Zakk Wylde Resembles Playing For Dimebag Darrell To A ‘Mission From God’

In the middle of Pantera’s ongoing US tour, Guitar World sat down with Zakk Wylde to delve into his journey with the band. During the chat, the guitarist spoke about stepping into the shoes of Dimebag Darrell, his relationship with the late musician, and how it felt to fill in for him. First, he said:

“I enjoyed many Dimebag debacles that got me in the doghouse with the wife! [Laughs] And then I’d always have to send him in to talk with her to smooth things out – ’cause I knew she wasn’t going to yell at Dime ’cause he was such a charming sweetheart of a guy!”

Then, jokingly resembling his role in Pantera to a holy task, he went on:

“At the end of the day, I’m far beyond honored that I got asked to help to celebrate the incredible greatness of Saint Dime and Saint Vinnie. I guess you could say I’m on a mission from God, just like Jake and Elwood! [Laughs]”

Wylde also discussed the band’s goal of keeping the memory of their late members alive and added:

“Joking aside, we’re just four friends celebrating our buddies’ memory and the amazing thing they created that brings so many people joy and happiness – just like their heroes did. That’s why we still listen to Randy, Eddie, Sabbath, Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and Pantera – because it brings you to your happy place. It’s a beautiful thing, and to me, every show we’ve done in honor of Dime and Vinnie has been beyond special. Far beyond…”

At another point during the interview, the guitarist talked more about Darrell’s legacy. Comparing the late Pantera members’ work to that of Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi, he explained:

“I always 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 even realized. He definitely sits at the table with his heroes and breathes the same rarified air as Tony Iommi because, just like Black Sabbath, Pantera created a genre of music; they were the precision machine that’s still considered its benchmark to this day.”

He clarified his point by saying:

“It’s not just about Dime’s chops and how great his technique was; it’s about what he created. That’s his legacy – and it’s way, way bigger than just being a great lead player.”

Wylde joined Pantera as their guitarist last year when they reunited for the first time in more than two decades. Currently, he and the band continue touring, although some of their shows got canceled due to some controversies surrounding the vocalist Phil Anselmo.