In their 20-plus-year history, Black Label Society have released 10 studio albums, which have been gathered in a vinyl box set titled None More Black. Talking to Classic Rock, guitarist and band leader Zakk Wylde explains the reasoning behind the box set.
Never one to dwell on past glories, Wylde is already plotting the next phase in the band’s career. Outside BLS, Wylde has been Ozzy Osbourne’s principal guitarist for nearly 35 years, and also fronts Zakk Sabbath, a tribute band to the original Black Sabbath line-up.
Why do a Black Label Society box set now?
I’m setting up a college fund for my son. So I reckon there will be enough sales of this to my relatives and eight friends to put some extra money into this! It includes two bonus discs as well: The Song Remains Not The Same II and Nuns And Roaches: Tasty Little Bastards.
Why did you include these?
I hate the idea of putting unreleased tracks on any reissued album – what a waste. I’d rather do a whole album’s worth of BLS songs which have been reimagined, or of cover versions. That’s what these two albums represent.
What’s next for Black Label Society?
We’re aiming to have a new album released in November. Recording-wise it’s a long way down the line. We have a tour booked in America from October second to the end of November, and another for the Christmas period. Then we wanna head around the world in 2022.
You didn’t play on Ozzy’s last album Ordinary Man. Was that disappointing?
Not at all. I thought he and Andrew Watt did a great job. And I’m not on the new one either. Again it’s Ozz and Andrew. I understand why I’m not in the studio. Ozz once said to me that he didn’t want to be the lead singer in Black Label Society: “You have your own thing now, so go to it.”
I don’t have to be involved in everything Ozz does. I’ll always be there for him and Sharon. If they call now and ask me to go over to feed their dogs for three days… I’m there.
Would you expect to be in his touring band for 2022?
Yes I will be. Ozz is getting himself back healthy, and then we’ll be back out on the road.
What prompted you to want to do Zakk Sabbath?
Contractually, the original Black Sabbath can never tour again. So we have this long-term plan for Zakk Sabbath. Firstly we get Ozz involved, and call it Zakk Sabbath Featuring Ozzy. Then Geezer comes in, and it’s Zakk Sabbath Featuring Ozzy And Geezer. Thirdly we get Tony in, and have Zakk Sabbath Featuring Ozzy, Geezer And Tony Iommi.
Finally, Bill comes on board and you have Zakk Sabbath Featuring The Original Members Of Black Sabbath! Nobody can claim it’s breaking any contract, because this is Zakk Sabbath not Black Sabbath. That way, if those guys run short of money, here’s a clever way they can play together again live. Genius, right?
Any ideas for another brand of hot sauces, following your Berserker range in 2011?
I’m always working on this. My aim is to make your colon explode with what’s coming next.