ZAKK WYLDE: OZZY Is 'Singing Great' On This Year's OZZFEST

Jonathan Takiff of the Philadelphia Daily News recently conducted an interview with Zakk Wylde (OZZY OSBOURNE, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

Q: OK, so exactly how hot has it been on the road this summer?

Zakk: It's beyond f---ing hot. Some days, the flesh is melting off your bones. My standing joke is, when I go outside, I start to shiver and say, "It's f-in' cold today, where's my f-in' wool coat?" The first show, my lungs felt like they were on fire. In Arizona, my boots were literally melting, sticking to the floor. We're not wearing sunblock, we're wearing lead shirts. But with my pasty Irish-Kraut skin, I'm still looking like a lobster. After a while, your body gets acclimated. Now we're just stormtrooping through the shows. I go out there and yell, "Make it hotter."

Q: How is Ozzy's health these days?

Zakk: He's working out all the time. He's singing great. He hasn't been drinking, thank God. 'Cause when you're a manic-depressive, that stuff really affects you. That's why his voice sounds so lonely on all those records. Life on the road used to be so crazy with him. He could be gone for three f-in' days. Some fan would drag him off to party, load him up with alcohol, smoke and cocaine. We were in St. Louis at somebody's house once, on the "No More Tears" tour. I woke up without a clue where I was. It taught me not to go drinking with him. But no matter how f----- up you get, you've got to answer the bell.

For this Ozzfest, he's finally cutting back some. He's only doing select dates, maybe 14. He's playing at 4 in the afternoon, rather than closing, right after my band's set on the second stage. He's got all these other bands on the bill, so he doesn't have to kill himself. I think he's earned the right to pick and choose. He tells me, "I don't like doing two shows in a row. I'm 60 f-in' years old, physically I can't do it." I tell him, "Go with your instincts."

Q: You've won the MVP awards. You've sold 8 million records in the U.S. with Ozzy, and 2 million on your own. Ozzy and the legendary catcher Mike Piazza are the godfathers of your sons. So what's the greatest honor you've had?

Zakk: Maybe getting my name on my own limited edition Marshal amp — "The Zakk Stack" - and a line of custom Gibson "Les Paul" guitars. Only Slash, Jimi Hendrix and me have gotten our names next to Jim Marshall's. And a Les Paul and a Marshall are like f-in' pretzels and beer.

Read the entire interview at www.philly.com.

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