‘Reunion’ Or ‘Tribute’?: Zakk + Charlie Comment On Honoring The Legacy Of Pantera

Zakk Wylde: chascar, CC BY 2.0,Wikimedia Commons / Rex Brown: Rex Brown: Rex Brown Facebook/ Charlie Benante: Anthrax Facebook/ Phil Anselmo: Pantera Facebook
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During a conversation with radio personality Eddie Trunk, Zakk Wylde and Charlie Benante talked about their involvement regarding the 2023 Pantera concerts. Among the topics discussed, the two musicians spoke to how they will approach their live performances (with Wylde striving to present the technical playing of the late Dimebag Darrell, and Benante striving to present the technicality of the late Vinnie Paul).

The two musicians also spoke to how these shows are meant as a “celebration,” honoring the legacy of Pantera. Regarding this “celebration,” Benante spoke up and shared (the following was transcribed by Blabbermouth):

“Absolutely, and I think everybody in [Anthrax] feels the same way about those guys. We go back a long way [with Pantera] — ’86, maybe even ’85. We played a show at a place called Cardi’s in Houston, and Pantera were the opening band. It was in [April] ’86. Hellstar was on the bill. It was the first time we met them. My friendship with Darrell goes a long way, and I love both of those guys so much. So, for me, it was a very emotional thing to do this. That’s what it’s all about — it’s all about those two guys and doing it… I don’t wanna see anybody else doing it but me, ’cause I’m gonna do it right.”

Wylde then added:

“Whenever [the idea of doing a tribute has] come up, you’re celebrating the guys and you’re celebrating all their achievements and their greatness. And that’s what it is. ‘Cause everybody was just, like, ‘How can they call it a Pantera reunion?’ And I go, ‘Well, it’s Phil and Rex getting back together,’ ’cause they haven’t played together for a while. I go, ‘It’s a Pantera celebration.’ That’s what it is. It’s no different than Mitch [Mitchell] and Noel [Redding] from ‘Experience Hendrix’ asking Eric Clapton to come out and sing and play Jimi’s [Hendrix] stuff and honor him, and they’re gonna go out and honor Jimi Hendrix. To me, it’s the same thing.

“With Ozzy, we honor Saint Rhoads every night. Every time we’re playing ‘I Don’t Know’, ‘Mr. Crowley’ — everything — you’re honoring Randy. To me, it’s an extension of that. You’re honoring Dime, you’re honoring Vinnie and you’re honoring Phil and Rex, all the guys, their achievements, what they achieved as Pantera and all the mountains they conquered. That’s the way I look at it. That’s the way I’ve always looked at it.”

How excited are you for these Pantera shows?

‘You approach it as if you’re in a cover band’: Zakk Wylde and Charlie Benante Speak To 2023 Pantera Shows

‘Obviously, it’s not Pantera’: Zakk Wylde Talks About Being Part Of Upcoming Pantera Shows