Live Preview: Zakk Wylde

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The shy, retiring Black Label Society mainman checks in ahead of the band’s UK tour.

People aren’t supposed to be buying rock and metal albums these days, but the latest BLS album, Catacombs Of The Black Vatican, reached No.5 in the US. What went right?

What went right was the purchase of prostitutes, strippers and cocaine. A lot of people say that payola’s dead, but I go: “No it’s not.” But seriously, it’s the Black Label family. Those guys will always be there for us, and we’re grateful.

You’ve been touring for more than twenty-five years. How do you keep things interesting for yourself on the road?

At the end of the day, it’s about getting on stage. I’m a musician, that’s what I do. It’s about those ninety minutes. Well, those and the hookers and blow.

You say that, but you’ve been sober for several years now. On a scale of one to ten, what level of carnage would you rate the BLS tour bus these days?

Back in the day it was Animal House. We were drinking and having a great time twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It takes its toll, and there comes a time when you just stop. These days it’s still intense, though the only injuries I sustain now are sprained wrists from jerking off in my bunk.

Your wife runs your life. Does she pack your suitcase?

What? I pack my own bag and do my own laundry. I’m not a drooling fucking heroin addict. Well, I am drooling, but not the rest.

Will we see you in a field near Castle Donington this summer?

I hope so. I’ve played there three times and I’ve enjoyed it every single time. Have we been asked? Not as far as I know.

Talking of Download, are Muse a brave choice or a disaster-in-waiting?

I think Muse is fucking awesome. Man, they’ll be killer.

BLS’s tour starts on February 11.