Fueled By Death Cast Ep. 100 - ZAKK WYLDE
MUSICIAN AND ACTOR - ZAKK WYLDE
"I don't look at it as working out or anything like that. For me, it's pretty therapeutic." Zakk Wylde, guitarist, musician Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society, Zakk Sabbath
ABOUT ZAKK WYLDE:
The 100th episode of Fueled By Death Cast was recorded in The Black Vatican, the recording studio of Zakk Wylde! Zakk is the guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne and also the man behind Valhalla Java Odinforce Blend. We sit down with Zakk for the second time on the show to talk about recording with Black Label Society, the origins of Zakk Sabbath, and Zakk's budding crime-fighting career with Regan.
ON THE WEEKLY COMPANION SHOW - 100TH EPISODE CELEBRATION:
This is it - the 100th Episode Celebration! Dustin and Jeff celebrate the podcast that started it all, Fueled By Death Cast, with an in-depth look back at how it has changed from the beginning to now. From creating their own Science segment when Death Wish Coffee went to the ISS, to the different studios and places the show has been, have fun looking at everything that has happened in 100 episodes. Plus, see a sneak peek of the 100th episode of the podcast with Zakk Wylde, some special sneak peeks of upcoming guests, and the hosts Roast the show and themselves.
Jeff: Zakk, thanks a lot for inviting us here at your incredible space, this is-
Zakk Wylde: At the Black Vatican
Jeff: The Black Vatican.
Zakk Wylde: Well it's good seeing you guys, man.
Jeff: Yeah, for sure. We had you on last season and we talked about all things Zakk Wylde and it's great to come back and really like catch up with you after talking to you for the first time. Cause a lot has happened actually since we talked to you the last time.
Zakk Wylde: Yes, we've been doing a lot of dancing, a lot of costume changes, a lot of rouge, we've gone through a lot of that.
Jeff: A lot of rouge.
Zakk Wylde: Lot of razors. In regards to shaving of the legs.
Jeff: Yeah, cause you gotta keep [crosstalk].
Dustin: You gotta be aerodynamic. You know.
Zakk Wylde: Without a doubt and the anal bleaching appointments, you know, because you want to present a professional product.
Dustin: No amateur moves here.
Jeff: No cutting corners.
Zakk Wylde: No, you don't cut corners.
Zakk Wylde: And it hurts a little bit, but you do it for the art.
Jeff: Yes. And let's dive into speaking about the art. One of the biggest things that since we've talked to you that you did is you went back out on the road with Ozzy. And you guys toured ... God, how long were you guys on this last tour?
Zakk Wylde: It actually wasn't that long. What was it, maybe six weeks or something like that. Seven weeks.
Jeff: Six weeks?
Zakk Wylde: But it was all throughout Europe and it was great.
Jeff: Yeah, after doing this for so long with Ozzy, does anything surprise you anymore? Are the crowds different? Are they the same? Is there anything like, is it still the most fun you get to have when you're out there?
Zakk Wylde: Yeah, the only thing that does surprise you is that it's not on the rider, you know, if there's no anal bleaching appointments or anything where they don't have my garters. And my fishnets.
Jeff: And that's very surprising.
Zakk Wylde: Yeah, that'll be a shocker. But I mean, aside of that, no, it's business as usual. And I always said back in the day, it was a miracle anything ever got done. Cause everybody is always cracking up laughing. All's I got to do is hang out with the boss for about five minutes. And it's ... Cause I mean he's always taking the piss out of himself. And whatever current events are going on in the world or whatever's going on. But yeah, he's hilarious man.
Jeff: Well watching that tour go through, it just seemed like, you know ... What's cool about seeing you guys go out and perform in Europe or when you can do it in America and stuff like that, is it just seems that the crowds constantly get bigger. And I don't know if that's because now we're at the point where sons are teaching their fathers about this thing called metal and they're bringing them to shows.
Zakk Wylde: No, it's not a thing called metal at all. It's a thing called payola. And what happens is you pay people. "Here you go, you want to go see Ozzy?" And it's like I really didn't want to feel like going or Black Label or Zack Sabbath and it's just like, no really I'd rather just stay at home. It's like how about I give just give you 50 bucks and you just go? And it's like, "Okay, give me the money." So then they'll go. Then you just give them a t-shirt too. You go, "Hey, put this Death Wish t-shirt on." While you show up and they go, "I don't even drink coffee." And it's like, "Just put it on."
Jeff: Just put it on.
Zakk Wylde: And they put it on and they go and then they're there. But yeah, because people say payola it doesn't work anymore. And I just have to explain to them how do you think I'm winning all these guitar contests and stuff like that. You know what I mean. So I'm very grateful for that and I'm very grateful for when fellas that are nominated along with me, in these guitar contests, that we sit down and we talk and between I'm really glad they accept the paid vacations with their wives or their girlfriends, you know and stuff like that and allow me to win. But they're very nice.
