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Black Label Society on its own

Published: Friday, July 31 2015 1:47 a.m. MDT

Zakk Wylde is glad Black Label Society has a strong fan base. (Roadrunner Records) Zakk Wylde is glad Black Label Society has a strong fan base. (Roadrunner Records)
Zakk Wylde, the leader and guitarist of the band Black Label Society, is looking for that ultimate sponsor.
"I'm waiting for that big-time beer company to come and say, 'Hey, we'll pay for your tour,"' Wylde said with a laugh during a phone interview from a tour stop in Cleveland. "But with my luck it will be with one of those non-alcoholic beers like Coors Cutter or O'Doul's.
"Then again, maybe some hair-care endorsements would be fine. And if all else fails, there's the eyeliner companies like Maybelline."
Wylde, who got his start as Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist (and who still plays for the Ozzman), said he is always in a good mood when he's talking about his job. He's a guitarist who fronts a band that has a loyal fan base — one that is growing by the month, with fans separated into "chapters." "We're looking forward to hooking up with the Salt Lake Chapter when we get there."
BLS, as the band is known to fans, has just released its seventh studio album, "Shot to Hell." Wylde, who was born Jeff Wiedlandt, said that making the new album wasn't any different than making the previous six. "We go into the studio and play whatever comes up. I don't like to go into the studio with a bunch of songs ready for recording. It takes the spontaneity out of the music. So we write every song in the studio. I come up with some music and the rest of the guys do their thing."
The touring band also features guitarist Nick Catanese, bassist Jon De Servio and drummer Craig Nunenmacher.
As he reflected back on his career, Wylde admitted that BLS was something he needed to do. "I still play for Ozzy, and I love that man to death. But he's not going to be doing what he does forever. The man is more than 60 years old, and one day he will come up to me and say, 'Zakk, it's time for me to stop.'
"I don't look forward to that day. But it will come. And when it does, I want to be able to still do what I do — play music. So that's why I started with those side projects like Pride & Glory and my solo career."
Wylde said he's glad that Black Label has such a strong fan base, but being on the road can be difficult. "The only hard part of this gig is touring. It's like your hobby has become your job. And I don't care who you are — a rock guitarist, a writer, a porn star — whatever profession you get into will feel like a job at some point. The best thing to do is keep reminding yourself why you're doing it.
"And that, to me, is the secret. I don't plan on stopping anytime soon. And I want to make sure I'm fresh when I play. We don't get a lot of sleep on the road, and it can become monotonous at times. But I have sole responsibility for my music. I don't have a record company telling me what I can or cannot record. And I never will."

If you go

What: Black Label Society, Black Stone Cherry
Where:
The Depot, 13 N. 400 West
When:
Wednesday, 9 p.m.
How much:
$28
Phone:
467-8499 or 800-888-8499
Web:
www.smithstix.com


E-mail: scott@desnews.com

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