Throughout the past year, the surviving members of Pantera have commented on the possibility of Zakk Wylde filling in for the late Dimebag Darrell if the band were ever to reunite. While it’s all been speculation thus far, singer Phil Anselmo now reveals that he recently discussed the topic with Wylde himself.
Anselmo says that both he and Wylde would be open to it, but that his strained relationship with Dimebag’s brother and Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, is a major obstacle to overcome first.
“I talked to Zakk about two weeks ago, and he’s very open for it,” Anselmo tells the Village Voice. “He’s got an open mind about it. But, truth be told, Vince has got a grudge against me that is really unfounded. And, honestly, I’ve always had a wide-open door when it comes to Vince.”
The singer adds, “If it takes me standin’ there and lettin’ that little guy punch me in the f—in’ face repeatedly, over and over and over, til his hands were tired of hittin’ my rock-hard f—in’ head, as long as we could sit down and talk afterwards, I’m all for it, man.”
Earlier this year, Wylde said he would be honored to fill in for Dime if he got the call. “I love all those guys,” Wylde told the radio station Banana 101.5. ”If they were ever to actually do that and they asked me — of course I would do that in honor of Dimebag. Why wouldn’t I? It would just be an amazingly beautiful thing to celebrate Dime’s greatness and what the band achieved.”
Vinnie Paul, meanwhile, may have started the whole conversation when he said, “If [a Pantera reunion] ever were to happen, [Zakk] would be the guy [to step in for Dimebag]. But I honestly think, out of respect for my brother, we should just leave the 14 amazing years Pantera had be.”
Whether fans are in favor of this potential reunion or not, Anselmo warns that the idea is still far-fetched at this point. ”I didn’t say that the Pantera thing is a realistic thing,” he explains in the Village Voice interview. “I don’t think that’s the important thing. I think what the important thing is, what Zakk and I discussed, is just Vince actually dropping his guard and realizing there is no treachery afoot.”
Dimebag Darrell was tragically gunned down onstage by a deranged concertgoer while performing with Damageplan on Dec. 8, 2004, in Columbus, Ohio.
Anselmo is currently out on tour with his band Down, who just released a new EP titled ‘Down IV Part I: The Purple EP.’ Vinnie Paul’s current group, Hellyeah, released their latest album, ‘Band of Brothers,’ earlier this year.