Depending on how much YouTube you take in, you may or may not know Kayla Kent, but rest assured that Pantera does. The YouTube sensation has been making a name for herself over the last two years primarily sharing her love for Dimebag Darrell‘s guitar playing with some pretty impressive riffing of her own, and it captured the band’s attention enough to yield an invite to a Pantera tribute performance and a revelation that surprised the young guitarist.
While Zakk Wylde‘s name was bandied about for a potential Pantera reunion dating back over a decade, when Philip Anselmo and Rex Brown seriously started considering putting together a tribute tour, they did their due diligence scouting other potential players before coming back to Wylde. Previously, both Mark Tremonti and Ola Englund have shared that they had had discussions about the Pantera guitar role for the tribute. And now you can add Kent’s name to that list.
In a video posting recalling her recent experience with Pantera, Kent reveals that it was Dimebag Darrell‘s longtime guitar tech Grady Champion that invited her to the show in Austin, Texas. After getting a tour of the stage and some of the gear, Kayla watched the performances from the side of the stage.
At one point, Philip Anselmo came up to meet her, and as Kayla tells it, “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,” recalled Kent. “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,” she says.
Within the discussion, Kent goes into detail marveling at the band’s production and in particular singles out the work that both Champion and Murillo do backstage in helping Zakk Wylde achieve a sound similar to Dimebag Darrell’s.
At this point, Kent has racked up a pretty impressive video library primarily dedicated to playing Pantera and other heavy act’s guitar parts. Get a closer look at her work and why Anselmo would have her “on the list” for potential guitarists by checking out her video channel here.
Kayla Kent Reveals Her Experience Backstage With Pantera
A Photo Timeline of Pantera’s Famed Career
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