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Wylde At Heart

Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society bring their alcohol-fueled brewtality to Ozzfest

No argument there. But what about this year's Ozzfest bill? It seems to be a little heavy on exactly that type of band.

"Well, Slipknot is pretty heavy. Disturbed is pretty fuckin' heavy. He just sings, like, real rhythmic, real percussive. I don't think he's really rappin'," Zakk says. "The Linkin Park guys got their Limp Bizkit thing, but they're younger kids and shit like that. Who's goin' after us? Fuckin' Crazy Town, I think ? Well, fuckin' good luck. We'll destroy them -- fuckin' destroy them! They'll be a smoldering lump of shit by the time we get done. Every fuckin' night."

If Zakk sounds like Hell's Avenging Angel of heavy metal, it's no coincidence. He's appropriated much of the style of the Hell's Angels (the colors, the bylaws and chapter structure, and the raw finger of disgust thrown defiantly in your face), but only because the outlaw biker gang's ethos is the only one that matched his own. "Yeah, the Angels, the Outlaws. They do what they love, and you can go fuck yourself. When the Angels started, Sonny Barger, he just wanted to start a club that, you know, you get the people that are into the same shit you're into. Today's kids, they want to be a part of the Machine," he says incredulously. "They wanna be part of the fuckin' movement as opposed to bein' against it. A 16-year-old will want to audition and learn these dance steps, take fuckin' vocal lessons and do shit like that to make sure he fits in the group, as opposed to goin', 'Ahhh, FUCK THAT!' and buyin' a guitar and startin' a heavy fuckin' hardcore metal band or playin' punk rock or anything like that. Nowadays, kids, they want to conform to whatever the fuck it is. That's why, with the imagery, the biker style, I was, like, 'I'll start my own fuckin' club: the fuckin' club for people like me, who dig the heavy shit and they're tired of hearin' fuckin' Backstreet shit and all that other crap.' And it's bigger than me. It's a fuckin' society. It's a hell of a lot easier just bein' yourself than tryin' to be something you ain't and just actin' all the fuckin' time. Life's too short for that fuckin' shit. As far as I'm concerned, as long as I can make a living and support my family, keep a roof over my head and keep the fuckin' fridge stocked with beer year-round, I'm fuckin' doin' fine."

Leather, chains, big dogs, denim, skulls, guitars and one righteous bad-ass of a guitarist, Mr. Zakk Wylde.
William Hames
Leather, chains, big dogs, denim, skulls, guitars and one righteous bad-ass of a guitarist, Mr. Zakk Wylde.

And for the curious, Zakk's official Black Label Society beer recommendation:

"Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is always good. Anything that's high in fuckin' alcohol content will do the job, I guess. A little fuckin' Guinness will never hurt you." Neither will a little high-alcohol-content rock & roll.

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