of them when learning parts for the current Pantera celebration tour.
“It’s funny to hear that a player I look up to would even bother checking out my stupid videos,” Englund says. “It’s come full circle in a way… Dimebag was my first real guitar hero. I heard the riff for Walk when I was 15, and that was it. Best guitar tone and riff I’ve heard! I busted my ass that summer to be able to buy a Washburn Blackjack when I turned 16. There was no turning back after that.”
What are your thoughts on the Pantera celebration tour and lineup?
“Like a lot of people who love Pantera, when I first heard about it, it felt like a double-edged sword. I was like, ‘But you can’t do it without Dimebag and Vinnie – Dimebag and Vinnie are Pantera.’ But, at the same time, Phil and Rex are also 50 percent of Pantera. Plus, as a fan, I felt this was the closest I’d get to seeing my favorite band again. You can be a gatekeeper, but we also need to keep the legacy of Pantera alive, the legacy of Dime and Vinnie. The best way to do that is to pay tribute to the brothers.
“When I heard the lineup with Charlie [Benante] and Zakk, I felt, ‘That’s the right way to do it.’ I’d probably say it’s the only way to do it. As a fan, and I’m speaking for 15-year-old Ola here, Zakk is the only option. I don’t want to see anybody else. Knowing Zakk and Dime were such good friends and that they spent so much time together, there’s no-one else who can do this like he can.”
A lot of people have said you should be playing guitar in the Pantera tribute.
“I’m extremely flattered by that, but no! It has to be Zakk. He’s the guy. He’s the rock star. There are plenty of guys who can play Dimebag guitar on YouTube, but they’re not rock stars; they can’t handle those shoes. Zakk can.
“Also, I want to see the band – I don’t want to be up there! I want to be in the pit listening to that stuff being played live again; 15-year-old Ola has been longing for this. I can’t wait!”