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Charlie Benante on Pantera celebration tour: ‘If you close your eyes, it's gonna sound like it's Vinnie'

The Anthrax drummer and Zakk Wylde discussed their involvement in the hotly-anticipated outing

Guitarist Zakk Wylde and Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante were recently confirmed to be joining Phillip Anselmo and Rex Brown on a Pantera celebration tour in 2023.

Since then, Wylde publicly discussed his involvement in the tour in an interview at the Inkcarceration Music & Tattoo Festival in Mansfield, Ohio.

Now, Benante has also chimed in, in a joint interview with Wylde on SiriusXM's Trunk Nation with Eddie Trunk.

Regarding how he plans to approach the gig, Benante said he’s going to hew as closely as possible to late Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul’s original parts. "I can't go do this as the drummer from Anthrax because it would be a different sound completely,” he said, as transcribed by Blabbermouth. “So the way I'm gonna do that is if you close your eyes, it's gonna sound like it's Vinnie, basically. And that's how it's gonna be. The sound is gonna sound exactly like him."

Wylde laid out a similar mindset. “You approach it the same way as you do when I'm playing with Ozzy," he said. "Obviously I've gotta learn [Randy] Rhoads' stuff and I've gotta learn Jake' [E. Lee]'s stuff, and when I was doing the Sabbath stuff, you learn it and do it as faithful as you can. Charlie's gotta learn all of Vinnie's parts. You approach it as if you're in a cover band. When we do the Zakk Sabbath stuff, I don't start changing lyrics midway through 'War Pigs.' You learn the songs — so that's what you do."

Speaking about how he got involved in the tour, Benante said he was first approached in December 2020. "I was talking to Philip, and then he just mentioned this,” Benante recalled. “And I said, 'Oh, yeah, sure. Whatever.' And then it became real about January [or] February. To this day, if it happens, if there's one show that's played, great."

Added Wylde, "When Vinnie was still with us, it was always rolling around that, 'Zakk, would you honor Dime and all of us get together and do this thing?' And I said, 'Fellas, whenever you wanna do this thing, I'll be over here waiting in the dugout and in the bullpen. And just call me when you need me and I'll learn everything and we'll go do this.’ ”