Jeff: Speaking a little bit about guitar specifically, and I want to get into Zakk Sabbath and Black Label as well, but something that's coming up actually to our area is you're going out on the road and I don't know how many dates you guys are doing, as five or six of you, just guitarists going on the road, right?
Zakk Wylde: Oh, Generation Axe?
Jeff: Yeah, can we talk about that a little bit? That sounds great.
Zakk Wylde: And a whole nother batch of costume changes going on in that one and dance routines. Violent dancing kind of like violent like Ray Nitschke and Dick Butkus violent. But once again it's all about the art. And you do what you got to do. Cause we're not getting paid on this thing at all. I mean we just do it because of the dancing.
Jeff: It's just the dancing.
Zakk Wylde: Yes, when you have passion for dance, nothing can get in the way.
Jeff: Like Michael Flatley said, right?
Zakk Wylde: Yes, exactly.
Jeff: Just like that.
Zakk Wylde: Yes, that wasn't meant to be funny. Next question.
Dustin: You regimen for practice always blows me away. You're always on your axe. And I wonder behind the scenes, how much are you playing your guitar?
Zakk Wylde: Well I mean obviously things come in, back in the day you could practice ... You had all day to practice. So then obviously as things are going on, there's things, obligations and things you got to attend to. But I mean, for instance, you're looking right now at me and Regan right now, and you're wondering what might be with these get ups that we have on. We're actually crime fighters right now on the side when we're not playing, we're coming up and Regan is coming up with Black Label or Zakk Sabbath artwork designs or anything like that and helping me with the Ozzy ... Working out certain songs.
We fight crime. And the thing is this, when you drink enough Death Wish Coffee, Valhalla Java, it gives you such hawk like vision. It improves everything. But the thing is this, we wear these glasses, not because we need them, we do it to protect people. Because the whole thing is, our vision is so keen at any moment now we might just start shooting death rays out when we're fighting crime. And we don't want to hurt innocent people.
Jeff: So you're protecting everybody.
Zakk Wylde: Yes, we save that for the criminals.
Dustin: As a bystander, we appreciate that.
Dustin: Thank you very deeply.
Jeff: I have to ask, are you-
Zakk Wylde: But these are some of the things that you have to deal with as you get older.
Jeff: Right. Are you a true duo or are you her sidekick or is she your sidekick?
Zakk Wylde: No, we're a duo. It's just kind of like very much like Batman and Robin.
Jeff: All right.
Zakk Wylde: I'm more the Robin type, because I enjoy the shaving of the legs.
Jeff: Yep, and the tights and the whole nine.
Zakk Wylde: As you can see, she has stubble. Whereas I like being smooth as a mountain goat.
Zakk Wylde: Yes. Well you know, when you want to fight the crime.
Dustin: Wait, mountain goats aren't smooth.
Zakk Wylde: Yes.
Jeff: Yeah, what kind of mountain goats are you dealing with?
Zakk Wylde: Smooth as a mountain goat.
Jeff: Smooth as a mountain goat. I think that'll catch on if we keep saying it.
Zakk Wylde: Is a mountain goat smooth? I don't know. But it is now.
Jeff: It is now.
Dustin: My mountain goat's smooth.
Jeff: Like we'll make that happen.
Zakk Wylde: Exactly.
Jeff: From now on, every mountain goat we see, we shave it.
Zakk Wylde: Or you just pet it and you notice it's smooth, right? You don't even have to shave it. It's just automatically smooth.
Dustin: Right, we didn't say hairless. We said smooth.
Zakk Wylde: They're just smooth. It's smooth. You pet it, it's smooth.
Jeff: I like that, I like that. Speak a little bit about the Valhalla Java. I mean, it's given you these death rays and this x-ray vision and stuff like that. For real, are you happy with this coffee? Are you happy with this product?
Zakk Wylde: No, actually I can't stand it, but they do pay me a lot of money.
Jeff: That's what we needed to get on tape. We needed that on tape.
Zakk Wylde: I cannot stand coffee. I don't like the taste of it at all. And I get violently ill all the time, but I mean, you throw up a couple of times, they give you a check and it's just like, wow this fixes everything. You know what I'm saying? But no, I love it, man. Cause we went through with the gang over at Death Wish and with you guys and we just went through a batch of ... Went through a couple different ones until we got it.
Dustin: How'd you know when you found the right one?
