Zakk Wylde says he felt Dimebag Darrell’s presence whilst organising Pantera reunion tour

“I’d just get constant reminders of him all the time.”

Zakk Wylde

Image: Scott Dudelson / Getty

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Zakk Wylde has shared how he felt Dimebag Darrell was with him in spirit as he began to organise the Pantera reunion tour.

Dimebag Darrell was sadly killed on stage back in 2004, and Wylde took on the role of Pantera guitarist in July of 2022 as the band decided to head back out on the road.

The current line up also consists of surviving members Rex Brown and Philip Anselmo, as well as Charlie Benante of Anthrax, who fills in for the late Vinnie Paul who sadly died in 2018 due to a heart condition.

As the band began planning to head out on tour last year, Wylde says he felt the presence of the two brothers, and even felt that Dimebag Darrell was “willing” the tour to happen.

In an interview for the new print issue of Guitar World magazine, Wylde said he felt that they were around “all the time”.  He explained, “It’s so crazy because when we started talking about doing this thing, there would be constant reminders about it wherever I went. I told Barb [Wylde’s wife], ‘Dime is willing this thing to happen. He wants this to happen.’”

He continued, “I’d just get constant reminders of him all the time, whether it was a picture or something on my phone, or I’d be driving and I’d see a Pantera license plate or a ‘333’ somewhere – that was Dime’s lucky number. I was literally going, ‘He’s watching and he’s here with me.’”

Back in January, Pantera’s long time producer Sterling Winfield said the decision to have Wylde join the line up was a “no-brainer”: “There were some other guitar folks that were brought up [for the role]. I’ll just say this — it would not have been a good fit, and quite honestly, they would not have been able to pull it off,” he explained.

“It always kept circling back around to Zakk. And after a couple of times, it was [a] no-brainer. Because he knew Dime better than any other guitar player on the planet knew him.”

To view the full list of upcoming tour dates, including festival sets and dates with Metallica, go to Pantera.com.


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