Live preview: Zakk Wylde

Zakk Wylde
(Image credit: Getty)

What inspired your sequel to Book Of Shadows? Was it its twentieth anniversary? GN’R took fifteen years to make Chinese Democracy. Once we beat fifteen years and hit twenty, I figured now is the time.

To those who only know your work with Ozzy and/or Black Label, Book Of Shadows II could be quite a surprise?

That side of what I do has always been there, from [Ozzy’s] Mama I’m Coming Home to In This River, the song I did for Dimebag Darrell. I love picking up an acoustic guitar.

The album channels your love of the Allmans and Neil Young. Who else is in the melting pot?

Oh… Van Morrison, The Band, The Eagles. And Wild Horses by the Stones.

Is its opening song, Autumn Changes, about growing older?

Naaah. I bought some raspberry sorbet and when I got home I changed my mind and wanted lemon sorbet. So I had to take it back. I changed my mind and it was Autumn time. It’s pretty deep and complex [laughs].

At the Classic Rock Awards in 2013 you showed your softer side with a piano version of Sabbath’s Junior’s Eyes. Was that a terrifying experience?

Not really. I tickled the ivories a little, took drinks orders and later on that night when I rolled down everybody’s beds I left a note asking, ‘tuck or no tuck?’

C’mon, serious answer.

At the start I was a little intimidated, being in a room full of my heroes, but once I got going I was fine.

For your one-off UK date will the set-list be songs from both solo albums, and a few covers?

Now that we have two records we could do a full show [without covers].

Rising southern rock talent Jared James Nichols is your support act.

Jared kicks ass . He’ll be a perfect fit.

And should we expect Book Of Shadows Volume III some time in 2036?

We’ll look to shatter GN’R’s record in about twenty-five years, but whether anyone will be holding their breath I really don’t know. DL

Zakk Wylde plays London Shepherd’s Bush Empire on May 25.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.