ZakkWyldeprofile400 Greg Prato of Songfacts spoke with Black Label Society frontman and former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde. Highlights from the interview are featured below.

Songfacts: Let’s talk about the new release, Unblackened. From what I understand, it’s being issued as a DVD and as a live CD with some extra tracks, right?

Zakk Wylde: Yeah. We got approached to do another DVD [Unblackened] because it’s been a bit since we did the Doom Troopin‘ one. We’ve got new material now, so we can do another DVD with the heavy stuff and the production, but everybody always asks us – you know, the Black Label Berzerker Nation over there – they’re just like, “Are you guys ever going to do like an unplugged or do some of the mellower tunes?”

A lot of the mellow songs never see the light of day. We’ll wheel the piano out and do Dime Song or Spoke in the Wheel or Darkest Days, but we don’t do a half-hour set of the mellow stuff [a CD version of Unblackened includes several acoustic selections not found on the DVD]. We’ll just break out about two songs and then go back to the walls of doom – Marshalls and everything like that. So yeah, it was just a perfect opportunity for us to do the mellower stuff. It’s like, “Oh, yeah, let’s knock this out.”

Songfacts: I recently interviewed Jason Newsted and we were talking about all the great old songs from the soul bands of the ’60s and ’70s, and how we were surprised there aren’t more hard rock bands today that go back and listen to a lot of that great music from the ’60s.

Zakk: We were talking about that the other day with some of the younger bands coming up. Some of them can shred, but as far as any blues licks and the playing, it’s not in the music. But then at the same time, you have to dig that kind of music to want to play it. If you tell someone, “You ought to learn how to play jazz,” they may say, “I can’t stand jazz. I’d rather play metal.”

And as far as history goes, I’ve noticed with a lot of younger kids, they’ll know who Derek Jeter is, but they don’t know who Babe Ruth is. But they’re a huge Yankees fan. It’s like, “Wow, you’re a huge Yankees fan and you don’t know who Babe Ruth is.” It’s like, “I don’t know, should I know who he is? What year did he play? Did he play before Derek Jeter got there?” It’s mind-blowing. Just forget about even asking, “Do you know who Thurman Munson is?” or “Can you name me another Yankee captain?” “No, but Derek Jeter’s the best, man.” It’s like, “Wow, okay. Never mind.”

One kid actually said to me at one of the Ozzfests years ago – he looked 12 or 13 years old – he said, “Zakk, you’re my favorite Ozzy guitar player.” I go, “No, that would be Randy Rhoads.” I said, “This is the house that Rhoads built.” And he just goes, “Who’s Randy Rhoads?” I was just like, “Wow. You know who I am, but you don’t know who Randy Rhoads is?” That’s pretty amazing.

If you’re into Led Zeppelin, you should know that Led Zeppelin listened to Robert Johnson and Willie Dixon. Your favorite blues band should not be Led Zeppelin.

I love guessing the dates on movies, so when the guys are all sitting around and a movie comes on, I’ll put $20 down and whoever gets it gets the 20 bucks. Like The Black Label Price is Right, whoever’s closest to it. Moonraker was on the other day, and that came out in 1979. That was the first Bond movie I ever saw, and I remember telling my buddy’s older brothers that it was great. They’re like, “Oh, Roger Moore, he sucks, man. That ain’t a Bond movie.” Because I had no idea who Sean Connery was. They were like, “Sean Connery’s Bond, dude.”

My first introduction to the Bond series was Roger Moore, but I needed to go back to check out Sean Connery as the original Bond.

Songfacts: Who would you say are some of your favorite songwriters?

Zakk: Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Obviously, I love Led Zeppelin and I love Sabbath. Neil Young, I love.

As far as guys my genre, Chris Cornell is beyond amazing. Father Cantrell – Jerry’s amazing. I love the guys in Stone Temple Pilots. The Guns N’ Roses guys.

Dime. It’s amazing with the Pantera stuff, even with Doug, because I always tell everybody what Dime’s legacy is. Tony Iommi created that whole genre of music, then Dime and the guys took the Sabbath thing and added gasoline. He added nitrous to it and created his own new thing.

