Metal Guitar Icon Talks New Book, Sobriety, Church and Music Biz 'Cartoon Characters'
The always outrageous and thoroughly entertaining Zakk Wylde has written a book, "Bringing Metal to the Children: The Complete Berzerker's Guide to World Tour Domination." Part memoir, part tips on how not to make it in the business it is a hilarious and profanity laden read that is sure to delight Ozzy fans and of course loyal members of the Black Label Society. Wylde shared his insights and advice for Billboard in a free-wheeling interview. Warning: LOTS of f-bombs are about to be dropped.
No crapping on the bus. You'd figure that would be rule number one for any band going out on the road. It really is amazing to this day when we're out on the road how many people want to use the bathroom and we have to tell them that. We still have to put signs up.
What's rule number two?
Obviously back in the day when I was drinking it was don't run out of booze on the bus. I think that's actually rule number two, I'd have dealt with the shitting just as long as we had booze.
I haven't had a drink in almost three years. I've got these blood clots and I've got to take blood thinning meds. The best thing about that was the doctor actually told me if you have those blood clots genetically, drinking may have actually saved your life because it thins your blood. I told my wife, 'See! Drinking is good for something!' She just said, 'Just go fuck yourself. That's the end of you and booze, good night.'
What's your advice about groupies?
People always ask me how I've remained faithful to my wife for 26 years. I go, 'Well sexually I would keep it hot in the bedroom.' Instead of having her dress up in garters and a bustier and stuff like that, I'll have her dress up in a gorilla suit and I'll punch out the holes for all the spots I need and that way not only do I feel like I'm conquering her, I'm also conquering wildlife.
... Being out on the road is definitely a great summer trip for the kids.
Your first paying gig sounded interesting.
It was playing on Ginger Lynn's record. We go down to the studio, there's people fucking all over the place, mountains of cocaine all over the fucking place. I was 17 years old and it was my mother who sent me down there!
Vinnie Paul said if Pantera reformed you'd be the man to replace Dimebag Daryl.
I love all those guys. It would be an honor. How could I say no? I'd do my best to make them proud.
Tell me about your motto G.I.F.D.
Get It Fucking Done. It's the truth, it's the one thing you learn real fast in life is that nobody gives a fucking shit about excuses and the sooner you learn that nobody really gives a fuck about you, that you need to get off your ass and make shit happen then the better off everyone will be. Do things yourself so that way you have no one to blame but yourself if shit doesn't happen.
What's your opinion of record industry people?
I'd like to thank God, Jesus Christ for not only giving me this life but blessing me with the amazing plethora of cartoon characters that make up the entertainment business. If you want to be a welder you have to get a license, in the music business, 'who's your manager?' 'Oh this is my buddy Joe.' 'Does he know how to read a contract?' 'No.' That's why you get all these insane stories and this cast of characters because there really is no job qualification. That's why the comedy is running rampant.
You have a whole Viking thing going on.
The running joke in Jersey was anyone grows a beard they're a Viking. You've got "The Sopranos," Bon Jovi and Springsteen, now you've got Vikings. God knows what they put in the water out there.
What's your favorite Ozzy story?
When he threw a TV out the window that was pretty priceless. Any words of advice I give to kids planning to do a jackass move like that is make sure you don't hit anybody and probably just do it once, then realize that economically it's not a good idea.
How did you and Ozzy drink so much?
You keep going to puke and you keep going until you puke and then you keep going...
But how on earth do you then play?
G.I.F.D - get it fucking done.
People might be surprised to know you're a practicing Catholic.
I am. I just went to Mass yesterday. If we're on the road and I see a church, I'll just go in there and say some prayers.
So what's your advice for aspiring rockers?
Play what you love. People will say you've got to play this music or that music; if that was the case there never would have been a Led Zeppelin or Frank Sinatra or Elvis or any of the guys that you really love. You've just got to play what you dig. Put it this way, it's hard enough to begin with. The bottom line is you've got to love what you're playing.