Zakk Wylde says he’s been using YouTube guitar lessons to learn some of Dimebag Darrell’s parts for Pantera’s upcoming shows.
The Black Label Society leader – who announced he’d be filling Dimebag’s gargantuan shoes for Pantera’s forthcoming tour back in July – explains his contemporary approach to rehearsing for the shows in a new interview with Ola Englund.
“Any of these things that I got stumped on, [and] was like, ‘What the hell was that?’ I would just go, ‘How to play’ and I’d go on YouTube and just see all these other amazing players playing the stuff.”
Wylde adds that while he’s been practicing Dime’s solos alongside Pantera records, he’s also been placing importance on nailing them on their own, without the accompaniment of the songs.
“Playing it with the record is one thing, but then you take the record away and it’s like, ‘Okay, play it for me.’ Because it’s the guideline, you know, it’s like color by numbers – you know where you’re going.”
“[It’s like] taking the GPS off your car. It’s like, ‘All right, you remember how to get back down to Hollywood?’ And you’re like, ‘Zakk, I have no idea, I was following the GPS the whole time!’”
Elsewhere in the interview, Wylde says frontman Phil Anselmo sent him the setlist for Pantera’s upcoming shows, and that he’s been spending focused time learning tracks like Goddamn Electric, Walk, Cowboys From Hell and A New Level.
“I'll be hooking up with the fellows. And then we just start going over everything and just probably go over it nice and quiet, until we can start firing it up and just go full volume,” he adds.
We’re just wondering if Wylde has stumbled across Kayla Kent, who channels Dimebag’s spirit with her eerily accurate Pantera covers.
In a recent Guitar World interview, Wylde explained that while he’s “beyond honored” to stand in place of Dimebag Darrell at the forthcoming shows, fans shouldn’t expect him to sound too much like the late guitarist.
“No matter what I do, it’s going to sound like me,” he said. “I can practice all I want and stay as faithful as I want, but I am never going to escape that. It's like if Dime were still here, and he played Miracle Man or No More Tears – even if he played them spot on – it would still sound like Dimebag Darrell playing Zakk Wylde.
“So, that's a challenge, but it's not a bad thing at all. It's like if Randy Rhoads were to play Eddie Van Halen's Eruption, no matter what he did, it would sound like Randy playing, not Eddie. You're never going to mistake Randy for Eddie or Eddie for Randy, and it's the same thing here with me playing Dime's stuff.”
The newly reformed Pantera – which, alongside Anselmo and Wylde, also features original bass guitar player Rex Brown and Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante – will play the first of their scheduled shows at Mexico's Hell & Heaven Open Air, before heading to South America for a string of further dates. The band also have a series of shows booked in Europe in June 2023.
For a full list of dates, head to Pantera's official website.