Pantera shocked the fans when they reunited at the initiative of classic members Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown, in a move that divided fans.
Joining the singer and bassist were Zakk Wylde on guitar and Charlie Benante on drums, filling in for the late Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul, respectively.
The list of candidates for the spot was longer than expected, with other high-profile guitarists like Ola Englund and Mark Tremonti being considered for the role.
It has come to light that a newer talent was also in the run as YouTuber Kayla Kent, known online for her impressive Pantera covers, revealed that she was invited by Dime’s guitar tech Grady Champion to a Pantera show in Austin, Texas.
The guitarist met Phil Anselmo backstage, and she recalled (via Loudwire):
“He knew who I was, and he came up and hugged me, and had super-flattering things to say about my guitar playing and he wanted a picture. We got chatting for a while and then he told me something I will never forget: he told me that I was on the list of potential Pantera guitar players. I just could not believe it.
“I asked him several times, ‘Are you joking? Are you serious?,’ and he said, ‘I’m 100 percent serious. I don’t bullshit. We actually considered you. After that interaction I went up to Grady [Champion] and Steve [Murillo, Zakk Wylde’s guitar tech] and was like, ‘Is he bullshitting me? Does he just tell everybody that?’ and they were like, ‘He’s not known to bullshit people in private like that.’
“Coming from Phil, who is spearheading the new Pantera thing, obviously it means a lot to me that he said that.”
Pantera are currently on the road in North America.