Star Scene: Zakk Wylde

Zakk Wylde’s scene is complete. Wylde states: “I just dig doing what I do everyday, and that’s black label, 25/8, 366 days a year. Yeah, without a doubt.”

Photo by Mary Boukouvalas. Click to see the full gallery.

Whereas others may dedicate 24 hours per day, seven days per week to their work, Wylde finds an extra hour and a day to make it 25/8. It’s no wonder that since their late 90’s inception, Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society, formed by guitar legend Zakk Wylde, have been at the forefront of their genre and going from strength to strength. Their love of hard riffs and blazing solos, furthermore fuelled by fiercely loyal fans and signature merchandise, has resulted in hugely successful albums and a reputation as one of the most powerful live bands of their generation. However, whereas on stage, Wylde cuts a striking presence with his imposing Viking-esque appearance and signature guitar artillery, underneath lies a tame and witty gentleman.

Currently Wylde is in California. He states: “I’m working on a record right now, am excited for the big tour.” Not one to shy away from hard work, he’s usually always productive. He states: “If I’m not playing or practising guitar, I’m doing something else with Black Label – coffee, Wylde audio.” Wylde definitely does not ever stop. He generates products simultaneously.

[pullquote]Whereas on stage Wylde cuts a striking presence with his imposing Viking-esque appearance and signature guitar artillery, underneath lies a tame and witty gentleman.[/pullquote] After releasing Catacombs of the Vatican in 2014, and extensive touring, Wylde is also working to release Book Of Shadows Volume II on the 20th anniversary of the album next year. About the new album, Wylde proclaims: “It is definitely a different way of making an album this one. Usually it’s about one to one and a half of a concentrated explosion. This one there are gaps in between doing tours, then going in and doing vocals, writing lyrics and then doing more vocals, but we have about 13 songs that are finished right now. This one is mellow from beginning to end. It’s more personal.”

As for inspiration, Wylde states: “It’s different. You could hear a song off the radio or something you’ll be listening to and go: ‘It would be cool if we had stuff like this’ and then you pick up the guitar and start writing. I just pick up a guitar and start writing something and it leads to something else and it’s really cool. The inspiration comes from all over the place.” Wylde’s inspiration sends him all over the world. His love of touring is eternal. He states: “I love it. I still get as much enjoyment from touring as ever. I have buddies from when I was with Ozzy, and they’re like ‘I don’t like touring, I have kids now, I don’t like being away’. And I’m like, ‘No’. That’s the reason why you have posters of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin when you were kids. That’s like saying I’m afraid of heights but I work on skyscrapers. I love every ounce of everything I do. I love the touring the records. There is no aspect of it that I don’t love. I’m doing what I love, playing. I thank the lord every day for what I have and that’s the truth. For me it doesn’t get old. I started dedicating my life to guitar when I was about 14 years old. I was inspired by my guitar teacher Leroy Wright. To physically see someone playing in front of you – that, and looking at the fretboard, I just thought that was the most interesting thing on the planet and I was just like: ‘This is what I want to do without a doubt’.”

For Wylde, it’s more that just a job. It’s his life and he has fun doing it. He discusses his touring routine with honesty, and humour: “Doing the Black Label thing, there’s a lot of comedy going on. It’s always a good time but it depends what situation you put yourself in. But yeah there’s always usually some comedy flying around, especially when I was drinking. But now when I come off stage after doing the Black Label mass, I just go have something to eat, and I take my steroids, my female hormones, and pull myself and pull myself into bed. And then start all over again.”

Catch Wylde as he starts all over again, on his Australian assault, with his Black Label Society.


Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society’s last Australian headline appearance was in 2006. Catch them as they return to Australian shores, with headline shows, this November and December.

Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society Australian Tour Dates 2015

Wednesday 25th November – Metropolis Fremantle 18+

Friday 27th November – HQ, Adelaide 18+

Saturday 28th November – Roundhouse, Sydney 18+

Sunday 29th November – The Tivoli, Brisbane 18+

Monday 30th November – 170 Russel, Melbourne 18+

Tuesday 1st Dec – 170 Russell, Melbourne 18+

Tickets from:

About Mary Boukouvalas 1641 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos,,,, She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.