*photo by Justin Reich
In my short career as a music journalist, and now as editor of Addicted, I’ve had my fair share of interviews. I’ve met people young and old, of all levels of accomplishment and fame, and asked them all sorts of questions about their lives, their careers and their current projects, and it’s always been fairly effortless. Rarely do I get nervous anymore, so when I was offered the chance to interview Zakk Wylde, I knew the instant nervousness that hit me at the thought meant something. It’s a truly inspiring thing to speak to someone who’s achieved the level of success and recognition that Wylde has. It’s also intimidating as hell. Despite my nerves, I accepted, and ended up having one of the best interviews I’ve ever had.
If you don’t know who Zakk Wylde is, you’ve probably been living under a rock, or you hate rock and heavy metal music. Because that’s what he is, an icon of heavy metal, who has worked with a legion of artists and musicians just as iconic as himself, if not more so. A musician from near birth, Wylde honed his guitar playing skills from his early teenage years, and played in bands until getting the opportunity of a lifetime; lead guitarist for the legendary Ozzy Osbourne. Aside from hanging with the Prince of Darkness, Wylde keeps busy with his band Black Label Society (formed in 1998) and with amazing collaborations and projects, including working with Black Veil Brides, touring with Black Sabbath, and his line of coffee, Valhalla Java Odinforce Blend.
Always on the road,Wylde recently wrapped up a stint on Steve Vai’s GENERATION AXE TOUR. Prior to that, Wylde was a marquee artist on THE HENDRIX EXPERIENCE TOUR, sharing the stage with the likes of Billy Cox and Buddy Guy. This summer Wylde took his show on the road, touring U.S. and Canadian tour dates in support of his new LP, Book Of Shadows II. This long awaited album is Wylde’s first solo release in 20 years (April 8th, 2016), and the highly anticipated follow up to 1996’s Book of Shadows LP, a classic album and instant fan favorite. With a few dates left (see below), you can still catch Wylde do his thing with supporting artists Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown and Jared James Nichols. This tour marks the first time Wylde has toured as a headliner in the U.S. and Canada since last year’s Unblackened tour.
I got the chance to sit down and chat with America’s favorite guitar hero ahead of his Toronto show. He’s easy the coolest man I’ve ever spoken to, and he was one of inspirational people I’ve ever spoken to. It’s true, heavy metal folks are actually the sweetest people in the world, and Zakk Wylde was no exception. Take a listen below:
Take a listen below:
Be sure to check out Book of Shadows II, and catch Wylde on tour this summer.
8/26: Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO
8/27: Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory Concert House
8/28: Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
8/30: San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom
9/1: Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
9/2: Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee
9/3: Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre