Zakk Wylde: A storyteller gone terribly wrong: Interview

Black Label Society frontman to play Broadway Theatre Feb. 22

Zakk Wylde is probably one of the most accomplished metal guitarists of all time. Leader of the Black Label Society, Wylde has written over a dozen albums, including several LPs for Ozzy Osbourne, which includes writing all the music for two of Osbourne’s best selling albums, No More Tears and Ozzmosis. He’s also toured more times than he can remember and has legions of rabid, die-hard fans that span the globe. Heck, he’s even written a book, “Bringing Metal To The Children: The Complete Berzerker’s Guide to World Tour Domination”, which is peppered with reflective stories about jerking off, drinking, drugs and weightlifting.

It’s actually a weirdly fascinating read, and worth checking out if you’re into any one of those aforementioned topics.

Even though he’s since cleaned up his act (sort of) and quit drinking – Wylde is on blood thinning medication due to some life-threatening blood clots and the medicine doesn’t mix with alcohol – the Black Label Society frontman still has plenty of stories of the good ol’ days of hedonism and rock and roll.

The current version of his live show features stripped-down acoustic jams, readings from his book, along with some Q & A with the audience. Sounds like a delightful romp, but be warned – his show at the Broadway Theatre is already reportedly sold out.

Ominocity recently caught up with Mr. Wylde for a quick chat on being a rock and roll Berzerker, the new Black Label Society album and answering questions about prostate exams.

Ominocity: What was the impetus for these smaller, more intimate venues on this upcoming tour?

Zakk Wylde: The purpose behind these tours was to show a storyteller gone terribly wrong. You know, because it’s all about Black Label Society. In April we are going to fire up the full stage tour.

OM: Is it a bit of a challenge to transition from a stadium to a venue the size of a theatre?

ZW: I really enjoy doing both. You know, like when I listen to Led Zeppelin I love listening to “Black Dog” but I also like listening to “Going to California” too.

OM: What kind of responses are you getting with the Bringing Metal to the Children readings?

ZW: I’m talking to the Black Label family so it’s like we are all sitting around a campfire and I’m telling a bunch of stories. We jam for a bit and then I’ll break into some Black Label stories, which are ridiculous because it’s the music business. They just happen like a Seinfeld episode. And then we back to jamming and then we do a Q and A where I get to answer things like ‘before you go on tour across the world how many prostate exams do you get’ and whatever else we’ve got going on.

OM: That sounds pretty hilarious…

ZW: Anyone who has ever been in a band, no matter what level, whether it’s Led Zeppelin doing stadiums or when you fire up with the guys and you’ve got a U-Haul on the back and your playing to eight people and you’re going out on tour for five month, you have a movie right there, a total comedy. It’s a part of touring. And we always have a good time when we go out.

OM: You recently announced the new Black Label Society album Catacombs of the Black Vatican – what can fans expect from that?

ZW: It’s just a matter of putting out riffs again. It’s back to the heavy stuff. But like all of the records there is some mellow stuff in there as well.

OM: It’s also your first full-length from BLS since “The Order of the Black” was released in 2009 – what kind of progression is there?

ZW: It just comes down to the riffs and the new tunes. It’s not like we’re going to make a jazz record. We aren’t going to go in a whole new direction. For me it’s a matter of the tunes. If you listen to any of our favourite bands whether it’s Zeppelin or the Stones or Sabbath, any of their albums that came after the one before just had cool new songs on them. To me it’s all about the songs.

– Featured photo from Flickr user “Faso Productions, Inc.” – Creative Commons

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