Rock Cellar Magazine recently conducted an interview with Zakk Wylde (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, OZZY OSBOURNE). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Rock Cellar Magazine: Did you feel welcomed into the heavy metal family when you first joined Ozzy's band in 1987?
Zakk: Oh, totally, and still do today. Even those very first shows, everyone was rooting for me because they knew I was on the team, and loved Randy Rhoads as much as they did. They could see I played Randy's stuff exactly his way, and had the highest respect for what he did. There's no way you can fill his shoes, so you just have to give respect to his music and play it accurately. You have to, because this is the house that Rhoads built. And without Randy Rhoads, there never would have been a Zakk Wylde.
Rock Cellar Magazine: What influence did Randy's playing have on you, having played his songs countless times around the globe for over 20 years?
Zakk: One of the biggest things I learned from him is construction, and where you can go with a solo by playing Randy's music. He was a brilliant soloist who had such a melodic sense — there'd be a beginning, middle and end, as he could tell a whole story in a song. He had "feel," which is something only the greats have, you know what I mean? When I listen to Randy, I feel every single note as his solos are like gold. It doesn't matter how many times you listen to Randy's music, you're waiting for those incredible moments that were all part of his tremendous arsenal. The testimony to Randy's greatness is the fact that we still all remember him, and see his image on magazine covers, in books, and posters everywhere. He's a legend for what he accomplished on those first two Ozzy records, and I've always considered it the highest honor performing Randy's music all those years playing live with the boss.
Rock Cellar Magazine: 30 years later, Ozzy's set-list still includes so many songs from the Randy Rhoads era, like "Goodbye To Romance", "Believer" and "Mr. Crowley".
Zakk: Dude, I have to tell you a funny story. A while back, Ozzy comes into my studio and he sees these posters on the wall. He looks at the LED ZEPPELIN one and starts telling me some stories about John Bonham and how they would get fucked up together in the bars. Then he looks up at this poster I have on the wall of Aleister Crowley, and he goes, "Zakk [assuming Ozzy's voice], who's the fucking bald-headed cunt on the wall?" And I'm just fucking cracking up. So Ozzy says, "What the fuck's so funny?" And I said, "Dude, you don't know who that is?" Ozzy goes, "Why the fuck should I know who he is? Who the fuck is it?" So I said, "Ozzy, you've only been singing about him for the last 30 fucking years! It's Aleister Crowley, bro!" There's a pause, then Ozzy says, "Oh, is that what he looks like?" I kid you not, brother.
Rock Cellar Magazine: As a huge BLACK SABBATH fan, how do feel about Ozzy, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler working on a new album?
Zakk: Put it this way — if anybody's going to be working on the new SABBATH record, it couldn't be in better hands than [producer] Rick Rubin. Father Rubin is a massive SABBATH fan as well, and if anything Rick is going to make sure it turns out to be an awesome SABBATH record. Especially, if this is going to be their last one — their swan song. Rick's going to want to have a feather in his cap, looking back on this one and say, "Yeah, I helped work on that last SABBATH record." So without a doubt, bro, it's going to be killer. More SABBATH just makes life a bit better, I always say. The more SABBATH we can get in our lives, the better off we'll all be.
Read the entire interview from Rock Cellar Magazine.