ZAKK WYLDE On His Pre-OZZY Group: ‘We Made BON JOVI Look Like A Death Metal Band’

Steve Patrick of UWeekly recently conducted an interview with Zakk Wylde (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, OZZY OSBOURNE). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

UWeekly: On “The Song Remains Not The Same”, the band is returning to the acoustic style of softer albums like “Hangover Music” and your solo album, “Book of Shadows”. Do you see this album as a natural progression?

Zakk: With BLACK LABEL, when we’re doing the mellow stuff it’s just the same thing as “Book of Shadows”, really. I mean, it’s just me doing the mellow stuff. As much as I love listening to “Black Dog”, I love listening to ZEPPELIN do “Going to California” or any of their other mellow stuff. When we’re just pounding out the heavy riffs, once that either gets old or if the riffs start sounding similar, it’s just like, “Dude, let’s take a break and start doing the mellow stuff for a bit.” Likewise with that, once that starts sounding a little boring and starts sounding the same … let’s get back to heavy stuff.

UWeekly: Has Ozzy heard your version of SABBATH‘s “Junior’s Eyes”?

Zakk: Yeah, Ozz heard it and he said, “That’s one of the reasons you’re not in the band anymore, now don’t call me anymore.” laughs “Zakk, after I heard this, listen buddy…this definitely solidifies the reason why I shouldn’t be playing with you anymore.” Yeah, Ozz heard it … I sent it to him like on Father’s Day and he’s just, like, “Dude, that came out really cool, man. It’s like a gospel version of it with the background vocals and everything like that.” And I was like, “Does that mean you dig it?” And he goes, “No, that doesn’t mean I dig it. I’m just saying it sounds like gospel. Now go away.” [laughs]

UWeekly: I’ve always been curious, did you have any of the riffs on “No Rest for the Wicked” written prior to getting the gig with Ozzy?

Zakk: No, what I wrote then was what I wrote when (I was) 19-20 years old. I didn’t have any of that lined up. The band that I was in before that, ZYRIS, the stuff that we ended up sounding like was like … you know that band SCANDAL with Patty Smyth? It was like [sings some of SCANDAL‘s “Goodbye to You”]. I mean, that’s what we sounded like, dude. It was not heavy metal at all. That was the crazy thing about all of us in that band. I’m thinking that I love Randy Rhoads and I love SABBATH and ZEPPELIN … all the guys in the band were into ZEPPELIN, BAD COMPANY, SKYNYRD and we sound as ball-less as … we made BON JOVI look like a death metal band, dude. I mean, it was ridiculous. So horrendously bad it’s unbelievable. It just goes to show you … the songwriting … none of us would ever listen to any of this music ever. Why are we playing it? “Well, that’s how you get on the radio and that’s how you be successful.” So, we could do this music and then when we get signed and get a record deal, after our first record we can do what we want … sound like SABBATH or whatever? It doesn’t work like that, bro. It just goes to show how greedy, naïve and ridiculously stupid the whole thing is … thinking that this is the way things work.

UWeekly: That had to have taken a lot of the “new-guy” pressure off when you started writing some of those classic riffs for Ozzy

Zakk: Yeah, well “Miracle Man” was the first riff I wrote with Ozzy, that was the first one. Yeah, everything else that’s on there … “Tattooed Dancer” … everything like that. I’m playing music that I listen to, you know what I mean. Wow, what a novelty! I always tell kids, “If you’re in a position where you feel that you shouldn’t be doing something, then you shouldn’t be doing it.” Nobody forces you to do anything … you should do whatever the fck it is you want to do. Nobody ever told LED ZEPPELIN, “We’re going to get a producer for you … we’re going to get Mutt Lange to come in here and work on a new record.” They’d be like, “Jimmy Page produces the records and that’s the way it’s gonna be. You can fckin’ leave now. Leave.” No one’s going to tell LED ZEPPELIN “we need some singles,” know what I mean? We’re gonna make the records we want and if you like them, great. If you don’t, go fuck yourself … or eat a bag of dicks, ’cause we like it.

Read the entire interview from UWeekly.


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