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Zakk Wylde Talks New Black Label Society Album, Band’s New Guitarist + More

Zakk Wylde
Kathy Flynn, WickedGoddessPhotography.com

Black Label Society‘s Zakk Wylde was the guest on Full Metal Jackie’s radio show this past weekend. Wylde spoke about the band’s upcoming album, ‘Catacombs of the Black Vatican,’ his creative process and the group’s recently added guitarist Dario Lorina. If you missed Jackie’s show, here’s her full interview with Black Label Society’s Zakk Wylde.

It’s Full Metal Jackie bringing you two full hours of metal each and every week. On the phone with us, the one and only Zakk Wylde. What’s happening, man?

I’m doing okay Jackie. How are you?

You crack me up.

I’m just keeping it hard. That is why I’m up. I’m down with the Viagra and Cialis. I’ll probably have three heart attacks but I’ll be fine.

Black Label Society, brand new album coming out April 8, ‘Catacombs of the Black Vatican,’ You joked that it’ll be all the same as the last nine, just different song titles.

You forgot to add, exciting and fun.

Is there a consciousness about that fine line between consistency and growth? Or is it just whatever comes out?

I think if you really think about all these favorite bands whether its Zeppelin and Sabbath. If its Elton John and Neil Young or the Eagles or you know if it’s … I think if its just like, you know I mean, even with Diamond back and the Pantera guys its just like once this new one’s out its just like its even heavier than the last one. It’s like, is that even possible? It’s just a bunch of ass kicking riffs and it’s just to add to the liquor cabinet. I just think it’s like if you’re road tripping and we had Zeppelin records its like well here is ‘Zeppelin IV,’ what is this new one? What is the difference between this one. It’s kind of like huh, it’s just a bunch of ass kicking songs. It’s like they’ve taken on a new jazz fusion direction?

It’s not like this is your electronic record.

No it’s nothing like that. It’s just me listening to a bunch of Carpenters records and Barry Manilow records. I play them backwards and listen to all the satanic messages and then go and write a bunch of riffs.

The first few BLS records came out every year or so, but there’s been a longer period of time between studio albums over the last eight years. Are you always writing and demoing music, even if you’re not working on the albums?

The reason why we have those gaps in there now is between all the lawsuits and everything we have like stealing other artists’ music and then changing it and claiming it as our own so it’s just a long ongoing battle of court process but I mean then in between the court process we are listening to other artists and stealing their music and then making it our own so it is a very lengthy process. Back in the early days we didn’t have so many court issues. In the early days we were pumping them out like it was an album a year and then a tour, boom, knock out another record tour, boom knock out another record. Ever since we did ‘Shot to Hell’ it was like between ‘Shot to Hell’ and ‘Order of the Black’ it was like four years in between it.

But I mean we were working the whole time. So its going to be pretty much the same with this one. So actually between the two of them having the time between the records, I mean back then when we come back on tour a lot of times people would be like we would be like, ‘Did you get the new record,’ people would be like, ‘We didn’t even know you had a new album out’ because it was just one right after the other. I don’t mind either one its just like live or making records I enjoy either one.

Last year it was announced Nick Catanese was leaving BLS. Playing together for 14 years — after that much time, what’s been his biggest impact on the BLS legacy?

Nick was actually with me for 17 years. He was in the Astro van doing the ‘Book of Shadows’ tour so that was even before Black Label so. Nick is awesome, like I’ve said the Stones I’m Keith he is Ronny but no Nick will always be part of the Black Label family. To my kids he is Uncle Nick so we all love Nick and he was like I just want to sink 1000% into what I am doing right now so we were like you always have a home here so let’s just kick some ass and do your thing. Everything is great with Nick. But we’ve got Dario in the band now, and the two pre-requisites is you have to know how to play his instrument and be able to dance at Chippendales and not be a douche, because I am the lead singer and I am the only one that’s allowed to be that. We reserve that title for me and trust me, I do enough of it.

Oh, come on. You’re the nicest guy I know.

Well I enjoy getting into my pissy fits, if my shampoo isn’t right. I have problems.

Dario, what made him the obvious choice?

The cool thing nowadays, between all the musicians that are buddies of mine that are ass kicking musicians and the friends they know, it’s not like I do a big cattle call. Like we’re ‘American Idol,’ like we have a ton of people sitting there that we have to audition. Those days are gone. It would be like you saying, Zakk I know my friend Andy is an amazing guitar player, well alright let me check him out. So, it’s more or less that. But [our manager] Blasko knew Dario out in Vegas, so he was like Zakk I know this kid, he’s an amazing guitar player. Why don’t you check him out? I saw him play some stuff, on the Internet. I saw him tearing it up on the Internet, flew him out to the vatican and met him. Watched him do his Chippendales routine and said he’s got the job.

You saw him took his shirt off and you were like, sold?

I said to him, is that spray on tan or is that a real tan? He said it was real and I said you are committed to the project, you’re in.

Looking forward to hearing about some U.S. touring. I know you’re doing some stuff in Canada pretty soon. Looking forward to getting to see you again live.

Great talking Jackie, as always.

This coming weekend, Full Metal Jackie will welcome Nergal of Behemoth on her show. Full Metal Jackie can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.

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