Zakk mentions Jim and the WWF about half way down. Questions & Answers by Rachel Butera Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society Almost four decades have passed since the classic metal band Black Sabbath gave birth to its children Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne and Dio. These groups continue today to give inspiration to young artists who engange in this timeless musical genre. Coming in at the cutoff date in terms of generations is the frenetic-fingered guitarist Zakk Wylde. This one-time Ozzy Osbourne guitarist had a hand in laying the groundwork for groups like Slayer, Sepultura and later Pantera. Free like the motherfu*#ing Wylde man that he is (This guy makes Ted Nugent sound tame.) Wylde formed Black Label Society two years ago so he could make the kind of thrashing metal music he enjoyed and play it on his own terms. It turns out the bandís newest release, Stronger Than Death (Spitfire) is more powerful than the reaper himself. Death, morbid love and of course, drinking are themes that surround this album of mayhem. The Wylde man talked with Liner Notes about beer, beer and, oh yeah, BEER. Liner Notes: What is Stronger Than Death, music, beer or you? Zakk Wylde: Itís just the lifestyle. Stronger Than Death is this whole idea, or it could be my ass after a gallon of beer or a bad taco (laughs). It means donít take any shit and when you get knocked down, you have to get right back up again. LN: This is your second album playing with Black Label Society. What do you get out of this group of musicians, playing this kind of music, thatís different from your projects before? ZW: Pride And Glory was pretty much a three-piece jam band. There was a lot of improv going on, all acoustic stuff. With Black Label Iím having a great time. I mean I still have the lighter stuff like ďRust,Ē but Iím happy doing what Iím doing right now. LN: Pride And Glory was such a success. Why did it live such a short life? ZW: Oh, we ran out of beer funds. (laughs) LN: This new record lyrically explores a variety of themes, from troubled youth to growing old to death. Do you have a lot of what is troubling the world on your mind? ZW: Well, no, not at all (laughs). I leave that up to Kurt Cobain. He put a bullet through his f**king head. With myself itís about f**king aggression instead of depression. I write about friends, stuff that I read, stuff I see going on and things that have happened. Basically, if I am going to write lyrics, they have to be reality based. I canít write this candy-ass shit about stuff that doesnít mean anything to me. LN: Rex from Pantera told us that his bandís writing technique consists of getting together, cracking open a bottle of whiskey and seeing what comes out. Given your love of alcohol, is your approach at all similar? ZW: For me it has to start with the riff and then Iíll come up with a vocal line. Finally, when I come up with something I want to start singing about, Iíll just do it. LN: Do you really drink as much beer as you let on? ZW: Yeah, definitely. Why not? I donít get f**king drunk though. LN: You are going to be joining Ozzfest soon. Are you looking forward to playing with your old friend Ozzy Osbourne? ZW: Yeah, without a doubt. LN: Any plans to actually work together again? ZW: I saw Ozzy about six months ago. We were talking about possibly doing something. Weíll see what happens. LN: Your playing with Black Label rocks a lot harder than your more melodic days with Ozzy. Are there any other directions you see yourself taking your music in the future? ZW: Well, it definitely will not be Backstreet Boys music (laughs). LN: You have also tried your hand at acting. Can you tell me about the experience? ZW: Oh yeah. I had a great time. I worked with Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston. It was a actually a hysterical experience. We were on the set for about six months or so, so I had a great time doing it. LN: Was it a challenge writing the soundtrack for the film? ZW: Actually we had pre-existing material already so we recorded them. I ended up writing a song called ďCrown Of Falsehood,Ē but basically it sounded like a Black Label tune. LN: On your web site there are a bunch of pictures of you and the guys in the WWF. What is your affiliation, or are you just a fan? ZW: The security guard there, Jim Dotson, takes care of the Undertaker, The Rock, Stone Cold and everybody like that. Jim found out we were doing the music for them and told us that we were welcome to come down anytime. LN: What part of Jersey are you from? ZW: I was born in Jersey City, but I grew up down in Jackson about 40 minutes from the shore. LN: Jersey is a place where metal, particularly the type that was popular in the Ď80s, is still alive and well. Do you have the chance to come back here much? ZW: Yeah, I go back to see my dad now and then and my momís grave. I usually drink a couple of beers and I see some old friends when I get back there. Basically, if I want to see my whole high-school graduating class, they can be found in the Brooklyn Bar. LN: In your early days you played the Stone Pony. Have you seen it since they refurbished it? ZW: No, I havenít seen it. I remember it being old and it gave it a little bit of character being that way. LN: Iím sorry to hear about your guitars being stolen.You recently had two guitars stolen while on tour ó the original was your trademark Bullís Eye guitar that your mother gave you. Any luck finding them? ZW: We did get one of them back but the original one is still on the road somewhere between Houston and Dallas. LN: If by chance you do not get it back, what will fans be seeing you play instead? ZW: Gibson is making a Les Paul so I have been playing that one a lot. I have that one, the Rebel and some other ones. Basically, just Les Pauls. LN: Your CD collection is on fire. Which one do you save? ZW: It would have to be some of those Backstreet Boys records because Iíll need beer coasters in my next house (laughs).