ZAKK WYLDE Says He’s Been Learning PANTERA Songs ‘For A While Now’, Reveals Partial Setlist For Upcoming Shows


Zakk Wylde revealed some of the songs that PANTHER could perform at his next shows.

In July it was reported that wyld and ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benantein the same way PANTHERsurviving members, singer Philippe Anselme and bassist Brown Rexwill tour as PANTHERheadlining a number of major festivals in North America, South America and Europe and hosting some of their own signature concerts.

According to a report by Billboard, wyld and Benantethe involvement of in the project has been approved by the estates of PANTHERthe deceased co-founders, drummer Vincent “Vinnie Paul” Abbott and guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott.

Zakk discussed his participation in the PANTHER celebratory tour during an appearance on “Sunday with Ola”the Youtube program hosted by Ola EnglundSwedish guitarist, record producer and owner of Solar guitars. Regarding how his involvement in the PANTHER the tribute has arrived, Zakk said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “We’ve always talked about it, for years, especially when Vinnie was still alive. And it was just, like, well, I’ll just wait for that day to come. “If you decide you want to do it, you know I’ll always be here for you.” Phil called me one night, and he was just, like, ‘ZakkI was talking with Rex. We are thinking of doing that. We were wondering if you would honor Dime.’ And I was, like, ‘Sure, man.’ How could I say no? So now it was just, like, ‘Alright. Well, send me the setlist songs so I can start learning that stuff, man.'”

When asked if he had already started to learn the PANTHER Material, Zakk said, “Yeah, sure. I’ve been working on it for a while now. I had to get myself a whammy pedal. I’ve never owned one of those things. Grady [Champion, who was Dimebag‘s guitar tech throughout his career with PANTERA] will probably run this thing, the guy who ran it for dime bag. So, yes, I’m a proud owner of a whammy pedal now. [Laughs] And I have my Dime guitars, the ones he gave me actually… I have my gear. Of course, what Dime used which I obviously don’t use is noise gate. Obviously, if you’re going to do [hums ‘Cowboys From Hell’ main riff]… My thing is just pure lightning all the time. If I have to stop, you stop. Dime would have, like, two distortion pedals at the same time. I remember in his rig he goes, ‘Zakk, what pedals do you use?’ My overdrive pedals – he had one of those things in his board. I go, ‘Dime, there’s probably not even any panning because you have so much overdrive there. But for him, there were not enough doors. He loved her. And it’s an art to control it.”

As to whether there’s a particular song or solo that worries him particularly when it comes to performing it live, Zakk said, “For me, it’s like learning Excitedit is [Rhoads] Things [to play with Ozzy Osbourne]what we do ‘M. Crowley’ Where ‘I do not know’ Or anything. For me, it’s fun. But if we play “Fuck Electric”, this solo is beyond… I mean, all the solos are blazing; they are all awesome. It’s gonna be fun when you play ‘Walking’and stuff like that, or ‘Cowboys from Hell’ or something like that. Some of the others we have there like… I mean, “A New Level” and stuff like that – it’s all cool. I think I may have gone to your website, just to see ‘Become’, watch you play. All these things that I was left wondering about, I was like, ‘What the hell was that?’ I was just going, ‘How to play…’ and I’d keep on Youtube and just seeing all these other amazing players playing the thing… For me, that’s equally – playing it with the disc is one thing, but then you take the disc out and it’s, like, ‘Okay. Play it for me. It is a guideline. It’s like a number blanket; you know where you are going. Or remove the GPS from your car. It’s, like, ‘Okay, do you remember how to get back down to Hollywood?’ You are like, ‘Zakk, I have no idea. I was following the GPS the whole time.'”

Zakk went on to say that he would see the other PANTHER guys later in the month. “I’ll be in touch with the guys,” he said. “And then we just start going through everything and we’ll probably go light pads, go over them nice and quiet, until we can start… then we start turning on and full volume.”

PANTHER will play its first shows in over 20 years in December 2022, starting with a co-headliner in Mexico Hell & Heaven Metal Festival and Monterrey Metal Festivalfollowed by threesome appearances knotfest festivals in South America. There will also be a unique show with JUDAS PRIEST in São Paulo, Brazil and a headlining concert in Santiago.

Confirmed PANTHER shows so far:

December 02 – Texicoco, Mexico – Hell & Heaven Metal Fest
December 06 – Monterrey, Mexico – Monterrey Metal Fest
December 09 – Bogotá, Colombia – Knotfest Colombia
December 11 – Santiago, Chile – Knotfest Chile
December 12 – Santiago, Chile – Movistar Arena
December 15 – São Paulo, Brazil – Vibra São Paulo (with JUDAS PRIEST)
December 18 – São Paulo, Brazil – Knotfest Brazil
June 2-4 – Nürburgring, Germany – Rock Am Ring
June 2-4 – Nuremberg, Germany – Rock Im Park
June 10 – Sölvesborg, Sweden – Sweden Rock Festival
June 22-24 – Oslo, Norway – Tons Of Rock

Benante Told SiriusXMit is “Trunk Nation with Eddie Trunk” on how he plans to approach PANTHER concert: “I can’t do that as a drummer. ANTHRAX because that would sound completely different. So the way I’m gonna do this is if you close your eyes it’s gonna sound like it’s Vinnie, basically. And that’s how it’s gonna be. The sound will sound exactly like him.”

wyld says he had a similar mindset. “You approach it the same way as when I play with ozy“, he said. “Obviously I have to learn [Randy] Rhoadsit’s stuff and i have to learn Jamesit is [E. Lee] stuff, and when I was doing it [BLACK] SABBATH things, you learn it and do it as faithfully as you can. Charlyyou have to learn everything Vinnie‘s parts. You approach it like you’re in a cover band. When we do the ZAKK SABBATH stuff,” referring to his BLACK SABBATH cover band, “I don’t start changing lyrics halfway through ‘War Pigs’. You learn the songs – so that’s what you do.”

Talk about a possible PANTHER “meeting” intensified when Anselm joined regularly wyldit is THE BLACK BRAND SOCIETY perform PANTHERthe song “I’m broken” during DOWNin 2014 on the “Tour of the Golden Gods of the Revolver”. This buzz only got stronger after Brown joined the jam on May 23, 2014 when the tour passed through Texas.

Until his death, Vinnie remained on silent terms with Anselmwhom the drummer indirectly blamed dime bagit’s death.

Vinnie Paul and dime bag co-founded PANTHER. When PANTHER separated in 2003, they formed DAMAGE PLAN. On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGE PLAN at Villa Alrosa in Columbus, Ohio, dime bag was shot on stage by a troubled schizophrenic who believed members of PANTHER stole his thoughts.

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