Deb Rao of recently conducted an interview with BLACK LABEL SOCIETY mainman Zakk Wylde. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow: Last time we spoke, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY were ripping the roof off arenas at Ozzfest this summer. Tell me how is the fall "Mafia" touring going so far?

Zakk Wylde: "We are having an ass-kicking good time! It's BLACK LABEL, ya know?! The gayness never never stops. KISS puts the 'X' in sex, BLACK LABEL puts gay into gayness. We have been raising hell, boozing it up and just having a a great time seeing all of our family members. We were just in North Carolina, South Carolina, Philly the other day. Now we are hanging out with the Boston chapter. This show is gonna rule! Now the tour kicked off in Nashville, with a benefit concert for the Hurricane Katrina victims, right?

Zakk Wylde: "Yeah, ya know, a lot of guys in the band, Craig, our drummer, is from Louisiana. He's got lots of family down in Louisiana. Dewey, who takes care of him, is from Mississippi. He's got family out there. We got family out in Alabama. BLACK LABEL is worldwide. Everybody is scattered all over the country. You just do the right thing. Bottom line. We did the show in Tennessee, and all of the money went to the Red Cross." Zakk, let's talk about the writing process for "Mafia". Do you write the lyrics first or the guitar riffs?

Zakk Wylde: "It is always the riff. That is the way I always love doing it best. I go into the stuio with nothing. When we did 'Mafia', I went into the studio with nothing, and eight days later, I had 23 songs. Bottom line is, this kinda sounds like ZEPPELIN, this kinda sounds like SABBATH, ELTON JOHN. It is just like there is no shortage of grat songs. With ZEPPELIN or SABBATH it is safe to say, it ain't gonna suck. We just have a good time when we go into the studio. We get loaded and tanked. We start jamming and having fun. This song came out really cool, and sometimes you say, this song really sucked. It is just like you can take a million different pictures. Like the famous picture of Jim Morrison. They probaly took a million pictures that day to get that one picture. It was a classic shot. For me, I don't understand how one band can be in the studio for six months working on one record. After a while, it is like Axl Rose and what he is doing with GUNS N' ROSES. It is like, just put the record out. If it bombs, it bombs. With VELVET REVOLVER, the guys go in, knock the thing out, if it succeeds, great, if it doesn't, what are you gonna do? Sit on it for ten years?! Everything I did with Ozzy, you are looking at 1991, when the record came out. If I didnt have an album come out since 1991 and now it is 2005, like 'Mama I'm Coming Home'. It is awesome songs, To me it is old, 'cause you always want to put out the new thing." You really outdid yourself on "Mafia". The writing is simply brillant. The guitar work is amazing, let me tell ya.

Zakk Wylde: "Thank you, Deb. Even Ozzy said, 'Zakk, we just went into the studio and did eight or ten songs. We didn't have time to sit around. We went into the studio, knock out the record, and went back on the road.' Otherwise you are just gonna look at what you wrote. You can always second-guess the thing. One day I was sitting at a bar in Los Angeles with my wife and a buddy. I was reading for 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre'. And this gay guy comes up to me, I kid you not, and says, 'Ya know, you are gorgeous!' I thought he was talking to my wife, and he said, 'No, you, man.' I said, 'I appreciate it it, man,' and my buddy goes, 'That is his wife over there,' and he said, 'I don't care.' KISS puts the 'X' in sex, BLACK LABEL puts the gay in gay." What a great story! Now BLACK LABEL SOCIETY just put out "Kings of Damnation". How has BLACK LABEL SOCIETY changed since the early PRIDE & GLORY days?

Zakk Wylde: "Our last record company, Spitfire, contractually we had to put out another record. To me, it is not a greatest-hits album. We don't have a greatest-hits album. Bottom line is, it is a complilation. We put out seven records since 1998. After we get done with the tour, we will go home for the holidays so we can be with our families. It is all about the bambinos. Then we might go into the studio and lay down another album, so we have it in the can or just keep touring. I think BLACK LABEL SOCIETY should stay on the road, and keep touring while the album is hot." What about the DVD?

Zakk Wylde: "Yeah, we ended up doing the one in Europe — the BLACK LABEL European invasion. There is some funny crap on this one. That tour almost damn near killed everybody. Between the tour, the tour bus smelled like crap and piss 24/7. It is like the gayness of comedy. We got it all on film. Some of the shows are slammin', some of the shows we didn't have any electricity. Unbelievable. The gayness and the comedy, we got that all on film. We got to rummage through that now, put it together, it will probaly be out in a couple of months."

Deb Rao's entire interview with Zakk Wylde will be posted at soon.


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