Friday, January 17, 2014
Tags: Black Label Society
> Zakk Wylde
One of the hardest working musicians among us today took a few minutes out of his day to catch up with us here at www.SMMnews.com. My roots go deep with ZAKK WYLDE and it’s always a good conversation from start to finish. He and his BLACK LABEL SOCIETY brothers will unleash another new studio album to us in April, CATACOMBS OF THE BLACK VATICAN. We took a few minutes to talk before he did this season’s taping of THAT METAL SHOW…..here we go as Zakk answers the phone with, “hello there” in is best female-inspired hotel maid voice.
Q: Good Morning, how we doin there?
A: Doin ok man, is this Mark?
Q: This is Mark, what’s happenin brother, how ya been?
A: What are you doin brother?
Q: First and foremost I have to wish you a Happy Birthday!
A: Thank You very much brother!
Q: My wife had to remind me this morning, she said, “you have to wish him Happy Birthday today, don’t forget!”
A: (laughs) Ha Ha Ha! Mark the calendar Ha Ha Ha!
Q: I’ve been with ya forever but the wife had to remind me. I’m sure the warden has to remind you sometimes of things you forget.
A: Yeah (laughs)! It’s your birthday tomorrow (laughs)
Q: You’re in New York today, right?
A: We’re gonna be hookin up with Eddie Trunk, Jim, and Don and filming That Metal Show today so that will be comedy! Always good seeing those guys!
Q: Tell me what you got coming up for us in April.
A: We got a new album coming out called Catacombs Of The Black Vatican and the Black Label model will be firing up with the rest of the fellows. Before that I’m gonna be doin the HENDRIX EXPERIENCE TOUR coming up. Then we got this tour with our Canadian Black Label Family. We’re gonna roll with the Canadian Chapters then we have the Metal All Stars over in Europe with me rolling with a bunch of my buddies over there so that will be a good time.
Q: You have a busy year ahead of you!
A: Yeah, I’m looking forward to it! I like working you know! When you’re doing something you love it’s not work!
Q: That’s true! A few months ago you recorded the album so what was the process like with you and the guys sweating it out?
A: After we got off the Gigantour it was get the rest of the guys out here and we have 25 days to write the record. Everyday I’d be sitting out in the garage with my Marshall JCM2000 and it sounds gigantic like I’m playing Madison Square Garden and just keep digging and writing riffs. You know, put on a CARPENTERS CD, play it backwards and listen to all of the satanic messages to get inspired for some demonic riffs and off I go.
Q: (laughs) Love the reference man!
A: People will be going, ‘I never knew they were a satanic band.’
Q: Yeah, Zakk’s rolling with Jesus but has Satan in the passenger seat and Jesus tied up in the trunk.
A: (laughs) If you dig deep enough into Karen Carpenter’s music catalog you will discover she was a huge fan of Norwegian Black Metal.
Q: (laughs) Yeah, it wasn’t the guys in the bands that burned down that first church, it was really Karen Carpenter.
A: (laughs) The best part about that whole thing is you have people who actually believe it. I remember telling this one guy who asked me, ‘what’s this song Crazy Horse all about?’ And I said it’s about a Horse, that’s Crazy! (laughs) And I go No, it’s actually about Crazy Horse, the Indian. And he goes, ‘Oh, that’s what I thought.” And I said I was just doing some research on him and I was shocked that he was Irish Catholic. Then a special of JIM JONES comes on [TV] and I think, I can see how this happens (laughs).
Q: You’ve been watching the same channel as I have been lately on all those serial killers and cults.
A: Yeah, Jim Jones, Charlie Manson, and a bunch of these cult leader guys.
Q: Like that weirdo Warren Jeffs in Utah with like 84 wives or some crap like that.
A: Yeah! That guy! Totally, I was like going, ‘who buys this?’ I guess the whole thing is you try to date every woman but I guess it’s the if you ask 1,000 of them you’re bound to score with one of them. It’s unbelievable. (laughs). But anyways, the writing process of 25 days, just keep writing stuff and keep digging until you get what you’re happy with. I’ll jam it with CHAD (SZELIGA, drums) sitting next to me in a chair, then we’ll run it through a couple of times, and that’s it, done!
Q: Maybe that’s some of the magic you capture that you don’t spend a year twiddling with it.
A: I’ve done that in the past. I did it with OZ, like when we did NO MORE TEARS. It would be me, MIKE INEZ (bass) and RANDY CASTILLO (drums) and then the producers sitting in front of Randy’s kick drum and they’d say, ‘now what is the kick drum doing there?’ And it’s like, ‘the kick drum is doing exactly what Randy wants it to do.’ What are you going to do, sit in front of John Bonham’s drums when they’re recording THE OCEAN and say, “what is the kick drum doing here?” Just shut the fuck up and get out of the way! Just hit the record button and get out of the way. The whole magic is when you first record something. I remember when we did the demo for MAMA, I’M COMING HOME, Ozzy’s vocal performance came out amazing and then we were constantly trying to chase the demos afterwards. I kid you not! If you’re going to record something, just record it right the first time.
Q: That’s the spirit of it! Do you roll tape the whole time you’re in the studio so you capture that lightning in a bottle?
A: Yeah, it’s because we know the songs and it’s like, let’s record this take! We just put a click track up. I’ve been playing to a click forever. When you’re playing to a click track you’re swimming around it so we don’t sound like a robot. I remember reading something and one guy said, “this album almost killed us it was so much work.” And I go, “work?” Dude, were not roofing houses, you’re playing in a band. It’s a Rock Band, just stop! Obviously he never had a job before. It’s not rocket science when we go in the studio.
Q: It’s when you’re in the studio and you look at the drummer, or bassist and you know you got that something special from the performance and you know, ‘that was it!”
A: Yeah, and you know it! And it’s done and you move on to the next thing, I completely agree.
Q: How many songs are going to be on the album?
A: There’s 11 tunes on the record, then there’s 4 bonus tracks. Then I’m going to record 2 or 3 more when I get home. Some acoustic, solo versions of some stuff just so we have some extra bonus tracks laying around.
Q: How soon until we hear some music?
A: The single should be out next week.
Q: What’s it called?
A: MY DYING TIME!
Q: How would you describe the song?
A: It’s your typical Black Label, soothing, make out, grope music.
And Zakk continues the laughter and his honest approach to being himself and his music. This is another album I cannot wait for!