Guitarist For Ozzy, Black Label Society Plays To A New Book

Zakk Wylde at The Coach House May 1st

Zakk Wylde plays at The Coach House May 1st
Photo by Sakura

Yes, Zakk Wylde has written a book. It’s not so much an autobiography as it is sharing ridiculous stories about the music business. “Sadly I’m not making any of this up” he laughs.

He ended up writing the book with his buddy, Eric Hendrikx. “Put it this way, when we were writing the book, then reading it back, we were literally on the floor crying-laughing. I said ‘the whole book has got to be like this from the beginning to the end.’ Just like George Carlin on steroids. You’re like sitting around chilling, reading this book and laughing your balls off,” he said.

When asked if there were plans for a sequel Wylde replied, “Without a doubt. I mean this stuff writes itself.”

The evening will include an acoustic performance with Nick Catanese, Black Label guitarist and copies of the paperback should be available for sale at the venue. “It’s just gonna be me and Nick this time. I’m going to read a bit from the book then we’re going to get together and knock out some other tunes and call it a day,” Wylde said. “So basically it will just be another Black Label dysfunctional family gathering and good times will be had by all.”

After the book tour, Wylde is currently discussing summer dates with other bands, the fall release of the DVD “Unblackened”, which was a stripped-down Black Label Society show recently filmed at Club Nokia, to be followed by more live dates with Black Label Society.

“I’m a huge music fan,” Wylde declared. “I listen to everything, from Zeppelin to Sabbath to Neil Young and everything in between. Obviously because I play guitar, once in awhile I listen to jazz artists and classical guys that are amazing guitar players. I probably would never listen to them if I didn’t play guitar.”

“What was the last album I bought?” he asked. “Just a couple days ago I bought Echo and the Bunnymen, and Robert Plant’s album.”

But listening to his own music is a different story. “I hardly ever listen to myself, Wylde said. “I think most bands are so engrossed in making the album that you listen to it five trillion times until it’s right, so you never want to hear it again. Then you’re out on the road playin’ it.”

“I mean put it this way,” Wylde continued. “Back in the day we would sit in the submarine (the tour bus), and listen back to it blasted out of our minds and it was always cool.”

When not playing music and writing books Wylde likes to hang out with his family and his dogs and lift weights. “And obviously, you know, what never goes out of style, watch porn,” Wylde said. “It carries on from the road or when you’re bored in the house.”

Other than that, Wylde suggests to let the comedy continue. “You could be laughin’ or cryin.’ I’d rather be laughin’,” Wylde confirmed.

Queensryche Featuring The Original Front Man

Queensryche live

Queensryche led by Geoff Tate at The Coach House April 17
Photo by James Christopher

The band also features bassist Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy / Dio / Whitesnake / Quiet Riot), guitarist Kelly Gray (Queensryche 1998 – 2001), keyboardist Randy Gane, guitarist Robert Sarzo (Hurricane) and drummer Simon Wright (AC/DC /Dio / Rhino Bucket).

The live set will also include well-known hits and rarities and a couple of new songs from the forthcoming album titled, “Frequency Unknown” also fondly referred to as “F.U.”, which was recorded with the same lineup.

OCCG: Geoff, you’ve played The Coach House as a solo artist, what do you like about the venue?
GT: It’s a historical venue; it’s been there a long time. The people who work there are music fans and the people who run it appreciate music.

OCCG: How do you think Queensryche fans will be able to keep up with 2 completely different lineups touring as Queensryche and both releasing albums under the same name?
GT: I don’t know. I don’t even presume to be able to answer that. I suppose it will just require a little bit of research on the internet to see which version is playing where and which album is being released when. These days people are pretty educated when it comes to the internet they know how to use it and find out information so it shouldn’t be too difficult.

OCCG: Since there is an Operation: Mindcrime2 release, what is the possibility of a Rage for Order 2 or Promised Land2?
GT: They’re not really meant for sequels. Operation was an unfinished story.

OCCG: I’d like to ask you about working with Dave Ogilvie, who is best-known for working with industrial music. What was the working relationship like and what input did he have to the sound of Rage?
GT: He turned me on to bands of that ilk, like Skinny Puppy, Edward Ka Spell, people like that were real interesting to me. In fact Skinny Puppy was recording in the studio next to us and we became friends with them. We checked them out and hung out with them quite a bit. Dave’s contributions to Rage weren’t monumental in the sense that he was primarily a second engineer on that project. But he was great to hang out with and he always had a really good positive kind of outlook whenever he came to the studio. Every day he was one of those kinds of people that are easy to hang around because he’s enthusiastic about everything. I really liked working with him.

OCCG: I have found that some musicians are also music fans and some only listen to their own music. Are you also a music fan, and if so, what have you listened to recently?
GT: You know I’ve been a music fan all my life. I think I own between 2000 and 3000 records. Just everything from Classical music to Jazz, rock, hip hop, country western, I have it all. I was trained as a musician as a youngster, grew up in band class, played in the school orchestra and band. So I started my music appreciation very young. I listen to everything. As a writer, you’re always listening to what other people do and looking for inspiration of other artists and other types of music and working those inspirations into your own music. I’ve always had an ear for it. I just listen to everything.

OCCG: Is there anything else you’d like add?
GT: I’m very excited about coming out on tour and playing with my new band, guys that I’ve known for years. We’ve always wanted to play together on the same stage. I know Rudy and Robert are very excited because they’ve never played in a band together all these years and they’re brothers. I think all of our excitement as a band is going to be very evident to the audience. I think it’s going to be something very special.