Few guitarists alive know Pantera's catalog as well as Zakk Wylde, but the Black Label Society frontman says fans shouldn't expect him to sound exactly like his late friend 'Dimebag' Darrell during the upcoming Pantera celebration.
Ex-Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo and bassist Rex Brown have tapped Wylde and Anthrax's Charlie Benante to fill in for the late-Dimebag and Vinnie Paul Abbott on the upcoming tour.
Wylde may be a kindred spirit, musically, to Darrell, but he says their respective styles are uniquely their own. Wylde can play what Dime played, but he can't replicate Dime's unique touch.
"No matter what I do, it's going to sound like me," Wylde told Guitar World in a new interview. "I can practice all I want and stay as faithful as I want, but I am never going to escape that."
He noted, he has plenty of practice performing music written by other guitarists in Ozzy Osbourne's band.
"It's like if Randy Rhoads were to play Eddie Van Halen's 'Eruption'; 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.
"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."
That's not to say Wylde won't do his best to reproduce Pantera's classic sound. He notes that Darrell's longtime tech Grady Champion will help put together his rig.
"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," he added. "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."
Benante pledged over the summer to do everything he possibly can to sound exactly like Vinnie Paul.
"So they way I'm gonna do that is, if you close your eyes, it's gonna sound like it's Vinnie, basically," he said.
The first shows of the Pantera celebration will kick off next month in South America.
The band is expected to announce more extensive touring for 2023. Go here for the dates.