Scott Ian controlled Zakk Wylde’s DigiTech Whammy pedal at Pantera’s recent show

Zakk Wylde and his DigiTech Whammy pedal
(Image credit: Guillermo Legaria Schweizer/Getty Images / Scott Ian/Instagram)

Earlier this month, the new-look Pantera lineup – which featured Zakk Wylde on electric guitar – took to the stage for the first time, marking the band’s first live show in 21 years.

Since that premiere performance at Mexico’s Hell & Heaven Metal Fest, Pantera have gone on to play four more dates across South America, including appearances at the Knotfest in Chile and Colombia, and a date at the Movistar Arena in Santiago.

Now, it’s been revealed that Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian was responsible for controlling Wylde’s DigiTech Whammy V pedal during the band’s performance of Becoming at the band’s most recent show in Santiago.

Soon after it was announced that Wylde – and Ian's Anthrax bandmate, Charlie Benante – would be joining the lineup, it was also revealed that the late Dimebag Darrell’s former guitar tech Grady Champion had also been drafted into the fold in an effort to help nail the Pantera founder’s guitar tone.

Taking to social media, Ian recently revealed he had been tutored by Champion to nail the Whammy pedal foot wiggles for Becoming – a role he once performed back in ‘97/’98 when Pantera were on tour.

“On the Panthrax tour back in 97/98 I had the most important job in the show – the Whammy pedal part in Becoming,” Ian wrote. “Under Grady’s tutelage I went from Padawan to master and was given this great responsibility. 

“The other day in Santiago I was given the opportunity to perform this key task for Father Zakk,” he continued. “It had been many years since I had been charged with this principal duty. 

“I swept my initial trepidation away with a swift Black Tooth and took on the job of all jobs at a Pantera show. With a deep breath and a loosening of foot I shrugged off the years and Whammy’d away and nailed it. Thanks Grady!”

To help achieve this task, Ian was situated next to a DigiTech Whammy V that carried a helpful – if slightly unnerving – message that read, “Scott. Don’t fuck up.”

For what it’s worth, judging by the short clip that accompanied the post, it sounded like Ian did an admirable job on the Whammy pedal – no mean feat, given the abundance of Whammy action that Becoming boasts both in the riff and madcap solo section.

Ian was certainly in good hands when it came to working the Whammy for Wylde, since it was Champion himself who operated a Whammy for Dimebag back in the day.

On his own Instagram account, Champion praised Ian for his backstage cameo, writing, “Had a guest on the whammy pedal tonight. Ya think he nailed it? Scott Ian, yeah he did!”

Replying to the comments on that post, Champion confirmed the Whammy that Wylde has been using on tour isn’t Dimebag’s original version, and that he “didn’t want to bring his OG whammys” on the road as they are all over 20 years old.

Some of Dimebag’s old effects have made their way into Wylde’s Pantera rig, though. When Champion announced he’d signed on to join the Pantera tour, he also revealed he’d been granted access to Dimebag’s gear by the late guitarist’s girlfriend, Rita Haney.

Pantera will be wrapping up their 2022 tour at Knotfest Brasil in São Paulo on December 18, but will hit the road again next May for a run of European and US dates.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.