Zakk Wylde says he has yet to learn his electric guitar parts for Pantera’s upcoming reunion tour.
In a new interview with the SDR Show, the Ozzy Osbourne guitarist – who said he was “beyond honored” to be filling Dimebag Darrell’s monumental shoes during the trek earlier this year – explains (transcribed by Blabbermouth (opens in new tab)): “I don’t know [how to play] the songs.
“If Dime had to play [Ozzy’s] No More Tears solo, Mama, I’m Coming Home, Miracle Man, Perry Mason and [Black Label Society’s] Suicide Messiah, it’d be like, ‘You must know Zakk’s stuff.’ He [would be] like, ‘No, I don’t know any of his stuff. Zakk’s my buddy, but no, I don’t know any of his stuff.’”
Pantera’s reunion shows are scheduled to commence in December, beginning with a set at Mexico’s Heaven and Hell Metal Fest, followed by a string of performances at various South American Knotfest dates.
While it may seem like Wylde is cutting it a little fine to learn Dimebag’s guitar parts – which include plenty of solos – for the forthcoming run of dates, he’s an extremely proficient guitarist, honing his skills with decades of experience as Ozzy Osbourne’s six-string sidekick and as Black Label Society's frontman/guitarist, so we’d wager he’s going to be fine.
Elsewhere in the interview, Wylde spoke about how the Pantera reunion came to be, and how he ended up landing the guitar gig in it.
“I had nothing to do with [putting the Pantera reunion together],” he says. “I’m friends with the guys. It’d be like if Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell were gonna do a tribute to Jimi [Hendrix] and they [asked] Eric Clapton, ‘Eric, would you sing and play Jimi’s stuff? We’re gonna put this tribute thing together.’ It’s just like, of course Eric would [do it].”
He continues: “I’m gonna be honored [to play in the Pantera reunion shows]. Even if it was a festival they were putting together and they wanted Black Label to come up and have Phil [Anselmo, Pantera's frontman] sing and they were gonna have all the different bands up there – Lamb of God, Black Label, Anthrax – and all the bands were gonna play a Pantera song and Phil’s gonna sing, of course we’d be involved. Why wouldn’t we be involved?”
Back in August, it was revealed that Wylde will be using Dimebag Darrell’s guitar gear for the upcoming reunion tour.
In a social media post, Grady Champion, Dimebag's longtime guitar tech, said that he had been granted access to the late guitar icon’s gear by Rita Haney, the late guitarist's girlfriend and the trustee of his estate.
“For all the people I’ve ghosted, and anyone else who is interested. I’m doing a thing,” Champion wrote. “I signed on for the Pantera tour. [Rita Haney] has allowed me access to some of Dime’s gear and I’m bringing it for Zakk.
“I’m not his tech, he has a badass, long-time one,” he continued. “The plan for now is for me to run effects and help bring Dime’s tone to the party.”