Zakk Wylde on Joining Pantera: 'I Would Do It'

The guitarist is ready to step in for Dimebag Darrell the moment former members of Pantera reconcile their differences.

logo
Ultimate Guitar
58

Zakk Wylde says he would be up for playing guitar with Pantera if they ever reunite, in the same week that frontman Phil Anselmo has expressed his wish to bring the band together again.

Anselmo says there's little hope of him reconciling with drummer Vinnie Paul who saw his brother Dimebag Darrell who played guitar in Pantera get shot on stage.

Wylde was asked by the Phoenix New Times if he would ever consider stepping in to a reunion. "That's up to Vinnie, Rex, and Phil. If they ever wanted me to honor Dimebag, of course I would do it," he says. "It's not replacing anybody - you're talking about Dime. It's like Randy Rhoads. You're celebrating his greatness and honoring all things he has done with Pantera."

Discussion around a Pantera reunion might be ramping up, but that doesn't make it easier for its former members to reconcile their differences, according to Anselmo.

"It's not a very hopeful thing to think about, because I would guess Vinnie Paul and I would have to sit down and talk, and right now, I don't think he wants to talk about that at all. And he definitely, sure as hell, doesn't wanna talk to me," Anselmo said last week. "Put it this way: my door is open always; his door is closed and locked."

Do you think Zakk Wylde would be the best person to step in for Dimebag Darrell if a Pantera reunion ever happens, or can you think of a better alternative? Let us know what you think in the comments.

