Bob Zerull of Zoiks! Online recently conducted an interview with legendary guitarist Zakk Wylde (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, OZZY OSBOURNE). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Zoiks! Online: I read your new book “Bringing Metal To The Children”. How did the idea for this book come about?
Zakk: I just figured the world needed another masterpiece, another “Gone With The Wind”. (laughs) I can’t even say it out loud with out laughing, man. This parchment of stupidity, I just figured it needed to be written. It’s just like me and you sitting around, especially back when I was drinking, we’d be laughing and telling these ridiculous stories, just about music business stuff. It’d be like, “Bob, get out of here! That never happened… Did it?” It’s like, “Dude, I wish I was making it up, Zakk. I can’t even make this up.” I always laugh. We always talk about “Seinfeld” or whatever with Larry David. You know those episodes, that one episode with Bob is hysterical where he picks up that hooker so he can drive in the car pool lane. It’s like we didn’t make that up, Bob actually did that, bro. The guys would be like, “Are you kidding?” and I’m like, “No, we elaborated on the story, but that actually happened.” Pretty much with the book, that’s how it came about. When we started writing the book, it almost could have been a guitar instructional thing and then it was like me adding bits of humor in there. Then it was us laughing at some stupid stories. It was like two books. Let’s just make it so it’s ridiculously stupid throughout the whole book. You take this stuff so serious, but it just gets crammed out of your ass at the end of the day. Like we were talking at the beginning of the book, yeah, you practice 24 hours a day, you got your pictures of Jimmy Page up on the wall, ZEPPELIN and SABBATH and all these bands that you love. Once you get out there in the real world, it’s not even close, dude. The running joke is you can go to high school, but do they really prepare you for what’s going to happen once you get out of there? They don’t. I know how to read, write, add, subtract, you know, but nobody told me it was going to be like this when we got out of there.
Zoiks! Online: I may be mistaken, but I could have swore I read that you were working on a movie script, is that accurate and how is that coming along?
Zakk: Well, I’ve been talking about doing that for years. For me it’s just a matter of time where I have a break in what I’m doing. After we just got back from Australia, I had to get everything ready for the tour over in Europe then in a couple days we have the Ozzy rehearsals, then BLACK LABEL rehearsals, then book signings and the Golden Gods, so you know, it’s just a matter of having… for me, I’ve never had six months where there’s nothing going on.
Zoiks! Online: Last year you played with James Durbin on “American Idol”. Is it possible for somebody coming off a reality show to survive in the very judgemental world of hard rock and heavy metal, even with the support of you, Steven Tyler and JUDAS PRIEST?
Zakk: My whole thing is just like when Eddie (Van Halen) played on Michael Jackson‘s “Beat It”, at first I was like, “Dude?” But then I heard some ripping guitar on the thing. My whole take on it is, “American Idol” is not our party anyways. It’s like any of my friends get bummed out because the Grammys doesn’t even acknowledge hard rock. It’s like when JETHRO TULL beat METALLICA for “Best Metal Band.” It just goes to show you. I have friends that get so bent out of shape, but I’m like, “Dude, it’s not our party.” Would you get pissed off because I’m getting ready to do the Golden Gods out here? If Celine Dion isn’t up for best vocalist, do you think she’s gonna get pissed? I couldn’t care less. It’s not my party, who cares? It’s not for hard rock or heavy metal, it just isn’t. I remember somebody was telling me, “Yo, Zakk, Justin Bieber… fuck him or Lady Gaga.” “Yeah, I know, I can’t stand them either. You know why? Because they’re doing six nights at Madison Square Garden, that’s why I can’t stand them, because I can’t do Madison Square Garden.” Yeah, I hate them, too, because of their merch sales, album sales. If somebody goes, “I hate Justin Bieber,” I say, “You know who you must really hate too? Joe Pass. You must really hate that motherfucker.” Then they go, “Who’s Joe Pass?” and I go, “He’s a legendary jazz guitar player.” And then he goes, “Well, I don’t listen to jazz,” and I say, “Exactly, and I don’t listen to Justin Bieber either, so I don’t know anything about him, dude.” I don’t get bent out of shape over something I don’t know anything about or let alone care about.
Zoiks! Online: Do you have any free time coming up in the next couple of years?
Zakk: No. I gotta be honest with you, I love working. My kids, the two oldest are in college, the little guy is nine and [wife] Barbaranne is 6 ½ months pregnant right now. My friends are like, “You must be excited you’re having another baby?” “Yeah, we just extended the tour another twenty years.”
Read the entire interview from Zoiks! Online.