Pantera will play their first tribute show on Dec. 2 at the Hell & Heaven Open Air festival in Mexico and Zakk Wylde has been getting ready by turning to YouTube tutorials to help learn some of the songs. He's also revealed a handful of tracks that will likely enter the setlist next month.
Wylde, alongside Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante, have been tabbed to join Philip Anselmo and Rex Brown in the reconfigured Pantera lineup as the band prepares to play its first-ever shows without the late Abbott brothers, Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul.
Speaking with "Sundays With Ola" host, metal guitarist (The Haunted) and YouTuber Ola Englund, Wylde chatted about his preparations for the upcoming gigs, and it's pretty humbling to know that even a legend such as Wylde uses YouTube to help him learn songs, just like the rest of us!
"Yeah, of course. I've been working on it for a while now," says Wylde when asked if he started learning the setlist yet (transcription via Blabbermouth).
Not only is he tasked with learning all the nuances of each song, the shredder is also going out to get some fresh gear to better authenticate everything.
"I had to get a whammy pedal. I never owned one of those things. Grady [Champion, Dimebag's former guitar tech in Pantera] will probably be running that thing, the guy who ran it for Dimebag. So, yeah, I'm a proud owner of a whammy pedal now. [Laughs] And I've got my Dime guitars, the ones that actually he gave me… I've got my rig," he continues.
Regarding other pieces of equipment, Wylde adds, "Obviously, what Dime used that I don't use, obviously, is noise gate. Obviously, if you're gonna be doing [vocalizes the primary 'Cowboys From Hell' riff]… My stuff, it's just pure lightning all the time. If I'm gonna stop, you stop. Dime would have, like, two distortion pedals on at the same time. I remember in his rig, he goes, 'Zakk, what pedals do you use?' My overdrive pedals — he had one of those things in his board. I go, 'Dime, it's probably not even panning anything 'cause you've got so much overdrive on there.' But for him, there wasn't enough gate. He loved it. And there's an art to controlling it."
In talking about what solos, if any, or other parts of certain Pantera songs will give him a bit of trouble, Wylde compares it to earlier in his career when he was to learn the Randy Rhoads era Ozzy Osbourne material. In doing so, the guitarist even rattled off a handful of Pantera song titles, meaning there's a very good chance those are some of the tracks fans can expect to hear when the band returns to the stage.
"To me, it's fun. 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," he explains.
And as for the ones that gave him a bit trouble? Yes, Zakk Wylde — who recently launched his own digital guitar camp — looks it up on YouTube.
I think I may have gone on your [Ola Englund's] website, just to see 'Becoming', watching you play," he explains, "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.'"
Watch the full interview below.
Pantera have five shows booked in 2022 with a handful of festival appearances set for 2023. See the upcoming dates at their website.
Zakk Wylde Guests on 'Sunday With Ola'Top 66 Hard Rock + Metal Guitarists of All TimeCounting down rock and metal’s greatest guitar players.Filed Under: Ola Englund, Pantera, Zakk WyldeCategories: Metal, NewsComments