Intervju med Zakk Wylde!
Några timmar innan konserten med Ozzy Osbourne blev jag inslussad till ett rum snett bakom scenen. Där satt Zakk Wylde och välkomnade med en flaska vatten samtidigt som han öppnade en alkoholfri öl till sig själv. Han var på ett sprudlande humör och skämtade hårt med sin crew som kom och gick under intervjun.
Så här i efterhand ångrar jag att jag stängde av bandaren när jag trodde vi var klara och tiden egentligen var ute, för herr Wylde fortsatte att snacka och bjuda på allehands stories om Axl Rose, Bon Jovi, Kingdom Come, hur en rockstjärna ska lära sig om banklån och avbetalningar med mera. Vi skrattade ikapp och så här i efterhand vet jag inte egentligen vad som kom fram av själva intervjun. Wylde har en otrolig förmåga att hamna på alla möjliga sidospår och ibland är det svårt att avgöra om han bara driver eller om han helt enkelt bara tycker om att prata. Mycket.
Den inledande frågan om hans såser ställdes för att han tidigare under dagen besökt den nyöppnade butiken Extreme Foods på Östgötagatan, men om jag fick svar på den vetefan.
Were you out promoting sauces today?
Zakk Wylde: Sauces, the book, shows, the whole nine yards. World peace. I was doing some United Nations Gandhi business and it was very good. A very fruitful day. Spreading the Black Label gospel of religion of confusion.
That´s the way to do it. I was kinda wondering about your acting stuff, like “Californication” and that movie “Jed”. Do you get scripts sent to you?
ZW: Yeah, I run into some of these guys like a director and they say “I was thinking about you and I said, dude let´s put Zakk in this thing!”, you know what I mean? So they can obviously belittle me and take the piss out of me and I think that´s the reason why I end up in these movies, man. (laughs) No, but whenever I do them I always have a great time. Like everyone´s super cool and like “You tell me what you need me to do.” and we go over the script and I learn my lines and you do it till you get it right. It´s just like being in the studio, you just keep doing it till we got the take. I mean, it´s not like Broadway and it´s live and one shot. I mean, in the studio Jimmy Page could´ve played that solo for Stairway to heaven” 42 times until we got the one we liked. You just keep going.
Have you ever taken classes?
ZW: Yeah, I took classes for a little bit because they asked me before we did the “Rock star” movie and some other thing and I was like “Yeah, no problem.”. But I mean, the acting thing… if they want you to act pissed off, I think you´ll be able to act pissed off, you know what I mean? (laughs) It´s gotta be believable. It´s just like when you watch those “Snatch” movies and “Lock stock and two smoking barrels”, a lot of those guys were like athletes and some of them were not really professional actors. Like a friend of me told me that one of the guys used to be an old rugby player. But as long as you´re believable and it doesn´t look cheesy. It depends on… if the acting is so bad it´s awesome. (laughs) But if you need to act pissed off or you need to act upset… “Zakk, act like you´re really pissed off about something!” and it´s like “Alright, no problem.”. Like I said, you just do it till you get it right.
Is “Californication” the latest thing you did?
ZW: Yeah, yeah. They asked me to work in a guitar store or something like that and I was like “No problem:”.
That´s a great show.
ZW: Yeah it´s way cool! David Duchovny is super cool, so I had a good time doing that one as well.
Cool. Are you gonna do something with Kerry King?
ZW: Well I mean, I always talk with Kerry, especially during the football seasons because he´s a big Raiders guy and… you know, the running joke is… with him and the whole Satanism thing and me being Catholic (laughs) it´s awesome man! His lady, his wife will send me pictures of them with like upside down crucifixes and everything and I go “That´s so humble of you.”. That´s the most humbling thing you can do. You know that´s Peter´s cross, the first pontiff, the first pope and I go “You´re gonna score some points when you get upstairs.” and he goes “Fuck you asshole!”. (laughs) And then when the Broncos ended up beating the Raiders, because he´s such a huge Raiders freak and Raider Nation I just called it the Satanic Nation and the whole thing… and Tim Tebow is such a massive Christian and when he is bowing down to the big guy and I go “It´s a sad day in Satanic Nation when you got beat by a Catholic rookie quarter back!”. (laughs) I was calling him up because he wasn´t even responding to the texts and he was like “Go fuck yourself asshole!”. (laughs) You know he´s got the tattoo God hates us all and I said to him “Dude, on the other arm you gotta put Satan ain´t too fond of us either.” (laughs) and he´s like “Hey man, don´t blame me for this bullshit!”.
