On Tuesday, Zakk Wylde — leader of the Black Label Society — sat down somewhere to do a conference call with a bunch of writers, myself included. Of course, Zakk was taking time out of his busy day being a bad-ass to talk to all of us about Order of the Black, which drops next week.
In conference calls, everyone listens in as each journalist asks his or her question. Zakk answers, and then they move on to the next writer. Needless to say, I didn’t get to ask one of the first questions, but I did get to ask one of the most interesting questions.
While answering a question from Steven Rosen from This Is Rock, Zakk talked about working on the new disc in his home studio and recounted a conversation he had with Ozzy Osbourne — his old boss — about all the studio time he must have paid for since he got his start with Black Sabbath. Then he started to get into the technical aspects of it. “I remember reading an article about The Ultimate Sin and Jake E. Lee said ‘it took us four days to get a guitar tone.’ That’s insane. Four days to get a guitar tone? Are you guys smoking crack? You take ten minutes to get the guitar sound and the rest of the day getting loaded? Four days? I would end up breaking someone’s leg if it took me four days to get a guitar tone.”
That got me thinking: I wonder if Zakk has ever actually broken someone’s leg? Better yet — I wonder if dude’s ever killed a man? I had to ask.
Me: You mentioned before that — you were talking about working in the studio and if it ever took four days to get a certain guitar sound, you’d break someone’s leg. Have you ever broken anyone’s leg?
Zakk: When I played football. That was about it though. Not intentionally, though.
Me: Because I want to know how close you’ve come to killing a person, really. I imagine you can be very intimidating — have you ever beaten someone almost to death?
Zakk: Nah. I ain’t gonna go there, man. I mean, then you’re going to end up in jail or have some major lawsuits going on. I head for the hills. I’d put on Iron Maiden’s “Run To The Hills” and I’d just take off. I can’t even be bothered. But no, I’m just saying, figuratively, I’m just saying it because you get pissed off. I mean, it’s like are you kidding me–?
Me: Because I could see you breaking someone’s legs, thats the only thing. I didn’t know if that was something you actually do, because I could see it happening–
Zakk: Nah, I’m just saying, just figuratively saying. Are you kidding me? Four days to get a goddamn guitar tone. Come on, man! It costs $1,500 a day for the studio, you’re looking at $5,000 out the window to put a microphone in front of a goddamn amplifier. Come on!
So there you have it: Zakk was just using an expression. He wouldn’t actually break someone’s leg and watch the marrow slide out of the mangled bone. And he hasn’t killed anyone. I would have bet serious coin that dude had — at the very least — bumped off a hobo. Just for fun. I was wrong.
To hear the entire conference call, head on over to Metal Assault. I’m at the 16:23 mark. Listen to all the other writers on the line laugh.
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