Love it or hate it, Pantera’s modern reformation – with Zakk Wylde and Charlie Benante respectively taking over for late guitarist ”Dimebag” Darrell Abbott and drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott – has been immensely successful. Perhaps it’s not too surprising, then, that Wylde gave a very optimistic and endearing answer when he was recently asked about his future with the iconic metal band.

During his Q&A session at this year’s Rock & Roll Fantasy CampMetalmania III” event, Wylde was prompted to discuss whether he’ll play with Pantera “on a permanent basis.”

He replied:

I told the guys whenever – as long as they wanna do it. I mean, all – I don't know why you would wanna end it . . . 'cause all you're [doing is] going out there and you're just celebrating the fellas. So, and like I said, I think it's a beautiful thing and I get to hang out with my buddies. . . . You get up there with the fellas every night and it’s just awesome.

Shortly thereafter, Wylde was asked about his friendship with Vinnie Paul, to which he reflected:

[Like brother Dimebag Darrell], Vinnie was great too. You know, we did some shows . . . [and] every night was just – with Dime and Vinnie, every night was Friday night or Saturday night. 'Cause it wouldn't be Sunday, and even if it was Sunday, it would be Sunday Night Football. . . . It just literally was. The way I always say it [is] if you celebrate Dime and Vinnie, there was zero time to get depressed. Like, if you were bummed out, it's like, “Zakk, call the fellas up. We're gonna have a party.”

You could either be depressed or you could be loving life and whooping as much ass as possible. So, yeah, they were just about always . . . having a good time. I mean, Dime would walk in a room if somebody was depressed as could possibly be, you know, he would just light up a room.

Same thing with Vinnie, man. . . . I remember he got tickets to go see the [New York] Giants and the [Dallas] Cowboys, ‘cause me and Phil [Anselmo] . . . we were New York Giants guys and Vinnie [was] a Cowboys guy. . . . We flew out to Vinnie’s house and we all went to Texas Stadium to see the game. Obviously, there’d be some raging barbeque at his house, so we’d start there, go to the game, come back, and it was still just – forget about it. All the time.

Wylde has talked a lot about his relationship with the Abbott brothers over the years, especially since he hooked up with Pantera last year.

Back in May 2023, however, he revealed that he never got to jam with the late guitarist due to the pair preferring to be “at an Irish pub somewhere laughing [their] assess off.” Interestingly, in 2014, Vinnie Paul said that fans were being “selfish” for wanting Wylde to fill-in for his brother. Nearly a decade later – and over six years since Paul's 2018 death – we can only speculate on how he’d feel about those wishes coming true.

Speaking of that, Pantera recently announced a winter 2024 North American tour with support from Lamb of God. It’ll take place next February, kicking off in Sunrise, Fla. and concluding in Québec City, Québec. From there, they’ll travel to Australia in March, play Download Festival (in the U.K.) in June and return to North American in August.

You can see the full tour scheduled here and grab tickets here.

Zakk Wylde Discusses Pantera + Abbott Brothers at Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp 2023

Pantera's First Show With Zakk Wylde + Charlie Benante (Dec. 2, 2022)

See photos of the first Pantera show since 2001, now featuring guitarist Zakk Wylde and drummer Charlie Benante alongside singer Philip Anselmo and bassist Rex Brown.

Gallery Credit: Joe DiVita