161 comments sorted by best / new / date

    kiba56
    I think Zakk wylde would be a very good choice.
    KerNeL_KLuTcH
    He's probably the only person Dime would approve of, since we all know that Kerry King can't play Pantera songs.
    osiris12
    Totally agreed. If Pantera was to return, even though I think they should just rest as one of the most badass metal bands in history, I would want no one other than Zakk Wylde.
    Rokodlak
    he ONLY can do it
    RndyW0
    Yeah, I think it's not just his playing but also since he was such great friends with Dimebag that it would only be right for Zakk Wylde to do it; nobody else.
    miahdoll
    Zakk is the ONLY choice! If they ever get back together, nobody else could do it, or have the balls to do it. Do ya think Zakk ain't gonna shine, I think he would go over there whole catelog and get it done. Kerry King, no way, I like him in Slayer and that's where he should stay.
    metallica_102
    "It's not replacing anybody - you're talking about Dime. It's like Randy Rhoads. You're celebrating his greatness and honoring all things he has done with Pantera." This is why i think it would be great for this to happen. A celebration of Dimebags life and guitar playing legacy is alright in my books.
    henrihell
    And that's what Zakk does. Put any other guitarist up there and 5 minutes later, a twitter post would appear where he's bragging about replacing Dime. Everyone would do that, except Zakk, who'd feel honored to get the advantage to play with the rest of pantera.
    grizzzzly_adams
    To my knowledge Zakk had a close relationship with Dime, and I think Zakk understands the pressure of a Pantera reunion. I think he would would do a damn fine job honoring Dimebag. The real question people should ask is, can Phil still do the vocals?
    HmhWolf
    Exactly. I see all these comments criticizing Zakk Wylde because of /his/ sound, but not Phil for his. Thank you for not joining the "Zakk Wylde can't play Pantera" bandwagon.
    hudsonstradlin
    I bet Mike Portnoy's learning every Pantera song on guitar right now.
    Rob Man
    I hope he is. I hope that a group of guitarists are learning ALL of the Pantera songs they can. I WANT this to happen. Zakk is an good choice on guitar, but I would settle for anyone at this point who could do a good job. Shit, I'd do it if I had Zakk's guitar playing abilities.
    JonoD
    No. This shouldn't happen. Let Pantera be.
    revolverrose
    I disagree. This would be one of the few reunions that I think could work (reunions without an original member, i.e one being deceased). Zakk is the perfect honorary to fill in for Dimebag. Shut your hole Jono.
    Bigdubb
    It would be rather nice if they got together for a one-off show and have multiple guitarists play different songs. One player plays a song, the next plays the next song, and so on. And of course they record it and release it on DVD/Blu Ray.
    MrCheezus
    Let's get a whole bunch on stage at the same time, Wylde, King, Petrucci, Gus G, Hammett, etc.
    axeace77
    I think it should be a one-time show with the best of the best shredders all playing one or two songs apiece in honour of Dime.
    Jmoarguitar
    Just because what you hear of Zakk is his BLS-style pinch harmonic playing, does not mean he couldn't step up to play Pantera. Zakk can do just about everything, he really just chooses to stick to his own sound and style.
    PeterPdeC
    Probably one of the few people who can accurately mimic Dimebags harmonics.
    RJDfan666
    I really dont wanna see this happen. But if it does, Zakk is the only person I would accept filling in for Dime.
    Braykah
    Personally, I'd prefer Robb Flynn or/and Phil Demmel to step in for Dimebag, in case of a temporary reunion or similar. But Zakk would be a good choice as well, considering he was Dimebag's closest friend, though I don't think his tone and style would be the best suited for Pantera. Anyway, the main point is that if there would be a reunion, don't drag out on it. Do it for a one-time occasion or a short tour or something alike, to commemorate Dimebag's and Pantera's legacy, then leave it alone as it is.
    kLeft
    Rob Flynn would be the way to go if you ask me. I'd f*cking kill to see that set.
    osiris12
    Okay that's also an awesome option. He could also maybe sub for Phil for whatever reason. Rob, Rex and Vinnie?
    crazysam23_Atax
    Without Phil, I wouldn't enjoy it. Phil's voice is key to the Pantera sound.
    osiris12
    Yeah that's very true. I just mean if there was some reason Phil didn't do it I think Rob would be good. Assuming of course it would happen at all without Phil
    M3AK
    Id say that if it was to be one of the machine head guys it should be Phil. He would do more justice to Dime's solos. Not that Rob couldn't play them. I just think Phil would recreate them in a more natural way then Rob would.
    kevindm215
    RIP Jeff, wrote nearly all of Reign in Blood, One of my all time favorite albums.
    sudsypatriarch
    I think you're on the wrong comment section buddy. But RIP nevertheless.
    ermonski
    Dimebag and Jeff Hanneman shredding together up in heaven (or rather... South of Heaven)? badass
    tobycm27
    i dont know why people talk about tone and all... obviously its for his good friend.. he will get the equipment for the pantera sound and will rock it out... i am sure zakk can easily handle pantera stuff
    The jazz Man
    As he says.. It's all about paying tribute to Dime and what he did for us and the music we here today.. Not replacing him or to sell albums etc.. But it's all down to Vinnie.. Hope he can make peace with Phil soon
    1916
    It's the Led Zep thing over again. Just too much pressure and expectation. I'd love to see it, but I don't think we will, which sucks.