We’d go to these festivals and hear these bands that definitely love Pantera, and that’s where they’re coming from – they’re all branches of the Pantera tree. The brute strength and the force and the volume – the actual riffs in the songs, for as heavy as it gets, it was just memorable stuff. It wasn’t all about just screaming and yelling and how fast they could play.

It was the same thing with Black Sabbath. Why are they so much better than all these other bands? It’s because they have great songs. We saw them the other night. I’ve seen Tom Petty, and he’s another amazing songwriter, he and Mike Campbell and all the guys.

Me and Barbara Ann [Zakk’s wife] went down and saw Tom Petty, and by the time he got done playing, I was like, “Wow, he hasn’t played this one, that one, this one, and that one.” I mean, he’s got like a greatest hits jukebox on him.

Sonically, Tom Petty and Black Sabbath are two completely different things, but the thread that ties them both together is great song after great song. Sabbath is just one great insane classic riff after another. Same thing with Tom Petty on these songs we’ve heard a million times.

Songfacts: Something I’m curious to get your feedback on: with those first two Ozzy solo albums [Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman], how much do you think that Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake played a part in the songwriting? They seemed to be a pretty big part of the songwriting with those albums.

Zakk: Yeah. Bob’s always been great with Oz. Just a great pairing like the Elton/Bernie Taupin thing. Bob’s a great lyricist. He worked with us on No Rest For the Wicked, he worked on No More Tears. So yeah, I think Bob’s great.

Songfacts:I’ve always wondered what that original Blizzard of Ozz line-up would have gone on to do if they had stayed together.

Zakk: I think that original line-up was phenomenal. You can’t even argue that. Just listen to the records. They’re timeless, classic albums. Hands down, that line-up was fuckin’ sick. When they were making the record, they didn’t know. Randy didn’t know any of the guys. Randy never met Bob Daisley or Lee Kerslake before. I’d mean, if me and you took four complete strangers, stuck ’em in a room, and then they ended up coming out with two amazing records – what are the chances of that happening?

Songfacts: And I’ve always wondered what the second line-up with Ozzy, Randy and also Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge would have come up with in the recording studio.

Zakk: I think it would have been a completely different thing. How could it not have been? Look at it like the Patriots – Ozzy and Randy, would be [Bill] Belichick and [Tom] Brady, but now we’re going to have different wide receivers, different running backs, different defenses. Obviously, we don’t have to worry about Captain America and Father Belichick, since we know what they’re going to deliver. But the rest of the team around it, without [Wes] Welker there, let’s see what happens now.

Without a doubt, even when I play with Black Label, when we have different guys I play with, everyone always brings their own magic, their own flavor to the soup, hands down.

You listen to Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio in it, and it’s not Black Sabbath. They should have just called it Heaven and Hell right from the beginning. Because you listen to that Heaven and Hell album, that doesn’t sound anything close to Black Sabbath. I mean, that sounds about as much like Black Sabbath as Blizzard of Ozz sounds like Black Sabbath. If you were to play Black Sabbath for me – and I’m a huge Sabbath freako – and then with Father Dio over there, I’d be going, “Oh, cool, what band is this? This is good stuff.” I mean, the songs don’t even sound Black Sabbath-y. I mean, Neon Knights, could you picture Ozzy singing over that song?

Read the entire interview at Songfacts.


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dickwagner400 Musician and producer Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, KISS, Lou Reed) has written a song for the children of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. All proceeds from the purchase (download) of the song benefits St. Jude.

Wagner produced the song with more than 50 famed Classic Rockers, including Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad), Trini Lopez, Leland Sklar (James Taylor, Jimmy Buffet), Danny Seraphine (Chicago), Elliot Easton (The Cars), Merrilee Rush (Angel of the Morning), The Angels (My Boyfriend’s Back), Fred Mandel (Elton John, Queen), and more.

Watch the video below to learn more details about this special project.

To download the song, please visit iTunes or cdBaby.