Zakk Wylde: I threw up about four or five times. As long as I reached out, cause the first couple I was only throwing up about one or two times. I go, you gotta throw up more than that. Cause I mean like you said, the whole thing is about being aerodynamic. For everybody. So Valhalla Java is also for weight loss as well. I was weighing about 230 or about 223 actually and then as soon as I started drinking Valhalla Java, within about maybe, between all the throwing up and everything like that, I'd always hit it right after I ate. I'd just drink some Valhalla Java. Puke about five times. Just get it all out. In maybe about two weeks I lost about 23 pounds and I was much lighter on my feet.
Dustin: Jenny Craig doesn't hold a torch to Valhalla Java.
Zakk Wylde: No, you're catching more criminals. Right Regan?
Dustin: Yeah, exactly.
Jeff: So we're sitting here in your studio-
Zakk Wylde: The Black Vatican.
Jeff: The Black Vatican and we're flanked by I think more guitars than I've ever seen in my entire life.
Dustin: Do you know how many guitars are in here? Do you keep track of that?
Zakk Wylde: I would say a couple.
Jeff: I would also say a couple.
Zakk Wylde: But no, I mean obviously just throughout all the years of collecting and everything like that. So-
Dustin: Do you remember where each one comes from?
Zakk Wylde: Yeah, I mean, each one of them has got a story obviously. Obviously you can still buy some if you go to a guitar store and you see some old either vintage looking thing or something that's like at a pawn shop or something. Just some beat up old looking thing that you had when you were like 14 years old. Then you have the memory guitars. But no, guitars are awesome man.
Jeff: Obviously you know, as a guitarist you're in that, but as a collector, is it something ... Do you look for a specific thing? Like if you're out on the road and you're going into a guitar store, like you said, are you looking, are you specifically looking for specific guitars or is it just ones that catch your eye?
Zakk Wylde: For me, obviously now that I own my own guitar company, I mean the whole thing is, for me it would be like Bo Diddly if you wanted to get an old [inaudible] just because you have memories attached to certain guitars or some of your favorite players played a specific guitar or whatever. Or you're like, "Oh, man I remember I had one of those when I was like 15 years old. It's just like the one I had." So I mean, more or less that kind of thing. But yeah, obviously I'm always playing Wild Audio guitars.
Jeff: Of course. But yeah, I'm always curious, cause I'm a big-
Zakk Wylde: That's always great. I won my own company. I don't play any of them, but I own them.
Dustin: You do though. You do.
Jeff: I'm just always curious from a collector's standpoint-
Zakk Wylde: Actually, my wife pays me to play Wild Audio.
Jeff: Does it pay good?
Zakk Wylde: Yeah, exactly. I get a foot massage on the side every once in a while.
Dustin: You've got to get it somewhere.
Jeff: There you go.
Zakk Wylde: Once again, just like the coffee and the guitars I like neither, but I'll deal with it.
Jeff: Yeah, well good. Good I guess. I guess that's good.
Dustin: How long as Wild Audio been around for?
Zakk Wylde: We've been out a couple years now, I think maybe three years, probably.
Dustin: And what made you want to start your own guitar company and is that something you sought out or did people come to you?
Zakk Wylde: No, I mean for me it was just a matter of just the next progression of where things go. I mean obviously, like Derek Jeter, he played with the Yankees, then let's say if Derek Jeter was managing the Yankees, then he was the GM, then Vice President of operations, the only next logical step for Derek would be to be a team owner.
Zakk Wylde: So for me, I couldn't be treated any better than everywhere I was at. And I consider them all family to me, you know being with Gibson and Marshall and Dunlap. I mean all the companies I've been with I have great relationships with everybody there and they're all great people. So I love them all. No, it's just a matter of that. I mean like with Oz, I couldn't be treated any better and you have all the freedom in the world as a guitar player. There's nothing more that ... Ozzy just lets you do whatever you want to do.
But the whole thing is if you want to write lyrics, you want to come up with melodies, you want to do the artwork, you want to produce, you want to be in the mixer. Then you have to start your own thing. That side of that. I mean, it's like your parents aren't gonna let you put your Led Zeppelin posters up in the living room. You need to get your own apartment at that point, you know what I'm saying? So, you know your Black Sabbath posters and my Jimi Hendrix posters, and Frank Marino, and all the fellas. You know John McGlaughlin and [inaudible] and Saint Rose and everybody like that. The wall of pontiffs over here.
But yeah, they'll just ... That's the reason we're over here in the Black Vatican, I tried putting all these posters up, I mean if you notice they're a little bit different than when I was ... It's basically the same thing as when I was 15 years old except now they're not duct taped to the wall. I actually have frames around them. But they're up here, not down at the house. The immortal beloved was like you can take all your little posters and put them up there.
Dustin: With Wild Audio, what do you think makes a good guitar? What do you aim for when you're designing and building guitars to present as far as like weight or do you look for a specific neck or what are you looking for on the build?
