Zakk Wylde has spoken for the first time on his involvement in the Pantera 'reunion' tour that will be taking place next year. The reunion, which will feature Phil Anselmo on vocals and Rex Brown on bass, with Wylde and Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante replacing Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul respectfully, has proven divisive, with many fans unhappy with the idea of anything without the Abbott brothers being put out under the Pantera banner.
Phil Anselmo's presence in the metal scene also remains controversial after his racist outburst on stage at the Dimebash event in December 2016 - a moment, in which he shouted the words "white power" and flashed a Nazi salute, that was the latest in a number of controversies over his career surrounding his attitude towards race.
Speaking to Danny Wimmer Presents at this year's Inkcarceration Festival in Ohio, which took place this part weekend, Zakk Wylde says (as transcribed by Blabbermouth): "When Vinnie was still alive, when the fellows were all talking about doing it, I just always told 'em, I said, 'Of course I would… If you asked me, why would I not do it? I'm gonna honor Dime.' It's like when we do the 'Dimebash'; it's a celebration of Dime's greatness. It's a Pantera celebration, that's what it is. You're celebrating Vinnie and Dime's greatness and you're celebrating all the mountains that Pantera conquered and crushed."
Wylde also acknowledged that "obviously, it's not Pantera. Pantera is those four guys - it's Phil, Rex, Dime and Vinnie. But it's just like when Zepplin went out with Jason Bonham playing, it was phenomenal...I'm beyond honored to be a part of it."
Wylde was amongst many prominent musicians who spoke on Phil Anselmo's white power outburst after the singer was roundly criticised for his actions, describing himself as "bummed out and upset" by the incident. Charlie Benante's Anthrax bandmate, Scott Ian, who is Jewish, described Anselmo's actions as "vile", inviting Anselmo to make a donation to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an organisation dedicated to confronting anti-Semitism and hate speech.
Pantera's 'reunion' tour is scheduled to take place across North America next year.