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Wylde recalls GnR audition

Zakk Wylde has recalled how his 1995 audition with Guns N’ Roses led to the formation of his band Black Label Society.

The guitarist was lined up to join Axl Rose and co when they were considering a double-lead approach. They decided against it, and he went on to found BLS three years later, between stints with Ozzy Osbourne.

Wylde tells That Metal Show: “We had some ideas laying around, but nothing amounted to where Axl sang on stuff, had lyrics written and everything like that.

“It was great – all the guys were there: Slash, Axl, Duff, Dizzy, Matt. We were all jamming.”

With the idea abandoned, GnR’s classic era officially came to an end the following year when Slash left, soon followed by Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum. But Wylde’s brush with the band bore fruit.

He says: “I had a batch of riffs laying around and I just said, ‘I’ll do it myself’ – and that’s when Black Label Society was born.”

And he jokes: “That’s why I’m still living in a van down by the river. I figured, ‘Maybe I want to do this myself.’”

BLS play this year’s Bloodstock Open Air at Catton Park, Derby on August 6-9.

Martin Kielty

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.