Zakk Wylde: No, is this guitar gonna be able to pay your light bill and get you a check? That's what we look at. And if you're a girl, to find you a hot guy. That doesn't live at home with their mommy and daddy. And that might be able to buy you a slice of pizza and a coke and go to the movies. Like I always said with anything, like with the coffee or with the guitars or when we're mixing the right ... Just make it good.
Dustin: Make it good.
Zakk Wylde: Just make it good. It's just like that's the whole thing with Gibson. They're good. They play great, they sound great, it's good. [crosstalk] with my Marshalls, yeah, with my Marshalls I'm using Wild Audio amps now. But I mean, all my Marshalls and all my signature, it's like what do you look for in an amp? I want it to sound good. Cause there's only two sounds, bad and good. Well you turn the TV on, is the picture good or no? I don't need to read a Nassau program to figure out how to work this thing. You should pick up a guitar and it should play really good and it should sound really good.
Dustin: And look cool. Look cool as shit.
Zakk Wylde: Well you want to look sexy. That has a lot to do with it.
Dustin: Why are you even there if you're not trying to look sexy?
Zakk Wylde: Well you're hoping to find a date, you know. So that's part of it, but I mean obviously no one ever does find a date so obviously we might have to go into the design end and try and make them a little bit better on that end. But I mean, like I said, you design the guitar so you can find somebody at the end of the night that'll think you're attractive and who knows? You'll end up with gonorrhea or syphilis or whatever.
Dustin: If you're lucky.
Zakk Wylde: Or lice. If you get neither of them at least you get a case of lice.
Zakk Wylde: It's not a sexually transmitted disease but it's something.
Jeff: It's something.
Dustin: It's crabs of the head.
Zakk Wylde: Yeah, there you go. Good thinking. That's a good sell.
Dustin: I like that.
Zakk Wylde: Hire this man.
Dustin: I want to ask one more thing about Wild Audio.
Jeff: I was gonna too, but go ahead.
Dustin: Okay, what's the plan with Wild Audio? What's new? Is there anything coming up or do you have any bigger plans for like five years from now with Wild Audio?
Zakk Wylde: I think it's just like with everything, you start the band and you play in front of 10 people at the pub and then you play in front of 15 people, and then 20 people, and then you know. Eventually we're making a living with the band. So I think, with all bands that's how you start out. Obviously it'd be like, "Oh, man it'd be great if we could do this for a living." And you know, if you get anything on top of that? Then it's gravy. It's just icing on the cake. But I mean, the same thing with the coffee, the same thing with the guitar company. You start off small and you just brick by brick and you keep building it.
Dustin: And that's the way it's been at the coffee company too. One brick after the other. And we're just stacking them up high.
Zakk Wylde: And you have to embrace the process. It's just like learning guitar or anything like that. If you embrace the process, or anything like lifting weights or working out or somebody that wants to lose weight or anything like that. If you're gonna get frustrated after a week if you didn't lose 20 pounds, unless you're drinking Valhalla Java or any Death Wish product and you're puking violently. Then you might have a shot at 20 pounds in a week. You may be in the hospital.
But that's the trade off, but the whole thing is ... No, I mean if you don't lose that weight and people get discouraged and they quit, but if it's just a slow build. And that's the whole thing is embracing the process of you learning guitar and you're practicing and the whole thing is you just have little goals and you set them and then you try and reach them. I think that's where a lot of people have problems with them. And if you're not embracing the process. Same thing with a band. If your band isn't as big as the Stones after about ... Like putting the band together after about eight weeks. Come on, man.
Jeff: Yeah, you're not building that up. And going back to kind of what we were talking about-
Zakk Wylde: You know then just drink some more Valhalla Java or Death Wish and puke on your friend who told you you were gonna be big.
Dustin: That's all you gotta do.
Jeff: Disclaimer, you won't puke from drinking Death Wish coffee. But going back to that, I think that's what's infectious about like you on social media with your presence. You're constantly playing the guitar and it's infectious to see your passion for those building blocks. Because I mean even at this point in your career, you're showing us just fans of you. Hey, I'm learning this song or I've learned this chord or this arpeggio and I think that that is something that's lost a lot. Especially in music, like you said, it's lost on a lot of people because they think, "Oh, I'm gonna start a band and I'm the Stones now. Like why am I not?" Cause you haven't put the work in.
Zakk Wylde: Well I mean the reason why I do post a lot of it if I'm playing or whatever or I'm playing a solo for specific songs because if I'm not doing that, if I don't have a guitar in my hands, right? I cannot stop fondling my genitals. [crosstalk] At some point I've got to put me down. And just do something other than that. Water the lawn, do something. Clean the dog run. Put a broom in your hands. A shovel. The guitar, something other than you.
Dustin: I need to take a lesson from that, for sure.