    gbrooks2
    Pantera should get together with Zakk Wylde, play Cemetery Gates and Floods, and close that book forever.
    Rob Man
    Here's an easy solution to BOTH sides. If you'd like to see Pantera rule the stage with Zakk playing as a tribute to Dimebag, continue to DREAM BIG for the reunion. If you are against it, don't go to the reunion concert or purchase any new Pantera anything... (I can see BOTH arguements on the issue), However as for me, I saw them in concert 8 times through the years and would love to see 3 of the 4 original members unite for one-show, or a wolrd-tour. It sucks shitballs that some A-Hole killed Dimebag, but why should we allow that fact ruin the idea. Zakk is more-than-capable to pull off the job.
    GuitarRhiger
    I think it's a very good choice since dimebag and wylde were friends, i don't think it should be one who didn't really know dimebag
    chy_qn
    Zakk and Dime's friendship is the main reason I wouldn't see any other man on the spot. The hell, if Dimebag Darrell was to choose a successor to himself - do people really think he would choose someone who "sounds more like Pantera" over his best friend?
    Rust_E_Stringz
    Father Zakk is the only choice! gotta get Phil and Vinnie on the same page and talking. Trust me Father Zakk is the perfect choice to step up in Dimes spot. Wouldn't attend if another was selected.
    pwrmax
    They should get John Petrucci, he can emulate Dime's tone perfectly.
    crazysam23_Atax
    You should listen to DT albums on good headphones...
    pwrmax
    I own a pair of KRK studio monitors, **** headphones and their lack of LF. Petrucci's tone on Awake makes me cum every time.
    crazysam23_Atax
    I'm not saying DT's tone is bad. I'm saying Dimebag's tone was terrible. He scooped the mids like crazy, and it sucked out all the goodness of tone.
    RndyW0
    I wouldn't say it was terrible, I would say that it was a Dimebag tone.
    scrymusic
    Zakk Is Good But I Would Leave This Alone.
    Electric Eye
    Would you leave it.....5 minutes alone?
    scrymusic
    I like what you did there... I think if they're going to do this concert then it should be a one off and filmed for DVD.
    cmvideo
    I think Zakk is fitting and capable as long as he figures out Dime's sound. Sometimes Zakk's heavy sound is sooooo processed it kills me.
    kLeft
    I'm kinda disappointed to know that IF there were to ever be a reunion of sorts it's gunna be Zakk that'll be there. I really don't think his style suits Pantera's sound at all.
    HighVoltageMT
    Zakk is a great player though, and could adapt to fit Pantera's style.
    kLeft
    Not saying he's bad, I dig BLS just fine and his Ozzy contributions were amazing. His playing style is completely different, and I'm sure he jammed with Dime enough to know most of the songs, but Dime's riffs had some heavy thrash undertones to it, Zakk plays with a bold emphasis on his riffs with ZERO thrash. I can't imagine Zakk playing with his usual rig either, he would need to swap a lot of his equipment because he has way too much of a signature sound to integrate properly. He would have a great deal of adaptation is what I'm saying.
    jason.a.mcphee
    they were very good friends im pretty sure zakk could play the songs the way they were meant to be played
    Second Rate
    Zakk is a sloppy, one dimensional guitarist. His phrasing is terrible..... no taste, no restraint. Up the scale, down the scale. If they do this "reunion," I say it should be someone like Brian Patton (Eyehategod/Soilent Green) or Vinnie LaBella (Exhorder). I know Zakk was Dime's friend and acts like a creepy, stalkerish ex girlfriend.... but I think he would butcher Pantera's music with his muddy tone, ham fisted execution, and extraneous pick squeals. You know, essentially the same way he consistently butchered Randy Rhoads' and Jake Lee's riffs and solos for over a decade.
    Scorpyin
    So... Who the hell asked you to even go to a Pantera reunion. If everyones so worried about Zakk butchering Dimes music, then STAY THE FUCK HOME! It's not rocket science. You do realize that people have free will and if a band that YOURE not part of wants to reunite, they will do so... Nobody gives a shit about your oh-so unique and valuable opinion on who cant replace dime an why...
    crazysam23_Atax
    lol, great player. All his riffs sound the same. None of them have a different feel, at least since the '90s.
    Josh Reubenking
    Please enlighten us on your career as a guitarist.
    crazysam23_Atax
    Have you heard any Ozzy/BLS albums from '99 to now, featuring Zakk? They all sound the same. There's a reason Ozzy parted way with Zakk.
    Josh Reubenking
    Dude, I've listened to that shit tons of times, and they are all vastly different. Try again.
    crazysam23_Atax
    All of his riffs follow the same basic structure, so they're not "vastly different".
    Scorpyin
    Does someone wanna explain the difference between a guitar riff and song structure to this kid?
    crazysam23_Atax
    Does anyone want to explain riff structure to you? Also, since you brought up song structure...all BLS songs follow the same verse-chorus structure. So did all the songs with Ozzy that Zakk played/wrote.
    Josh Reubenking
    You obviously don't know the first ****ing thing about music. I've been playing music for 10 years now, so I think I know what I mean when I say you don't know what the FUCK you're talking about.
    TheNumber6
    Zakk and Dime were essentially brothers, it makes the most sense to have him honoring Dime by playing in his stead. his style is much different, as is with any guitarist, but i would love to see a reunion show
    time2headbang
