Zakk Wylde - guitarist, Black Label Society / Ozzy Osbourne
OzzFest 2001 - Shoreline Amphitheater - Mt. View, CA - June 2001
OzzFest 20001 had some of the heaviest of new acts, as well as old - including such diversities as Slipknot playing on the same stage as the legendary Black Sabbath. Backstage, where everyone was muttering about, waiting to get through the very long day, we had a chance for a few minutes to speak with guitarist Zakk Wylde. Zakk is already infamous for both his enormous six-string talents, as well as some notorious rumors (and some facts) that have followed him. He is a man of his own who stands his ground and likes to keep things simple. After having followed his career and seeing him in numerous shows throughout the years, it was a cool moment to finally meet with him and share some words.
K2K: How many projects do you have going right now?
ZW: I did the movie just recently with Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Anniston, "Rock Star". We're working on Ozzy's new record. We're on the OzzFest right now beating as much ass as possible.
K2K: What do you play in the movie?
ZW: Pretty much a beer-guzzling guitar player who is always firing a shotgun.
K2K: That's a pretty big stretch for you there.
ZW: Yeah, it was about six-months of method acting right there.
K2K: How many different bands do you, or have you, had going?
ZW: Bleeding Black Label Society all the time. When I play with Ozzy, I want to make it the best Ozzy record I can possibly make.
K2K: Pretty hard to keep topping what you have done previously.
ZW: You've got to, otherwise quit.
K2K: How long have you been playing?
ZW: I started when I was about 14 years old and I'm 34 now.
K2K: Who are your early influences?
ZW: My guitar teacher... this guy Leroy Wright. He turned me on to people like Al DiMeola, Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush, John McLaughlin, Jimi Hendrix, obviously Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath is one of my favorite guitarists. Angus Young.
K2K: Do you play anything other than guitar?
ZW: Yeah, I play piano, bass, harmonica... I pick a lot at pedal steel. That's about it.
K2K: What other styles of music do you enjoy playing?
ZW: Country guitar. Albert Lee is one of my favorite guitarists.
K2K: How is the OzzFest? How do you like doing them?
ZW: They're great. You come down here and play to a bunch of metalheads.
K2K: Is there any music that someone might be surprised to know that you like?
ZW: I'm a musician, so I listen to all kinds of different music. I love Neil Young, I listen to Elton John. If it's good, it's good.
K2K: In the press, you are always tagged as that guy who only like Metal and Southern rock.
ZW: Oh no. I love Lynyrd Skynyrd and stuff like that too, but if something's good, it's good. If someone has some serious talent, it's undeniable.
K2K: You played in Lynyrd Skynyrd and Allman Brothers?
ZW: No, I stood in for Dickie Betts one night. That was an honor. I'm a huge Allman Brothers fan.
K2K: You've got to love how rumors get started. I had read that you were asked to play and then were booted because you were "too wild" for them.
ZW: Nah, the guys... It was just a temporary thing. They had some other guy in mind but I filled in for the night. Warren's a sick-ass guitar player, so it was an honor to be on stage with him too.
K2K: And Lynyrd Skynyrd?
ZW: Yeah. I sat in with the guys. I'm a huge Skynyrd fan, so that was another honor.
K2K: Did you tour?
ZW: I sat in for a couple of shows and they did a Pay-Per-View at the Fox. Charlie Daniels was onstage, and Travis Tritt, and myself. We did a Skynyrd medley before they came out. Then Skynyrd came out and kicked everybody's ass.
K2K: Future plans? What is something that you have always wanted to do but haven't had the chance?
ZW: Obviously just continue getting better as a musician. Keep jamming, keep cleaning dog shit at the house, taking care of my kids, and having sex with my wife as much as possible.
K2K: That's always a good thing. Do you live in L.A. right now?
ZW: Right now we live out in California. I'm originally from Jersey City, or something like that.
K2K: Any message for your fans?
ZW: Yeah. Keep Bleeding Black Label and keep kicking ass, drinking beer, and don't take shit from nobody. That's about it.
And with that, Zakk was being summoned to meet with some radio station fans who had been waiting for a while to meet with him.
Written by Philip Anderson

Philip Anderson is a musician, in addition to being a writer/photographer. He has performed as a guitarist/vocalist, as well as songwriter, in several bands over the past 20 years. As a writer and photographer, he has been published by several magazines and in several books, and had his works appear on television.

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