Zakk Wylde: I mean I keep going with it. Flesh is missing and I'm still, I can't stop. [crosstalk] Valhalla Java, I can't stop.
Jeff: Yes, yes. [crosstalk] Like how do you go from there? Come on. Come on.
Zakk Wylde: That's why my wife is always like, no! No! Especially when we're at a PTA meeting or something like that. No! No! You know you don't want that there.
Dustin: You have a pretty intense regimen. I mean obviously with the guitar, but you're obviously fucking jacked all the time.
Zakk Wylde: It's Valhalla Java.
Dustin: It's not Valhalla Java.
Zakk Wylde: Steroids and female growth hormone. I keep dipping into Barb's stuff as well.
Dustin: You must have a crazy schedule of just like, okay, I play guitar here, I work out here, I-
Zakk Wylde: I fondle myself here. Here. [crosstalk]
Dustin: Here's three hours for fondling myself.
Zakk Wylde: Run scales here, work out here, [crosstalk] fondle of the genitals here, back to playing guitar, practicing. But I mean, like anything you make time for it.
Dustin: Like lots and lots of time.
Zakk Wylde: You make time for that and I enjoy my routine.
Dustin: Was it always like that? Was it always like a serious routine, serious regimen or was that something that kind of [crosstalk]?
Zakk Wylde: Yeah, but like I said, I think it's just cause I enjoy doing it. I don't look at it as working out or anything like that. For me it's pretty therapeutic. Kind of like fisting my prostate and smashing my genitalia into submission. That's very therapeutic as well. It's kind of like you get a little me time. Just to get away from the chaos. You know when you're fighting crime and everything like that.
Jeff: Yeah, yeah.
Zakk Wylde: It is what it is.
Jeff: Oh my gosh.
Dustin: How do you know when to stop smashing your genitalia and start drinking coffee? Like when does that?
Zakk Wylde: It's funny you should ask. I would think once-
Jeff: Come on here. Come on here. Where's this going?
Zakk Wylde: It's not funny. I would say once there's squirting of blood.
Jeff: That's where it is, that's where it is.
Zakk Wylde: Not drips, squirting is when you realize maybe we should back off a little.
Jeff: I got you. I got you. Oh my God.
Dustin: And have a cup of Valhalla Java.
Zakk Wylde: Yes.
Jeff: Replenish the fluids. Get ready.
Zakk Wylde: Clot the blood.
Dustin: Drink the coffee.
Zakk Wylde: Replace what you just lost. So that means a couple gallons of Valhalla Java.
Dustin: Oh my God. Cheers to that.
Zakk Wylde: Cheers my brothers.
Jeff: Yes, cheers, cheers. I'm gonna drink some more of this. I got to ask, for the Black Vatican, is this predominantly just your personal Valhalla or do you cut Black Label here?
Zakk Wylde: We make all the records here.
Jeff: This is exactly where Black Label-
Zakk Wylde: Ever since Order of the Black.
Zakk Wylde: We make the doughnuts, we put them in the oven, we box 'em up, and we ship 'em out.
Jeff: Oh that's awesome. That is-
Zakk Wylde: Cause everything's made and all the dough is rolled her and then we make the doughnuts and we send out the Black Label flavor country doughnuts right here.
Jeff: That's exciting.
Dustin: What do you hire, an engineer to come up and run-
Zakk Wylde: Yeah, we've got Father Adam.
Zakk Wylde: The engineers and me and JD have at it. We're like the glimmer twins of Black Label so I've known JD since we've been 17 years old. Yeah, and JD and Adam they'll end up mixing and then I'll come in at the end and I'll come up once and do the soup tasting at that point. You know what I mean? They pretty much knock it out of the park all the time anyways and I'll just a little more cilantro, a little more sour cream, and all that and it's just like perfect.
Dustin: I bet at this point it's a well oiled machine. Everybody knows how to work with each other.
Zakk Wylde: Yeah, it's the same thing with Death Wish and everybody knows what they're doing and everybody knows their roles and what they got to do. Pretty much it is. Everybody with the camp now and Black Label has been rolling 20 years now.
Dustin: Yeah, that's no joke.
Zakk Wylde: Since Order of the Black basically ... Actually all the Black Label albums. I've produced all the records. So it's just, but you know with Ozzy, it's the same thing with Jimmy Paige. You'd always be learning when you were in the studio. He was doing all the studio time and just checking out mic placements and how you do this and how do that, EQs and everything like that. You just learn. And anything you don't know, you hire somebody that does know.
Zakk Wylde: You know what I mean. You delegate the powers. So I mean that's what you do. So obviously Adam knows the console way better than I'm gonna. I'd rather spend more time running scales and writing songs. I can obviously take a course at AMI on mixing on the console but I'd rather just have my buddy who knows what he's doing do that. So that's how the Black Label flavor country doughnuts are made.
