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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Zakk Wylde Black Label Society - Interview
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Zakk Wylde

The Rockpit has been fortunate enough to interview Zakk Wylde numerous times over the years and without a doubt, he is one of the nicest and coolest guys to talk to. Always a barrel of laughs and always ready to answer whatever you throw at him, this time around we caught up with the axeman to discuss the upcoming Australian tour as well as his work on the upcoming Book Of Shadows 2.



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Andrew: Thanks for your time today, it's much appreciated! What are you up to at the moment? Are you on tour?

Zakk: No right now we just got back doing a show in Jersey, just a one off thing. Just did some shows in South America for an acoustic run and just recording some Book Of Shadows stuff and then I guess pretty soon we're going to be flying out the Black Label in a little bit, rolling down and seeing everybody down in the Australian chapter and New Zealand chapter. I guess we'll be going over to Japan as well.

Andrew: It's nice to see you coming back!

Zakk: Yeah without a doubt. And then the European crusade will be rolling as well so we got a bunch of shows coming up.

Andrew: I think the last time you were in Australia was about 3 years ago for Soundwave Festival.

Zakk: Yeah and before that was in 2006. I mean I can't believe it's been that long.

Andrew: Yeah that was your last headlining tour which was almost 10 years ago now!

Zakk: Yeah it's insane!

Andrew: Well this time around you have "Catacombs Of The Black Vatican" which came out last year so I guess you are still in support of that one?

Zakk: Yeah without a doubt.

Andrew: What are the setlists looking like these days? Is it difficult to pick out a setlist?

Zakk: Yeah I mean obviously we try to put a little bit in from each record. It's not as bad as the Stones yet but we definitely try to put a little bit in from everything.

Andrew: How do the Aussie fans normally treat you? Do you find the fans here a little bit different to the the fans in the U.S. and Europe or is everyone pretty much the same?

Zakk: We just have a lot of ass kicking friends down there now. When we came down there with Ozz (Ozzy Osbourne) a while ago up until the last time we were down there, it's always been a great time.

Andrew: Any personal highlights? What's your favorite moment in Australia?

Zakk: Every time that we've gone there with Oz, I remember the first time it was weird because Ozz hadn't played down there since he was in Sabbath in like '73, so that was definitely way cool. That for sure, we had Mike Inez and we had Randy (Castillo) down there as well so that was a lot of fun. And every time we've been down there after that, it's been an ass kicking time so looking forward to seeing big John and the rest of our buddies down there again.

Andrew: As mentioned before, it's been about 9 years since you last headlined a show here so is there anything we can maybe expect like surprises or anything like that this time around?

Zakk: Well my wife just saw Madonna at Madison Square Garden. She said the show was phenomenal, the band and everything and I said, 'If you think the dancing was phenomenal for that, well guess what? Our dance is going to be completely out of control and will smoke that and we're bringing our rock act to the next level [laughs].

Andrew: [laughs] That's an interesting take on it, are you a fan of Madonna?

Zakk: [laughs] Yeah well, she's the queen! Undeniable dominance and passioned [laughs]. I don't know what's going on over there! So in between the dance routines, we have a couple of dancing bears and I wrestle a 22 foot great white shark, it should be a lot of fun.

Andrew: You mentioned that you are working on the book of Shadows 2, it's been 20 years since the first one came out which is an amazing thing. So what made you decide to do a second one? Is it because of the 20 year anniversary?

Zakk: Yeah I can't believe it's been 20 years either. But I had some mellower stuff laying around which is in the vein of that record, that record is just mellow from beginning to end. And the fact that it's the 20 year anniversary so why not do another Book Of Shadows so that's how it came about.

Andrew: How do you get in the state of writing that kind of music, the acoustics and mellower side of things? Do you have to be in a certain mood to sit and write that kind of stuff?

Zakk: I've always been in the mood for it whether it's with Ozz like "Mama, I'm Coming Home" or "Road To Nowhere" and stuff like that. And with Pride And Glory, doing mellow stuff whether it was "Sweet Jesus" or "Fadin' Away" and "Lovin' Woman", I've always done the mellow stuff. As much as I dig the heavy stuff, I definitely dig doing both man.

Andrew: So you'll be taking this out on the road when you finish the album?

Zakk: Yeah for sure, without a doubt.

Andrew: OK cool well that would be great to see something like that n Australia as I don't think you've done an acoustic set down here before have you?

Zakk: No not yet. But that would be cool as well.

Andrew: Being a big Black Sabbath fan and obviously working with Ozzy for a number of years, what are your thoughts on Black Sabbath calling it a day?

Zakk: Well obviously if that's how the guys feel. I mean it's not because they aren't talented anymore because we did a bunch of shows with them and they sounded phenomenal, every night they were killing it. We were having a blast watching them every night. But if they feel that this it, then that's it.

Andrew: Have you talked to Ozzy about this at all?

Zakk: No, I mean I've talked to Ozz but we didn't talk about them ending or anything like that. That didn't come about.

Andrew: I guess there's a lot of apprehension from fans about it because there's no Bill Ward so it's not really the original lineup. Do you feel that they should get Bill Ward back into the band to do this?

Zakk: Everybody wants to see it but I have no idea why you're not going to have you're old bass player back in the band, that's between you guys. Everybody would love to see the original classic bands that we love all hooked up again but it is what it is. Obviously it's up to the guys in how it works out.

Andrew: Is that something that you ever think about when it comes to the day that Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society will call it a day? Do you see that coming in the next 20, 30 years or whatever?

Zakk: Well it's like Keith Richards where he goes, 'Retire from what?' Doing what I love? Especially with somebody like B.B. King, the older they get, the more respect they get in that field.

Andrew: What do you think would be the reason you would call it quits? The physical side of things maybe?

Zakk: Either that but then again, there's enough viagara and there's enough cialis to go around! There's definitely no need to stop [laughs].

Andrew: [laughs] Well it's good to see you coming back to Australia and we will see you in a month's time. Are there any last words for the Austalian fans at all?

Zakk: Yeah to all our Australian chapters, stay strong, bleed Black Label and God Bless them. From me and the band and the rest of Doom Crew Inc., we're looking forward to seeing our Australian Black Label fans for sure man!


Wednesday, 25th November - Metropolis - Fremantle
Friday, 27th November - HQ - Adelaide
Saturday, 28th November - Roundhouse - Sydney
Sunday, 29th November - The Tivoli - Brisbane
Monday, 30th November - 170 Russell - Melbourne
Tuesday, 1st December - 170 Russell - Melbourne

Tickets and tour info at Destroy All Lines

Interview by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie on October 20th 2015