The only way that you wouldn’t have heard that Black Label Society released their latest album ‘Grimmest Hits’ is if you were living under a rock! Since the January 29th release date, Zakk Wylde and the rest of the band have already taken to the road to cause chaos; Wylde was most kind to spare a few minutes out of his preparation time before the Philadelphia show to answer a few questions.
When asked about how life has been treating him since the release of ‘Grimmest Hits’, Wylde pointed how that “my woman beloved, well she divorced me, the kids won’t talk to me and the dogs don’t like me; but as far as the fondling of my genitals go, it’s stayed the same” before ending with a dry chuckle to show that he wasn’t being serious. Wylde then concluded by saying that “since the record has been out, it’s just gone global! We’ve just been having a blast and having a lot of fun playing the new stuff live.”
Before recording ‘Grimmest Hits’, Wylde recorded ‘Book of Shadows II’ in 2016; when explaining the change in mindset on working on such contrasting albums. Wylde pointed out how “to me there isn’t much difference, however the main thing I was looking forward to was doing the heavy stuff again, as it’s more riff driven; even if me and you were doing a jazz fusion type thing, I would look forward to recording it, as its fun to play some new stuff and just jam with friends” before following up with how ‘Grimmest Hits’ came to be:
“I was out on the road with Zakk Sabbath and I got back home from the road, I was wondering how long it was before the guys from Black Sabbath came out to join me. It worked out that I had about twenty days so I had the mindset of ‘alright I’ve got to write a record in twenty days’; I started writing riffs and that was about it. Because I had given myself that twenty day deadline, I decided I would write every day until I was happy, then when the guys get out here for two weeks we’ll track.”
When asked if there were any songs that missed the cut on ‘Catacombs of the Black Vatican’ made an appearance this time around, Wylde expressed that “when we’re recording a new album, we always write new music because we’re looking forward to it; I never go back and listen to unreleased stuff to see what’s salvageable, but I’ll sit there and listen to it because it’s cool to enjoy every so often.”
Wylde took time to explain his mindset when it comes to going about recording, as well as whether he picked up anything new during the recording of either ‘Catacombs of the Black Vatican’ or ‘Book of Shadows II’, explaining that “the whole thing is like this; if someone was to ask if we did anything different on this record, I would tell them that we did pretty much the same thing we’ve done on every record. haven’t made an educated decision or gone out of my way do anything different; the only thing is that I don’t drink beer anymore, but now I do glue and paint chips” before letting out another dry chuckle.
Wylde took the time to showcase his sense of humour again, as he explained how “whenever we start playing the new stuff, I notice people making their way outside to go fondle their genitals or have a cigarette break….whilst fondling their genitals! I notice that the room clears out so apparently they really these songs; it allows them to go do their laundry, catch upon their taxes or whatever else they need to get around to. Man I love this new album; there’s so much shit I haven’t been doing that I’ve been able to get around to. It’s awesome!”
Wylde drew the interview to a close with some words that will make Australian fans salivate just a little:
“We’ll definitely be down there; just keep an eye out on my social media as I post everything that we plan to do there anyway. Because I’m going to be playing with The Boss again, as well doing some other runs for Grimmest Hits and making sure that everyone is doing their taxes! I can’t say whether it will be this year or next year, but it will hopefully be before too long.”