Blog: Zakk Wylde at The Black Label Society Press Conference
Countless albums and tours later, Black Label Society has proven again and again why they are a huge force to be reckoned with in the world of rock n’ roll. On September 24th the band will set out to prove this to their fans once again when they unleash, “Unblackened” onto the waiting world. On Tuesday night our outlet was thrilled to attend an exclusive press conference featuring BLS mastermind, Mr. Zakk Wylde at NYC’s Musicians Collective!
The flash bulbs began to pop as soon as Zakk stormed into the room with a bellowing yet hilarious hello. Wylde immediately began to engage with everyone in the room, explaining both comedically and seriously the method for recording this music and altering their trademark sound for this outing. Between face time with Zakk we were able to get an eye opening preview of their latest effort. “Unblackened” is a mega-loaded live DVD filmed earlier this year at Los Angeles’ Club Nokia featuring Black Label Society presenting their songs in a highly satisfyingly stripped down manner with the use of acoustic instrumentation. Also included in the pack is an audio disc featuring killer covers of “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers and Leon Russell’s “Song For You” just to name a few. The press crew and yours truly were played a selection of both the live DVD and audio disc. Even as I am writing this piece I remain blown away by how tight it sounds. It is seriously that good. The way in which Zakk and The BLS crew reconfigured their seminal songs like: “Losin’ Your Mind”, “The Blessed Hellride” and “Sold My Soul” is nothing short of brilliance. Even if you don’t like metal you’ll find plenty to love here. The all acoustic performance featuring Zakk Wylde on piano for many of the songs is very reminiscent of early Allman Brothers, showing the masses that these guys fully understand the broad circumference of rock music.
To have Zakk hanging out in the room commenting along to the DVD and disc was akin to hanging out with the rocker at home. He’s just a chilled out guy, who just so happens to melt faces on a nightly basis with his guitar licks. A Q&A session would follow with Zakk commenting on wanting to make Black Label Society’s live shows just like a solid rehearsal. He also passes this tip onto new bands who are concerned about how they will sound at a show in front of a crowd. When asked about why they chose to record “Unblackened” Zakk summed it up perfectly stating, “We wanted to do an album of the mellow stuff. Sure I love Led Zeppelins’ “Black Dog” but I also love “Going To California.”
We highly recommend that you pick up a copy of “Unblackened” on September 24th to sink your teeth into yet another chapter of a band who is capable of virtually anything.
- Jay Rubin