“I like coffee in Spokane”
October 2 – Zakk Wylde holds a vintage copy of Guitar Player magazine with Rolling Stones icon Keith Richards on the cover. “That says ’16 years ‘since that’s the length of the Stones’ existence at that time (1978),” Wylde said while calling from Southern California. “It was a big step back then. The Beatles had been there for eight years. That’s it. A lot of the big bands had only been around for a few years at the time.”
Despite the loss of drummer Charlie Watts, who died in August, the Stones are rolling within months of their 60th birthday.
Black Label Society singer-guitarist Wylde, 54, recently celebrated his band’s 20th anniversary. “We only have 40 years to play if we live up to the Stones standard.”
What Wylde has noticed is that the Black Label Society, which will perform at the Knitting Factory on Tuesday, is moving up the rock food chain. “We’ve been getting better festival seats since some bands are retiring. It’s cool for us. We’re about to win the Rock World Series because other bands are dropping out because of the equivalent of a food poisoning.”
However, the rise of the Black Label Society has less to do with attrition than with the band’s ability to create an amalgamation of 1970s southern rock and muscular metal.
“This is the sound I make with the guys in the band,” Wylde said. “We play what we love.”
Black Label Society, which also includes bassist John DeServio, guitarist Dario Lorina and drummer Jeff Fabb, consistently produces urgent, festive and often hedonistic rock. Expect the band to preview a few songs from their upcoming album, “Doom Crew Inc.,” which will be released in November.
“We are delighted to be touring again,” said Wylde. “We were in Milwaukee when everything was closed. I thought we would be on hiatus for a month, but we weren’t. It’s been too long and it’s been difficult with the pandemic since that’s what we But we got back to a certain level of normalcy, and we have another album coming out, and we can’t believe we’re making a living from it. We make music and keep the label folks (eOne) heavily sedated. “
Wylde learned a lot from his mentor, Ozzy Osborne, after two stints as the Prince of Darkness guitarist. “Ozzy is the biggest,” Wylde said. “Whenever he talked about how Black Sabbath was doing this or that, it was so fascinating to hear what this amazing group had done,” said Wylde. “What a lot of people don’t realize is that Ozzy is one of the funniest people in this business. He’s hilarious.”
There was substantial coverage of Nirvana’s “Nevermind”, which dropped three decades ago, but Wylde reminds fans of another notable album released in September 1991.
“I can’t believe ‘No More Tears’ is 30,” Wylde said. “This is one of Ozzy’s best albums. Don’t forget ‘No More Tears’. There’s no one like him. I love his music and what he created with Black Sabbath.”
Wylde is looking forward to a good cup of Joe on his return to Spokane. “I love the coffee in Spokane,” Wylde said. “I’m going to have coffee there, just like I go to Brazilian steakhouses when I’m in Brazil. The fans love to let off steam in Spokane, and we’ll give them something to get excited about.”