(May 10, 2011. Montreal, Canada) – Zakk Wylde has been one of the most talked about rock guitarists in the last few weeks, and throughout his career going back to his remarkable stint with Ozzy Osbourne. Fresh off his mind-blowing performance on “American Idol” on April 13, 2011, the guitar god then appeared on the hit late night talk show “Lopez Tonight”. Today, he releases a new album with Black Label Society entitled “THE SONG REMAINS NOT THE SAME“.
Zakk took some time on release day of his new record to speak to LoudTrax.com for a phone interview.
Buyers who purchase the album on LoudTrax.com are entered to win an exclusive Black Label Society prize pack which includes a signed CD, limited edition “Order of the Black” set, and t-shirt. Go Here to BUY the album download and enter the contest.
“THE SONG REMAINS NOT THE SAME”
The new album offering features unplugged versions of material from Black Label Society’s latest album, ORDER OF THE BLACK, as well as additional material recorded during the ORDER OF THE BLACK sessions. Explains Zakk, “The new record came about as I was sitting around the studio toying on the piano and on an acoustic. When I start writing, i’ll start with a new melody and use the lyrics from an existing song. The outcome was quite nice. So I thought it would be cool to record these and release them and have some fun with them.”
The concept and title “THE SONG REMAINS NOT THE SAME” came from the messing around with the songs. “It’s not so much that it’s an unplugged record, meaning, they’re not just a acoustic versions of different songs. For many of the songs, the only thing that’s similar are the actual lyrics, but the rest is different. It’s the reason i got the album title – the song remains, but it’s not the same.”
The album has a kind of road trip record feel to it, the type you’ll put on when you need a break from the heavy stuff. “That’s what we used to do with Ozzy to get through the 22 hours of being on a tour bus. We used to make a compilation of the more mellow songs we liked and relaxed”
ZAKK AND THE EVIL TWIN
During a previous interview done with Nick Cantese, aka Evil Twin, the discussion with him was how he saw his role in the band. From Zakk’s point of view,
“I always say if Black Label Society are the Rolling Stones, then I’m Keith and Nick is Ronnie. Thats the perfect analogy. We love jamming, hanging out and i love him like my little brother – that’s why we call him Evil Twin. My right hand man.”
ZAKK THE PIANO MAN
The recent “Black Label Berzerkus” tour showcased Zakk Wylde not only as a guitar monster but also as a gifted rock pianist. The Song Remains Not the Same record carries over that thought with many songs featuring the piano as the lead instrument. “I started playing piano before guitar – or about the same time. We were taking lessons with my sister, and she kept taking lessons and i just thought myself, chords, then scales, and so on.”
The piano also provides for a change in the song writing. “It’s a great tool for writing. You won’t write “Ain’t Talkin’ About Love” on a piano. Eddie Van Halen wrote that cause he had a wall of Marshall’s blasting, the pedals, etc…. When you got a blasting guitar sound it makes you want to write Sabbath riffs, Zep riffs, cool riffs. On a piano, it makes you want to write more mellow type stuff.”
ZAKK THE METAL HERO
“Now that I did American Idol, I joke and tell kids not to call me “legend” anymore, or “icon”, I prefer going with “Idol” lol!” Zakk explains how Chris Jericho, the wrestling star and a Black Label brother helped in making it happen. “Chris was doing Dancing with the Stars. While I was roasting his balls about that on the phone, he was sitting in the “Dancing with the Stars” TV studio which was right next to the American Idol studio – where he was hanging with James Durbin – a big Ozzy and Black Label Society fan.
James Durbin was explaining to Jericho that American Idol gave him permission to sing the “Heavy Metal” song by Sammy Hagar and it would be cool if Zakk would go by and jam one day. “So Chris called me up, I went down to the studio, met up with James and before you knew it, I was on the show. That’s how fast it went.”
He seemed to have enjoyed the experience. “I got a chance to kiss J-Lo on the cheek – mind you she got an infection and they had to rush her to the emergency room – but everything was cool! lol kidding….”
Watch Zakk Wylde’s performance on American Idol: