Last week it was announced that Philip Anselmo and Rex Brown would be uniting for a 2023 tour to celebrate the music of Pantera, and that Zakk Wylde and Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante would be joining them on the jaunt, filling in for deceased members “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott and his brother, Vinnie Paul.
Now, Wylde has spoken publicly for the first time about his involvement in the tour, in an interview with Matt Pinfield and Jose Mangin at the Inkcarceration Music & Tattoo Festival in Mansfield, Ohio.
While Wylde said he’s “beyond honored to be a part of it,” he echoed a sentiment expressed by many fans online that the shows should not be considered a reunion.
“Obviously, it's not Pantera," he said. "Pantera is those four guys. It's Phil, Rex, Dime and Vinnie. But it's just like when Zeppelin went out with Jason Bonham playing, it was phenomenal. I told Jason, I was just like, 'Dude, you crushed it, man. Your dad was probably bawling.' And it's a great thing just to hear them play that music again."
Wylde went on to state that he was always open to taking part in a celebration of Pantera’s music and legacy. "When Vinnie was still alive… when the fellas were all talking about doing it, I just always told 'em, I said, 'Guys, if you asked me, why would I not do it? Of course I'm gonna honor Dime.'
He continued, "It’d be like Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell asking Eric Clapton if they would go out and honor Jimi [Hendrix] and Eric playing Jimi's stuff and singing Jimi's songs and they're going out as the Jimi Hendrix Celebration. And he's gonna honor his buddy and he's gonna play his songs. I think it's a beautiful thing. When we do the Dimebash, it's a celebration of Dime's greatness. So I think this, it's a Pantera celebration, that's what it is... You're celebrating all the mountains that Pantera conquered and crushed."
You can watch the full interview below.