Dustin: That's exciting.
Jeff: So speaking on Black Label, correct me if I'm wrong, are you guys going back out soon?
Zakk Wylde: Well we just did-
Jeff: You just finished it.
Zakk Wylde: Did another month run with Corrosion of Conformity and I Hate God which was awesome. So great guys. And then-
Jeff: Great line up of the bands.
Zakk Wylde: Yeah, great people, man. They're our buddies. Went out, knocked that out, and that was a blast. And then we just did three Zakk Sabbath world tour shows. And now we're getting ready to go roll with the boss.
Jeff: Oh, you're going back out then?
Zakk Wylde: Yeah, roll with the boss. And I think we have rehearsals coming up in less than a week.
Jeff: Oh man.
Zakk Wylde: A lot of dancing.
Jeff: A lot of dancing. Lot of leg shaking.
Zakk Wylde: You never stop training, that's what I'm saying. There is no off season.
Dustin: Not for you man.
Zakk Wylde: No, and like I said, and then you have Generation Axe and the dancing is extremely violent there. It's not fierce, it's violent and the whole thing is like I said, it's a collision course between Dick Butkus and Ray Nitschke. It's just pretty brutal. You know the dancing never stops. And the training never stops. And neither do the blisters or the anal bleaching appointments. Sometimes I go back twice in one day.
Dustin: In one day.
Zakk Wylde: And they go, "But Zakk, you were already pretty bleached out." I go, "Can we do it again?"
Jeff: Can we do it again? I don't feel the [crosstalk].
Zakk Wylde: Sometimes I don't even say anything, I go, "Can we just get started?"
Jeff: I don't feel bleached enough.
Dustin: Why are you talking to me and not bleaching me?
Zakk Wylde: Yes, I go or they'll say, "Zakk, you're perfectly bleached." And I go, "I know. And?"
Zakk Wylde: So you know and then we just start again.
Jeff: You're so busy, is it hard to juggle all the different acts and bands that you're in? Especially now with Generation Axe and that happening and all that stuff, is it hard to keep all that together?
Zakk Wylde: No, I love it. I love it and I wouldn't change my ... This is the reason why you have posters of these guys up on your wall when you were 15 years old. So no, I'm truly living the dream. When people say that. Look it, you get to play all day, fondle your genitalia, and drink Death Wish and Valhalla Java coffee.
Dustin: It's not that bad.
Zakk Wylde: And hang out with Regan. You know what I mean?
Jeff: And fight crime.
Zakk Wylde: And fight crime.
Jeff: How do you attack, like how do you fight back?
Zakk Wylde: So you're giving back to the community as well. So and you're helping people. So I couldn't ask for anything more. I'm truly blessed.
Dustin: When did you decide to start running around with Zakk Sabbath? I mean, I'm sure your schedule is busy already.
Zakk Wylde: Actually that started with me and Father Blasco when we were doing the Metal All-Stars. And what happened was whenever we'd get together and do those things, we'd ... You know the common ground. I mean if you're a classical musician, you're gonna know, part of your education is gonna be Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart. Somewhere you know a piece of their ... It's part of your education and learning how to play. As far as hard rock goes, part of your education is gonna be Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, or Deep Purple.
You're gonna know something in there, whether you know, Iron Man, A Whole Lotta Love, or Smoke on the Water. At some point, at one time or another we've all played these songs in cover bands so, like I said, it's part of your education. Yeah, so the common ground would always be well let's see if anybody knows ... If the drummer that we're gonna be playing with, if he knows any Sabbath. So I would always be, "Yeah, yeah, what do you want to play?" And then it would always end up being like War Pigs, Fairies Wear Boots, and Into the Void. Snow Blind or whatever we were gonna pick. We'd always end up and ... So when there was another drummer that we'd have to play with, I'd say, "Father B, what do you want to play?" And he'd just go, "Well, do you want to just do the Zakk Sabbath set?" So that was the running joke.
Dustin: Oh wow.
Zakk Wylde: So that's how basically Zakk Sabbath was born out of those Metal All-Stars sessions that we used to go and do these dates and it was always fun playing them. Regardless of who we had on the kit. They were all great guys and all amazing musicians. So I mean the whole thing is, it was just a great excuse to go out and jam. Now that we're doing Zakk Sabbath with Father Joe. Joey C on the drums and Blasco and myself. It's basically like the same thing. Like when we were 15 years old, you've got these guys up on the wall in your bedroom. Except now I'm 51 years old and we're still playing these songs, but instead of my buddy's living room, or the kitchen, we've done those gigs. You know where you're right next to the pantry and I'm next to the refrigerator [crosstalk].
Jeff: Oh yeah.
Dustin: Jeff and I have played [crosstalk].
