If we’re being honest, Zakk Wylde‘s approach so far to this whole Pantera reunion/celebration thing is actually pretty refreshing. Rather than put on a front like he’s got this shit on lock already, the guy’s been super candid in the press that it’s all a bit of a, well, work in progress at the moment.
Sort of like cramming for that mid-term when you realized you’ve dicked off too long and don’t have any time left to deal.
Last month, Zakk copped to the fact that he hadn’t really started learning the Pantera songs, even as overseas festival dates were being announced in rapid-fire succession. At the time, he said:
“I don’t know [how to play] the songs. If Dime had to play the ‘No More Tears’ solo and ‘Mama, I’m Coming Home’ and ‘Miracle Man’ and ‘Perry Mason’ and play ‘Suicide Messiah’, it’d be, like, ‘You must know Zakk’s stuff.’ He [would be], like, ‘No. I don’t know any of his stuff. Zakk’s my buddy, but no, I don’t know any of his stuff.’”
Now, Zakk’s keeping it real with another status report. In speaking with Ola Englund on YouTube this week, Zakk says he IS now learning the songs, but he’s having to take to YouTube videos to figure out some of that precise Dimebag fret fire. Per Zakk:
“But whether we’re playing ‘Goddamn Electric’, that solo’s beyond… I mean, all the solos are blazing; they’re all awesome. It’s gonna be fun when you’re playing ‘Walk’, and stuff like that, or ‘Cowboys From Hell’ or anything like that.
Some of the other ones that we’ve got on there like… I mean, ‘A New Level’ and stuff like that — those are all cool. I think I may have gone on your website, just to see ‘Becoming’, watching you play.
Any of these things that I got stumped on, I was, like, ‘What the hell was that?’ I would just go, ‘How to play…’ and I’d go on to YouTube and just see all these other amazing players playing the stuff… For me, that’s the whole thing, too — playing it with the record is one thing, but then you take the record away and it’s, like, ‘All right. Play it for me.’ It’s a guideline. It’s like cover by numbers; you know where you’re going.
Or taking the GPS off your car. It’s, like, ‘All right, do you remember how to get back down to Hollywood?’ You’re, like, ‘Zakk, I have no idea. I was following the GPS the whole time.'”
There you have it, folks. Zakk Wylde procrastinates with homework and uses YouTube to learn shit just like you and me. Maybe he’s a mere mortal after all. For whatever it’s worth, we suggest Zakk spends some time with Kayla Kent’s YouTube channel as he gets to crunch time here.
Check out her nailing Dime solos without so much as flinching below, followed by Zakk explaining his latest Pantera education sessions in his own words.