While Zakk Wylde has been tearing it up onstage with the reformed Pantera on thewir current tribute tour, producer Sterling Winfield, who worked on the band’s final studio album, Reinventing the Steel, has stated in a new interview that there were in fact other guitar players considered for the job.
Appearing on Reckless Rock Radio 89.3 KNON FM, Winfield said (transcribed by Blabbermouth), "There was no doubt in my mind that [Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante] would be the one to take over for Vinnie [Paul]. [It was a] no-brainer — absolute no-brainer.”
Regarding the guitar slot, he continued, “Now, there were some other guitar folks that were brought up. I'll just say this — that it would not have been a good fit, and quite honestly, they would not have been able to pull it off. But it always kept circling back around to Zakk. And after a couple of times, it was, like, again another no-brainer. Because he knew Dime better than most any other guitar player on the planet knew him. Is it gonna be Dimebag Darrell's exact notes and riffs and everything? No. It's Zakk Wylde, you idiots. It's Zakk."
Winfield also weighed in on the controversy over whether the ongoing Pantera tour, which includes dates around the world throughout 2023, should be considered "a reunion." "It is not Pantera 2.0, at least not at this point," he said. "Whatever you wanna think, that's fine. Go ahead and make your assumptions. But it was the media that called this a reunion. It was the media that called this the reformation of Pantera — not them. They never put this out there as that. They put this strictly out there as a tribute to the brothers and for the fans and for the music and for the legacy of this music, to bring it to another generation of people.”