Jeff: Totally remember those. Yep.
Zakk Wylde: Totally and nothing but good times and we're playing Sabbath. But I mean the whole thing is, now it's the same exact thing except now we're 51 and there's more people. But it's still a massive keg party.
Zakk Wylde: So yeah, I mean it's nothing but good times, man. For sure.
Jeff: It is such a good ... It's a good feeling to go to a Zakk Sabbath show because not only from you guys on stage, playing the music like you said, that's in your repertoire that everybody knows and you guys are having fun. You're in the crowd and it's just so much fun because it's all of our-
Zakk Wylde: Well I mean, we say, it's awesome. Everyone seems to be singing these songs like they actually know them.
Jeff: Yes, exactly!
Zakk Wylde: More than half the battle's already won. But it's a great time, man.
Dustin: When did Joey Castillo come into play? Where did you find him? How did he come into the mix?
Zakk Wylde: I think Father Blasco knew him. So he knew Joe. So he just called Joe and said, "Hey Joe, we need a drummer right now. You want to come jam or whatever." And he was like, "Yeah, okay." And then ever since then, Joe's been our guy.
Dustin: Yeah, I'm sure he just fit right in, huh?
Zakk Wylde: Yeah, all our buddies that we know, and Joe's amazing, you know what I mean. The cannonball. It's just like it's cannonballs going on back there, you hit so hard. And on top of it, he's like the sweetest guy on the planet. So I mean-
Dustin: Yes he is.
Zakk Wylde: Yeah, so it's great.
Dustin: Were you familiar with his work before you started working with him? With Queens of the Stone Age?
Zakk Wylde: Queens and everything like that, yeah, it was awesome stuff. But yeah, Joey's amazing. And you know playing with him it's just awesome, man.
Dustin: Yeah, it's gotta be so cool. He is just such a powerhouse.
Dustin: Just puts the love behind it.
Zakk Wylde: Yeah, he's a force to be reckoned with. That's why I call him the cannonball.
Jeff: You guys are a force to be, I mean Zakk Sabbath is a force to be reckoned with. Like I said, from the minute you guys hit the stage to the minute you guys say your farewells it's just a nonstop freight train of fun. It really was.
Zakk Wylde: Well there's a lot of dance and a lot of Diana Ross costume changes going on. And that's what people come to see. And Sabbath songs.
Dustin: And Sabbath songs. When did you start playing guitar solos in the crowd? Was that something that you started doing a long time ago and then incorporated it in every show?
Zakk Wylde: Oh that's when downloading and everything like that started happening and you have to find other forms of how to make money. Cause the record business is changed, so you either roll with the water. I mean that's how you go. The stream of the water's going this way, lets go that way. Taking drink orders and getting tips when I go out there. That's another source of income. So I can help ... This way I can help the fellows in Black Label when we have per diem checks and stuff like that. So the money goes right back in to ... You know, you invest in yourself. So it seems to work out well and you go out there and you meet people and they're all great people and so you go out there, you take their drink orders and they're great people. They tip well and everything like that and everybody has a good time.
Dustin: And you're crazy good with fans. You always do the chapter pictures with everybody.
Zakk Wylde: Well it's not fans, we have fams. It's the Black Label family of doom or the Zakk Sabbath family or the Ozzy family o'doom. Not only that, but I mean between all the meet and greets, I mean with Black Label I've known people now with Black Label for over 20 years. 20 years since we started Black Label. And you know when they've had kids and now their kids are like 19 years old.
Jeff: Is that surreal?
Zakk Wylde: Yeah, I mean we just met a kid who came up. He had a picture of himself when he was eight and now he's 18. And we took a picture together and he's holding the picture and we're in the same pose cause he was ... I was sitting down and he was like standing right next to me, so he was about right here. And now I'm standing right next to him and he's like that big.
Dustin: Oh my God, that's so cool.
Zakk Wylde: Totally, cause he's 18 and he's like my son, Jesse Michael, he's like 6'3", 6'4". And I'm 6 foot, so he had me by about four inches. In the picture I'm standing ... I'm sitting and he's standing next to me. So it's like the exact same picture but 10 years later.
Dustin: That is so cool.
Zakk Wylde: Yeah, it's really cool. That's what I said, everybody is like one gigantic family type thing. It's almost kind of like a Grateful Dead. It's bigger than a band. So everybody has a common ground where everybody meets and they have a good time and everything like that. So it's definitely way cool.
Jeff: It's unfortunately rare in the music industry where you feel like you're part of the band. You're part of the family. And it's something that I've always respected about you. With all of the projects that you're a part of from everything that you've ever done, is that you make that happen. You make that possible. People feel like they've been coming for 20 years to the Black Label Society show and they are part of that family. And I think that's something that more people should be looking up to because-
Zakk Wylde: And well you know, let's not forget the payola. You know, so when you're getting paid, you have a reason to show up. It's like I really don't feel like going, but it's like here's 50 bucks. Okay I'll come down today. So it helps.
