Zakk Wylde Comments on What It’s Like to Try to Play Like Dimebag Darrell
While Zakk Wylde will be performing the riffs of the late Dimebag Darrell in the upcoming Pantera celebration shows, ultimately the guitarist is aware that his own playing will factor into the performance. While speaking with Guitar World, Wylde opened up about the challenge of taking on Dimebag's work for these special upcoming Pantera dates.
While there's plenty of anticipation about these performances and how both Wylde and drummer Charlie Benante will sound filling in for the band's late Abbott brothers, the guitarist downplays the idea of sounding exactly like Dimebag no matter how close he stays to the original performances.
“No matter what I do, it's going to sound like me,” Wylde explained about taking on Dime's parts for the shows. “I can practice all I want and stay as faithful as I want, but I am never going to escape that."
“It's like if Randy Rhoads were to play Eddie Van Halen's 'Eruption,'” he continued. “No matter what he did, it would sound like Randy playing, not Eddie. You're never going to mistake Randy for Eddie or Eddie for Randy, and it's the same thing here with me playing Dime's stuff.”
That said, earlier this year in his first interview about the upcoming performances, Wylde commented, "You approach it the same way as you do when I'm playing with Ozzy. Obviously I've gotta learn [Randy] Rhoads's stuff and I've gotta learn Jake's [E. Lee] stuff, and when I was doing the [Black] Sabbath stuff, you learn it and do it as faithful as you can. Charlie's gotta learn all of Vinnie's parts. You approach it as if you're in a cover band. When we do the Zakk Sabbath stuff. I don't start changing lyrics midway through 'War Pigs'. You learn the songs — so that's what you do."
And Wylde says in this current interview that he's going to do his best to stay as faithful as possible. “I am going to go in, learn the parts, be as faithful to what Dime did as possible, and just be me. I'm gonna have fun with it, knowing that I am not expecting myself to sound like Dime, and no one else should either, which is how it is when I play with Ozzy or whatever else.”
He then added that he'll be using a mix of his own gear, plus gear given to him by Dimebag Darrell. “I'll be using my guitars, effects, and pedals, a lot of the pedals that Dime actually gave me, and yeah, I'll definitely be using some of Dime's pedals and stuff, too,” Wylde explained. “I'm still working out how it'll all come together, but I am looking forward to seeing how it all flows once I do." Plus, he added, that he'll have the assistance of Dimebag's guitar tech Grady Champion along with his own tech to help him pay tribute to the late guitarist.
Wylde and Anthrax's Charlie Benante will be joining Pantera's living band members Philip Anselmo and Rex Brown for shows starting next month in Mexico and South America. See the stops listed below.
Pantera 2022 Tour Dates
Dec. 2 – Texcoco, Mexico @ Heaven & Hell
Dec. 6 – Monterrey, Mexico @ Metal Fest
Dec. 9 – Bogota, Colombia @ Knotfest
Dec. 11 – Santiago, Chile @ Knotfest
Dec. 13 – Santiago, Chile @ Theater Coliseo
Dec. 15 – Sao Paulo, Brazil @ Vibra
Dec. 18 – Sao Paulo, Brazil @ Knotfest