But if you guys would do something together, would it be more towards your style or more in the aggressive vein of Slayer?
ZW: Well, with Kerry… they were the originators of that, the thrash shit, but originally med Dime and Kerry were gonna do like a 3G type of thing like Steve Vai and they guys and obviously with Saint Dime it went down with him, so I mean it´s just like… he´ll either come out to the shows or we´ll see him when they´re doing a Slayer gig or like I ran into Kerry at the Roast, you know he was down at the thing. But Like I´m looking here and they´re gonna be here like two weeks from now with Marilyn Manson or some stuff like that? They´re playing here, right?
ZW: I mean, he´s working all the time and he never stops working either. If he´s not on the road, they´re pumping out a record and then they´re right back on tour. Those guys never come off the road. It´s a miracle I run into Kerry and talk to him as much as I do.
New Black Label stuff then? Are you working on anything?
ZW: No, but in August we´re gonna do an “Unblackened” DVD and it´s gonna have strings, piano, acoustic, but still electric with solos and stuff like that. It´s till electric and jamming and so. Like how we “The song remains not the same” where it´s like the heavy version of songs reworked on piano and stuff like that, so that´ll be the next thing we do and then we´ll go off and roll with the Canadian chapter and the South American chapter after that and obviously when that´s gonna be out, we´re still gonna be out touring and obviously they´ll probably want us to promote that thing as well, so I would imagine 2014 will be the next studio album with the heavy stuff on it. I was just looking at my schedule and it´s like two or three years, but it´s already mapped out. Obviously shit changes in between and we´ll figure out what the fuck to do, but this way it´s pretty much mapped out. It really is crazy when you think about it. Anything you gotta plan now is gotta be like six months down the road. I mean, as soon as the soccer season stops, they´re already setting up next season. That´s just the way it goes. But right now in the foreseeable future, after we get done with this eight week crusade and jamming and being with the boss… we´re having a blast. We jammed the other night and it was a good time.
You´ve got Black Label, you´ve done some acting, you got your book out, is there anything left that you feel you have to try?
ZW: Eehhh, I´m trying to think here… Well, I´ve tried Satanism, that Crowley thing, I´ve tried Catholicism, Judaism… one day I´ll try Scientology and get kicked out and get chased after and then I´ll be part of the Illuminati… (laughs) Overall good family fun! Just kicked out of every religion. (laughs) Even worse the Alistair Crowley. Kicked out of everything. The golden dawn, the local Irish pub. (laughs)
Pretty cool idea actually.
ZW: (laughs) Oh my god!
Before I came here, I did some radio and I played Pride & Glory´s “Toe´n the line”. Is there stuff lying around from that album?