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philanselmo Philip Anselmo and his band The Illegals – guitarist Marzi Montazeri (Superjoint Ritual), bassist Steve Taylor (16 Horsepower, Woven Hand), and Jose Manual “Blue” Gonzalez (Warbeast) on drums – will hit the road bright and early in 2014 for the second half of its Technicians of Distortion tour. It begins January 10th in Houston, will play intimate rock clubs exclusively, and is in support of Anselmo’s first solo album, the critically-acclaimed Walk Through Exits Only that was released last July, as well as the recently-released, limited-edition two-song Housecore Horror Fest 10-inch vinyl EP that will be available for purchase on all tour dates.

Log onto for all ticketing information.

Reprising his support slot will be Author & Punisher, while the avant-garde metal band Hymns (signed to Anselmo’s label Housecore Records) will open all shows. Hymn’s self-titled album will be available on all tour dates.

Confirmed dates for Leg Two of the Technicians of Distortion tour are as follows:


10 Warehouse Live/Studio Room, Houston, TX
11 Riverside Warehouse, Shreveport, LA
13 Pop’s Nightclub, St. Louis, MO
14 Waiting Room, Omaha, NE
15 Summit Music Hall, Denver, CO
17 El Corazon, Seattle, WA
18 Hawthorne Theatre, Portland, OR
20 Ace of Spades, Sacramento, CA
22 Metal Masters, Los Angeles, CA
24 Pub Rock, Scottsdale, AZ
25 Launchpad, Albuquerque, NM
27 Backstage Live, San Antonio, TX
28 Trees, Dallas, TX

Watch a promotional video for the tour below.

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kiss-return According to, KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley says that it “seems unlikely” that the four original members of the band will perform together at next April’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction.

Answering a question from a fan on Twitter about whether there are any plans yet on wearing makeup with former KISS members Ace Frehley (guitar) and Peter Criss (drums) at the Rock Hall induction, Stanley said: “No way.”

Stanley was also asked if he, bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons, Frehley and Criss were going to perform together at the Rock Hall. “Seems unlikely,” he replied.

The Rock Hall producers are leaning on the original members to perform in full costume. During a recent radio interview, Frehley joked about needing to lose weight and shave his goatee for the performance — but remained adamant that current guitarist Tommy Thayer, who performs using Frehley’s “Spaceman,” persona cannot be in costume that night.

Read Eddie’s thoughts on this topic in the latest Trunk Report.

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lynch,pinick,.luzier400jpg KXM, the new supergroup featuring Ray Luzier of Korn, Doug Pinnick of King’s X and George Lynch (ex-Dokken, Lynch Mob), are heading into the studio this weekend to put a final touches on their upcoming debut release.

Rat Pak Records, who will release the debut album, has provided a description of what to expect: “The songs are truly amazing. Ray’s drumming sounds like three dimensional thunder, George’s guitar playing will leave you to wonder if he’s really playing through an amp or if he’s directly plugged into some kind universal energy that only the guitar gods have access to..…then add in Doug Pinnick who brings his rock solid bass grooves, intelligible lyrics and seasoned songwriting talents to the table… hype and no joke, KXM is the real deal and you are going to love this album! We will announce official release date sometime later this month.”

For more info visit, please visit


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michaelsweet400 Stryper frontman Michael Sweet has released the following statement:

“To all of our devoted fans. Sadly we will not be able to perform the scheduled Stryper shows on 1/3 (Mohegan) and 1/4 (NYC/Stage48) due to circumstances out of our control. We were well aware of the storm that was forecast to hit the east coast and we had everyone board planes to make an attempt to get here as originally planned. Our crew and Tim made it to Rhode Island, but unfortunately Oz and Robert got stuck in Chicago with no way out. They have been at the airport all night and were not even able to get a hotel room for the night. We have tried multiple times to get them on another plane in order to move forward regarding the two shows but we keep getting bad news after bad news. We’ve explored everything within our power to make this happen, but at this point it’s truly an ‘act of God’ and it’s beyond our control. We regret to inform you all that we are left with no other choice but to reschedule the two shows for another date/time to be announced in the near future. Please know that we never want to cancel any show and it saddens us to be forced to do so. We love you guys and we look forward to getting to play for you all soon. God bless you and stay safe.” ~ Michael”

Stryper’s latest album, No More Hell To Pay, was released on November 5th.


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