The Pantera celebration shows kicked off last year with guitarist Zakk Wylde taking up Dimebag Darrell's position. The choice wasn't surprising given Wylde constantly mentioning that he'd do it over the past decade, though apparently Alter Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti was also in the running. Longtime Pantera producer Sterling Winfield later confirmed that Tremonti was considered, as well as a few others… but who were they?
Well according to Ola Englund, he was one of the contenders. In a recent video, Englund said that Pantera vocalist Phil Anselmo personally told him he was on the list. "He told me I was a great guitar player, and he said something that I'm going to cherish for the rest of my life," said Englund.
"He said that my name was on the list when they started talking about this Pantera tribute thing. My name was on the list? Wow. Obviously there are so many better alternatives but just knowing that I was considered, like even if I would have been on the bottom of the list [it] doesn't matter. It's unbelievable to me. Tell that to 15-year-old Ola. It doesn't make any sense."
Englund currently runs Solar Guitars and plays in both The Haunted and Feared. And if you've ever seen any of Englund's videos where he tries to get as tonally and stylistically close to famous guitarists as humanly possible, it's obvious why he'd be in the running.