In the midst of Pantera’s current US tour, Guitar World spoke with Zakk Wylde on his time with the band. During the interview, the guitarist discussed filling in for Dimebag Darrell, his friendship with the late musician, and how it felt to fill in for him. He began by saying: “I had a lot of Dimebag mishaps that got me in trouble with the wife!” [Laughs] And then I’d have to send him in to talk with her to smooth things over – ’cause I knew she wasn’t going to yell at Dime because he was such a charming darling of a guy!” Then he went on, humorously comparing his duty in Pantera to a holy task: “At the end of the day, I’m deeply honored to have been asked to contribute to the celebration of Saint Dime and Saint Vinnie’s incredible greatness.” I suppose you could say I’m on a God-given mission, just like Jake and Elwood! [Laughs]”
Wylde also spoke on the band’s goal of preserving the memory of its late members, adding: “Joking aside, we’re just four buddies remembering our buddies and the incredible thing they created that brings so many people joy and happiness – just like their heroes did.” That is why we continue to listen to Randy, Eddie, Sabbath, Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and Pantera – it transports us to a happier place. It’s a lovely thing, and every show we’ve done in memory of Dime and Vinnie has been really special for me. far beyond…”
During the interview, the guitarist discussed Darrell’s legacy further. He explained, comparing the late Pantera members’ work to that of Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi: “I knew Dime was great, but now that I’ve really studied a bunch of his songs and solos, he’s even greater-er-er than I realized.” He unquestionably sits at the same table as his heroes and breathes the same rare air as Tony Iommi because, like Black Sabbath, Pantera invented a musical genre; they were the precision machine that is still considered its benchmark to this day.” He elaborated on his thesis by saying: “It’s not just about Dime’s chops and technique; it’s about what he created.” That is his legacy, and it is far greater than simply being a terrific lead player.” Wylde joined Pantera as guitarist when the band reassembled for the first time in more than two decades last year. He and the band are still travelling, however several of their gigs have been canceled owing to problems surrounding frontman Phil Anselmo.