Limp Bizkit Must Die
CoC chats with Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society
by: Adrian Bromley
Don't ask Black Label Society singer/guitarist Zakk Wylde what he thinks about today's music scene, 'cause you'll get an earful for sure.

"I have had a lot of people tell me I should be a certain way and dress like this or that to fit into today's music scene, and I don't fucking get that", starts an obviously annoyed Zakk Wylde down the road during his touring duties with Ozzy Osbourne to talk about Black Label Society's new disc _1919 Eternal_ (on Spitfire Records). "What am I supposed to do, make believe I never played with Ozzy? I went to Interscope to look for a record deal a few years back after my ass was dropped from Geffen. I was at all these meeting and kissing ass and trying to secure a deal and Interscope was like, "Well, maybe if Zakk changes his image, gets rid of the leather and denim and wears shorts and gets a haircut, then we could work with him." They wanted me to fucking dress a certain way and add hip-hop to my music? What the fuck? So I thought to myself, "Who is the catalyst for all of this shit that is going down with this music these days? Limp Bizkit." Okay, cool, now I know that they are going to fucking die and I am going to take them down. Not only are we going to do that, but we are going to destroy them."

I laugh out loud.

"The revolution is on, man", blurts out Wylde, deafening my laughter. "I'm dead fucking serious! We don't even play metal music anymore, because I don't want to get lumped in with fuckin' nu-metal. We play IRON!"

"In reality, this whole industry bullshit is something that I try to avoid", he adds. "I mean, I just don't want to deal with it. I write music, drink beers and lift weights. I let my wife deal with all of the music industry stuff. I just want nothing to do with that. To this day, I don't know what points mean on a record. I don't even want to know. I'd rather just come up with the music and have some beers with my friends."

So with the new sound of "iron" in tow, Wylde and his bandmates have delivered to us a varied assortment of songs to sift through, from the memorable first single "Bleed for Me" onto heavy hitters like "Battering Ram", "Graveyard Disciples" and "Life, Birth, Blood, Doom". Musically more diverse than his past works, the new album is obviously Wylde's need to try new routes to deliver his heavy musical message.

About the new album _1919 Eternal_, Wylde states: "For me, as it has always been, it is about strength, determination and merciless forever. I just wanted to make sure that this album was more pissed off and angrier than the last album. I know a lot of people are really liking the new album, but I loved the last two records that we did with BLS as well. It is all just BLS to me, really. We'll never sell out or be a cheese-dick, candy-ass fuckin' band. BLS is an underground band still with lots of fans who appreciate what we do. I'm happy with getting some commercial success with this band, but I'm even happier just cranking out the music and being able to put a roof over my wife and kids. At the end of the day, I win."

"I really enjoyed myself making this record, but it wasn't like I planned out what to do with the new album -- I just threw on some old Black Sabbath records and that was enough inspiration to get me going creatively. Ozzy-era Black Sabbath, mind you. No disrespect to Ronnie James Dio, I love those albums too, but those early Sabbath records mean so much to me. BLS is basically Sabbath recycled. We are just carrying on the torch."

And much like their influences, BLS has wasted no time in offering up new material year after year, something that was quite common in the '70s and early '80s.

Says Wylde, "It is just this whole '70s vibe running throughout our music, man. I mean, look at Black Sabbath back in the day. They put out an album every year. Nobody does that anymore, so I guess there has to be one and I guess it is BLS", he laughs. And fans appreciate all this music on a regular basis, don't they? "Yeah", the guitarist answers. "But you know what? The whole meaning of BLS is bigger than the band's music. That is why it isn't called Zakk Wylde and BLS. It is like the name Harley Davidson and the motorbike. The name is bigger than the bike, it is a way of life. And it is like that with BLS too. It is just a way of life and fans that come to our show are all into what we do and what we are about: strength, determination and merciless forever. Everybody that is down at those shows are bored of the bullshit and don't give a flying fuck what anybody thinks. I got the idea of creating BLS from Sonny Barger, who started the Hell's Angels. He just wanted to get together a group of people who felt the same way he did and were in the same mindset. And I did the same with BLS."

While Zakk Wylde has branched out musically over the years with his solo work, BLS and Pride & Glory, his work with Ozzy Osbourne is what has probably given him the most exposure. To this day I still worship his debut work on Ozzy's 1988 disc _No Rest for the Wicked_. So what does Ozzy think of BLS?

"He knows about it", he confides, "but right now I'm on tour and jammin' with Ozzy and that is where my head is at. It is all Ozzy. I'm bleeding for Ozzy right now. I'm on his team right now. His colours are the ones I am flying right now", he laughs.

It's also incredible how Wylde has managed to stay part of the musicindustry after more than ten years, while many other acts and musicians have faded away.

"It has been a great experience for me to be a part of some great things musically. I have had a great time and I don't really regret anything. Well, maybe a bottle of Aquanet back in the late '80s", he says, laughing. "Regardless of what I have gone through to get here, it has been worth it and I'm still having fun. Fuck yeah!"

In closing, I ask Zakk what is next for BLS.

"What's next? I'll tell you. Beating as much fuckin' ass and destroying as many fucking stages and pissing and shitting on everything and consuming as much alcohol as possible. It'll be a big party this year for sure!"

(article submitted 12/4/2002)

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