Dustin: Is there-
Zakk Wylde: And you know people come after 20 years, I'm like Zakk, you helped by my new house. you know what I mean. It's just so ... Everybody's happy about it.
Dustin: Was there an influence to be so close to your fans? Was there something that pushed you in that direction? Maybe another musician that you saw was good in that way and you wanted to be that way?
Zakk Wylde: No, you just be nice to people. I mean, if somebody says, "Hey, can I get a picture with you?" You're hanging out ... I'll be sitting and going to get something to eat and it's just like, "Hey Zakk, will you take a picture?" And it's like yeah, no problem man, it'll take two seconds. I don't know. You just don't be a tool bag. I don't know.
Dustin: But it's so rare. You just see so many people being tool bags.
Jeff: There are a lot of tool bags out there.
Zakk Wylde: Yeah, but I mean maybe you release a lot of that pressure when you relax after fondling the genitalia and smashing your
Dustin: There it is.
Jeff: Of course.
Zakk Wylde: It brings you down a little bit. So you're like, yeah, no problem I'll take the picture. Whereas maybe they haven't smashed themselves into submission early in the day, and they're on edge. So it's like get away from me, you know what I mean. You're annoying me. Maybe if you blast the man noodle a little bit more or whatever you got going on down there. You just smash the genitalia. And then I gotta be honest with you, when I get ... The situation I got going on, it's a disaster right now, man. But anyways, I think maybe that might help. It'll just help everybody in general. Everyone's more relaxed [crosstalk].
Dustin: More genitalia smashing.
Zakk Wylde: Not un-nice dude. Just a nicer. You're a nice person.
Jeff: Yeah, I'm totally, I'm totally a subscriber to that.
Zakk Wylde: A kinder and gentler world.
Dustin: The harder you smash your genitalia the kinder the world is.
Zakk Wylde: Right, we'll be fighting less crime.
Jeff: Less crime and that'd be a tragedy.
Zakk Wylde: There you go.
Jeff: Oh my gosh. So I guess on the end of this is there anything new in the works coming from Black Label or from Zakk Sabbath or anything?
Zakk Wylde: Well with Valhalla Java and with that which we got Valhalla Java Espresso coming on. That's gonna be next. So if you need to vacuum the house eight times. Lift the car up and work on the engine. Or maybe change a tire or lift the car up and change the tire, by yourself. This Valhalla Java Espresso.
Jeff: We're excited about that.
Zakk Wylde: Take about three shots of this, you'll be able to do all that.
Jeff: Yeah, we're really excited about that because that is becoming a big thing in coffee culture is the Nespresso and the espresso kind of pods and being able to come out with it. A Valhalla Java version of that. We're really excited.
Zakk Wylde: Without a doubt. Very exciting.
Dustin: Very smooth.
Zakk Wylde: Well I've been drinking all the protos and they taste amazing.
Jeff: Awesome. Awesome. Well that's great feedback because we love it too.
Zakk Wylde: And that also helps in the ... As far as being a marriage counselor as well. It also helps in the Black Label love dojo. I've actually cracked the Black Label barrier of 12 seconds. It was usually eight. But now I'm double digits.
Jeff: Wow. 12 seconds.
Zakk Wylde: Thank you Valhalla Java.
Jeff: I commend you. Yes!
Zakk Wylde: That's all I gotta say. Espresso, that is.
Jeff: It's like the wonder drug.
Zakk Wylde: It does everything. You lose weight-
Jeff: You throw up.
Zakk Wylde: You can pass an ... We can't guarantee, we're talking seconds.
Zakk Wylde: Right now, that's what we've accomplished as far as stamina. But listen, when your wife, the immortal beloved says to you, "Well, you only lasted 14 seconds." I go, "Yes, but yesterday I only lasted eight." ..
Dustin: Small goals.
Zakk Wylde: That's six seconds more.
Dustin: Brick over brick over brick over brick.
Zakk Wylde: And those were six more seconds of the greatest seconds of your life. You see what I'm saying?
Jeff: Yes, I totally do see what you're saying. I think these were some of the greatest seconds of my life.
Dustin: I totally agree.
Zakk Wylde: Or some of the most disastrous seconds.
Dustin: I guess we'll find out.
Jeff: Oh mean, seriously man, I can't thank you enough for opening your Black Vatican to us and allowing us to come here and talk to you it was [crosstalk].
Zakk Wylde: Well it's always great seeing you guys, man. Without a doubt.
Dustin: Truly an honor.
Zakk Wylde: Cheers man.