Zakk Wylde Talks New Baby, Fantasy Football, Black Label Society + Randy Blythe
The one and only Zakk Wylde made a trip to New York City to participate in SiriusXM’s Celebrity Fantasy Football Draft on July 19. Amidst the likes of comedian Artie Lange and Playboy Playmate Pilar Lastra, Wylde stood out in the crowd wearing his Black Label Society denim vest and sporting his signature beard. He was all smiles, though, as he couldn’t help but crack jokes with fans and the press.
Coming off playing a recent string of shows with Ozzy Osbourne, the release of his first book ‘Bringing Metal to the Children’ and preparing for the Sunset Strip Music Festival, Wylde talked with us about everything going on in his world.
Let’s get to the baby talk. You blew the minds of hard rockers across the globe when you announced the name of your baby son, Sabbath Page. How did you drill down to those two names?
I’m a big fan of the Golden Girls so we were going to name him Maude, but I figured we should just play it safe and stay with Sabbath and Page.
Did you catch any grief from you wife?
Actually no, she was the one who was all about Sabbath, know what I mean? I picked Page, obviously, because he’s this guitarist of this up-and-coming band. [Laughs] Maybe you’ve heard of them, Led Zeppelin? I expect big things from those guys.
Yeah, I think they might blow up soon. Speaking of Page, who have been some of the most influential guitarists in your life? I mean, you are one of the greatest shredders around today.
You know, it’d have to be Tony Iommi, obviously Jimmy Page, Randy Rhoads, Frank Marino and John McLaughlin. A lot of these cats are just massively huge. All these guys., they still inspire me and I’m still a fan. And obviously Father Van Halen, you can’t forget him. He only slightly changed the game, you know?
Right on! How is everything going with your book, ‘Bringing Metal to the Children?’
Oh you mean the Parchment of Stupidity? Everyone reads it and says, “Wow, this really is the Sacred Parchment of Stupidity!” I told you, I wasn’t lying! It’s doing great, man.
Were you nervous when you set out to write the book?
No, not really. I mean, when me and Eric [Hendrikx] started writing it, we were pissing ourselves the whole time we were writing it. As soon as we came up with the beginning, we were just pissing ourselves. I mean, I had to buy boxes of Depends to wear while we were writing this thing. We just decided that the whole book had to be like that, just stupid, you know? [Laughs] I was saying, unfortunately, I wish half the stories weren’t true, but they are.
So we’re here at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square, celebrating this Celebrity Fantasy Football Draft. What’s it mean for you to be here?
I’m a big sports guy overall. With all the guys in Black Label Society and other friends in other bands, we’re all big sports guys. I did Jerry Cantrell’s fantasy league for charity and then these guys called me and asked if I wanted to be a part of this. I said of course! I have my brother-in-law Kenny who is basically the Black Label computer of knowledge when it comes to sports. I mean, I know my stuff, too, but he knows inside stuff about college guys, drafts, and injuries. Meanwhile, I just keep a Black Label Animal House on my team.
Speaking of Black Label Society, what’s on the horizon for the band?
Right now, we’re getting ready for the Sunset Strip Music Festival in August with Marilyn Manson and The Offspring. Then, we’re doing ‘Unblackened,’ the unplugged DVD and record. We’re throwing strings and piano into the mix, pedal steel, the whole nine yards, but it’ll still be electric, too. The whole nine yards.
Any new studio music planned for Black Label Society?
No, not really. We’ll do this DVD and see how that goes. It’s been two years since we’ve put out ‘Order of the Black,’ but we’ve been touring the whole time.
You recently played some shows with Ozzy. What was that like?
It was great seeing the Boss again. It’s just like seeing your parents, you know? Just because I don’t play with the Boss doesn’t mean I don’t love him any less.
Just like going home.
Without a doubt. I’ll always be there for him. Ozzy told me, “Thanks for coming out.” I was like, “Dude, you need me to bring milk and eggs over?” Nothing’s really changed. It was great playing with Gus G., Slash, Geezer Butler and all the guys. We had a great time every night, and then we’d go out and do Black Label on top of everything.
As a frontman, you’ve played every type of show imaginable. You’ve played small clubs, you’ve played huge festivals. What do you think about the Randy Blythe situation in the Czech Republic?
At Yankee Stadium when someone runs on the field, they don’t escort you back to your seat, they don’t escort you out of the stadium. They lock your ass the f— up. That’s what it’s going to come down to, otherwise Randy wouldn’t be in this situation right now, you know what I’m saying? It’s just a big mess overall. You’re looking at the kid that died and that sucks. You know that he was probably a huge Lamb of God fan, loved the band and loved Randy.
Randy is a good dude, he’d never want to hurt anybody, nothing like that. It’s a massive mess. When you have people stage-diving and moshing, Randy is just up there singing, you’ve got to look at the whole thing. After what happened to Dimebag [Darrell], you try getting up on stage again, you know? If nobody went up onstage, Randy wouldn’t even be in this situation right now. During extreme metal concerts, though, I get it, that’s a part of the whole experience. When the guys do their thing, people mosh. Nobody wants to get hurt. The whole game plan is to go to the show with your buddies, have a good time, and then the next time Lamb of God comes to town buy tickets again and have another ass-kicking time. The game plan isn’t to go to jail or die, you know what I’m saying? It just sucks all around. Randy would never want that kid dying.