    you know Zakk Wylde is the ONLY person that they would even consider. yes there are other phenomenal metal guitarists out there, but you need to have the southern style and Zakk Wylde could definitely do them justice. remember that Zakk and Dime were good friends and although Zakk's style is very signature, I'm sure he would do it justice with his own respective little twist. would it happen tho? probably not. Vinnie Paul and Anselmo will never reconcile sadly. I wish they would. Pantera changed my life.
    joe.pope.73
    I hate i have to say this but god dammit i've been patient with Big Vin and I understand his apprehension towards Phil, but he needs to come the **** off it already. Phil didn't kill his brother, a sick and deeply disturbed and troubled man killed his brother and I think even Dime would like Vinnie to stop thinking about what ever petty shit him and Phil had between them, and start thinking about the fans. I don't care much for Phil about as much as the next guy but I'm sure losing Dime hurt him too, and we, the fans, would love to see the hatchet buried, everyone be cool, and a short reunion tour with Zakk.
    crazysam23_Atax
    You ever think that maybe, Vinnie just doesn't want to do it. Not because of Phil or anyone else, but because he just doesn't want to. Maybe he feels like no one could live up to replacing his brother, personality-wise? If it were my brother, I'd be annoyed if people were like, "Get this guy to replace him and make it a tribute to your brother?" The fact that Phil is still talking about in the media is probably pissing Vinnie off.
    DrCOOL
    If they were going to do it I think Zakk would be the only person that should step in. However, they should just let Pantera rest.
    SOAD_SoG
    The problem here is Vinnie, and he won't stop his grudge with Phil and Rex ,so make all the supositions you want but Vinnie won't let the Pantera reunion happen.
    Rob Man
    You would be amazed what $$$ can make a person do. Especially, when the demand out-weighs a person's pride or grudge. This will happen. Hopefully, with Zakk aboard on lead guitar or some other guitarist. At this point, the fans have clearly spoken, and not even Vinne can deny it. If worse comes to worst, even replacing Vinne himself. I would pay top-dollar to see Phil, Rex, Zakk, and "mystery drummer", play some Pantera songs. It wouldn't be the first band to replace and conquer.
    jordanguitarman
    If there had to be someone to play in Pantera that isn't Dime, Zakk would probably be the best choice.
    mariodeth
    They should NOT do it! I think they should reconcile and all, but a reunion? just to have them paid? nah... I don't like it
    RockerBandit
    I was thinking about this a few years ago, and what I'd love to see is a one off event, where instead of just Zakk Wylde playing, make it a big event to honour Dime. Have a few guitarists play, for a few songs each or whatever. Each would be picked by the band to play, so you could have Zakk, as well as Rob and Phil from MachineHead, Petrucci, Greg Tribbett, That Corey guy from Trivium and whoever else passes muster for a big concert in honour of Dime and Pantera. I'd watch the sh*t out of that.
    deathhip
    **** man your right they should get any guest guitarist that is influenced by them into one big show. cased closed
    RaisingCain199
    Maybe for one show, or get a bunch of bands to cover their songs and release that as a TRIBUTE album, but that is it. To tour with a different guitarist, is to replace, to play one show, is honor. BTW, when u talk about, Phil not being able to match his vocals, or Vinne not agreeing to join, you might as well replace the band if u are gonna get that picky. Might as well ask A7X to step in if you can argue reasons for everyone. Also, Rex is slightly disrespected in the comments.
    smittyanthrax
    No thanks.How about no one?It will never be the same.Doesnt matter how good they are or how well they emulate Dime.Hes gone and so is Pantera.I know we didnt get as much Pantera as we would have liked but its the way it is. Leave the legacy the way it is.Over.
    leony03
    He would be perfect because he wouldn't be replacing him and he would never feel like that because they were best buds and everyone would know that. He should be the only choice if this ever happens.
    xwf
    I think Zakk is the only logical choice to fill that spot. But I would NEVER want to see it as a tour. I think it would be great for a one-off performance when they are inducted to the Hall of Fame, or at a "Ride for Dime"
    Anjohl
    1) Pantera are extremely overrated and relied on a "tough" image to sell records. 2) Phil's voice is SHOT to hell. 3) If you do this, get Batio, he can play in anyone's style.
    leony03
    Batio is a great guitarist but for Pantera, Zakk is 10 times better for it.
    TomWhaley
    I get that they were really close, but I hope this doesn't happen. I don't think I'd be able to make it through a set of Zakk butchering Dimebag solos with excess wah and pinch harmonics.
    RR24Metul
    Alright in my honest opinion, Synyster Gates could do it. The guy's cover of Walk was outstanding, and blast me because its Gates... Go listen to the cover of it, it's ****in awesome.
    TomWhaley
    I honestly don't think Gates would be a bad fill in. I understand that a lot of metal purists don't dig him or Avenged, but he's got a lot of chops and eccentricities that make his playing unique, much like Dime. Dimebag is a huge influence on his playing, and the A7X covers of "Walk" and "Mouth For War" were dead on. Plus Vinnie Paul is good friends with them, so...
    xwf
    But anyone with decent chops can play a good version of walk. Show me "Cemetery Gates" or "Floods" and we can talk.
    ReldvS
    like the idea of the guys playing together but not under the name PANTERA....no DIME= no PANTERA