ZW: Oh, from the P&G stuff? I think, not that much. We recorded pretty much everything when we did that thing. That album was obviously a complete departure from the Ozzy stuff. Like with Oz double tracking guitars, layering things, you know like making a proper record whereas Pride & Glory was just kinda like how you made them in the old days where it´s just live. It really was. It was like one guitar track and that´s about it and if there was a mistake in there or something like that, we pretty much left it on there. I didn´t go back and put clean guitars on them, it´s just me turning the volume down on the guitar. But that was the energy on that record. It was kinda really like a Cream type vibe. It was a three piece and that´s why there´s a lot of improv going on and a lot of jamming because it´s not… I mean, Ozzy is Ozzy and Black Label´s Black Label and the Allman Brothers, there´s room for improv and the guys stretching things out and jamming and same thing with Cream. The three of them were virtuosos, so Jack Bruce… I mean, that´s why Geezer, that was his favorite guy because as a bass player he´s all over the place. I mean, he´s like lead bass and then you´ve got Eric (Clapton) killing it and Ginger was all over the place. It´s not like he´s just sitting back there holding down the groove, he´s wailing all over the place too, but you can do that with a three piece. That´s why Black Label is more of a controlled environment then P&G. I don´t know how much of that stuff is left. I´ve got all the masters at the house and stuff like that. Actually, I´m getting everything digitalized right now, because that 2 inch ain´t gonna last forever. It´s like pope Page with all the Zeppelin masters, god only knows what those things look like. I´m just saying. Once they´re gone, they´re gone. Those things are like the Ten Commandments. (In a loud voice) “I give you these 20…” (makes the sound of lightning striking) “These 10 commandments.”. What´s the name of that movie? (laughs) Was it “Wholly Moses”, the one with Dudley Moore? He´s building the statue because he was pissed of that Moses… remember the two babies were going down the stream and Moses went the right direction and Dudley Moore´s character went the other way and he felt he was the chosen one and they were all pissed off and got ripped off and he´s building that statue and he´s on a ladder and goes “People will come from miles around… to worship your granite ass!”. (laughs) The massive rainstorms comes and the lightning hits the fucking statue and he´s on the fucking ground and all of the sudden it´s god talking to him and he goes “How dare you?” and goes off on him and Dudley goes “Well, why did you do this to me? Why did you let Moses be the one?” and god is explaining to him and he goes “Don´t let me ever catching you doing this again!” and Dudley goes “Why should I believe you?” and all of a sudden it stops raining and he goes “By the way, who do you think just stopped the rain?”. (laughs really hard)
Good stuff. A final thing, I was just wondering… I work as a teacher…
ZW: What´s that like, with the kids? What grade do you teach?
Right now, 4th graders.
ZW: Is that pretty cool?
It can be.
ZW: What age are the fourth graders?
My kids are 10.
ZW: 35, 38 (laughs) Right before 40. (laughs)
Yeah. It´s way out in the suburbs and it´s mostly immigrant kids with parents from Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and stuff like that. It can be really difficult.
ZW: Wow! How old are they again?
ZW: 10, alright. My little guy Hendrix is nine.
I was wondering about when you grew up and when you were in school, was there any teacher that you remember encouraging you in taking up music or as you remember being…
ZW: Well, one teacher Mr. McCormack in high school was really cool. I took music theory and stuff like that, but his class, I always looked forward to that because that was cool and I still talk to him to this day. He teaches a high school band in Jackson Memorial High school and they´re playing at the Rose bowl parade, like the marching bands. I still talk with him and then there´s my guitar teacher Leroy was great. Besides teaching me scales and theory and stuff like that, he´d teach me how to play my favorite Sabbath songs or how to play that lick in “Back in black” (sings) and that was like the coolest thing and being able to do it, it was like “Wow!”. It just opens up a new world. It´s like “Wow, that´s how you do that lick!” and then you connect that lick to this lick and how everything connects together, so you learn how to speak the language, you know what I mean? This word connects with that and spells that. That´s what´s cool about theory and learning scales. It just opens up the worlds. And obviously you have like with The Beatles, just stumbling on things like the 7th chord, “Wow, this is cool!” and chord changes like with George Harrison just messing around with chords and going “Wow, this sounds bad ass!”. Here´s a good trivia question! I read this a while ago and it´s pretty cool. Apparently George Harrison went down to see a Zeppelin show and he told Jimmy Page “Wow, how come you guys don´t do any ballads?” and this was right before they did “Houses of the holy” and that´s why in the “Rain song” (sings) it´s the first chords in “There´s something in the way she moves…” (from the song Something by George Harrison) and Jimmy did that like purposely, so those first chords are like a nod to George Harrison and The Beatles. It´s really cool and “The rain song” is amazing.
ZW: And also, if you notice on the “Order of the black” album we have the symbols. We didn´t get that from Zeppelin. We got it from Prince, who got it from Zeppelin and Zeppeling got it from the Druids. (laughs) Just to let the record be straight, ok! And if you notice, it´s a trickledown effect, a water down effect and as you can tell, we´re the most watered down and the weakest. (laughs hard).
Excellent! Thank you!