nonpoint-the returnNonpoint are set to release their next album entitled ‘The Return’ on September 30th.  Fans can hear the first single, “Breaking Skin”, at, or check it out below.  On releasing the band’s first album in two years frontman Elias Soriano explains, “Last record we stepped in a direction we’ve wanted to for years and our fans revered us for it. This record we have gotten up to speed and dropped the pedal to the floor. I think our fans will embrace this record in a way no other Nonpoint record has been viewed or loved. We left no room for question of what we are trying to accomplish with our music or who we are. We haven’t gone back to old school. We didn’t reflect on our past. We didn’t discuss what works. We are not ‘Statement’ Nonpoint or even ‘Bullet’ Nonpoint… The Return is Nonpoint right the fuck now.”

Fans can preorder the album at, or if that doesn’t satisfy your hunger, you can preorder CD and Merch bundles featuring ‘The Return’ CD, work shirt, zip-up hoodie, trucker hat, and sunglasses at MerchNow.  Nonpoint hits the road beginning August 9th in Birch Run, MI.  Tour dates are listed below.

August 9 – Birch Run, MI – Birch Run Expo Center
September 5 – Ashwaubenon, WI – Green Bay Distllery- Razor Edgefest
September 13 – Janesville, WI – Southern Wisconsin Airport
September 14 – Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line Music Café
September 16 – Waterloo, IA – The Reverb
September 18 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Intersection
September 19 – Ft. Wayne, IN – Parkview Field
September 20 – Dayton, OH – Oddbody’s Music Room
September 21 – Erie, PA – BT Theater
September 24 – Pontiac, IL – Freaksters Roadhouse
September 25 – Chesterfield, MI – Diesel Concert Lounge
September 26 – Libertyville, IL – Austins
September 27 – Ringle, WI – Q&Z Expo Center
September 30 – Lacrosse, WI – The Cavalier Theater
October 1 – Mishawaka, IN – Smith’s Downtown
October 2 – Macomb, IL – The Forum Live
October 4 – Louisville, KY – Louder Than Life


otherwise-2014 band promoPeace comes through struggle. It’s a reward that’s earned rather than simply given. It’s the product of tireless work and an unbreakable spirit against all odds and opposition. OTHERWISE are no strangers to that struggle, rising up to become rock ‘n’ roll contenders in the face of a tumultuous musical climate and a series of personal hardships. The Las Vegas hard alternative rock quintet-Adrian Patrick [vocals], Ryan Patrick [guitar/vocals], Corky Gainsford [drums/vocals], Vassilios Metropoulos [bass], & Andrew Pugh [guitar/vocals]-catalog the next chapter of this journey on their second full-length album, PEACE AT ALL COSTS via Century Media Records.

 Lead single “Darker Side Of The Moon” quickly debuts on the U.S. active rock charts.  The guys have just confirmed a headline tour with Like A Storm & Islander.  Check out the dates below…

08/01     Las Vegas, NV @Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

08/21     Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory

08/22     Spokane, WA @Knitting Factory

08/23     Central Point, OR @ Lithia Motors Amphitheater

 09/11     Tempe, AZ @ Pub Rock Live with Like A Storm & Islander 

09/13     Los Angeles, CA @ Whisky with Like A Storm & Islander 

09/14     Sacramento, CA @ Aftershock Festival

09/16     Colorado Springs, CO @ Sunshine Studios Live with Like A Storm & Islander 

09/18     Ringle, WI @ Q&Z Expo Center with Like A Storm & Islander 

09/19     Racine, WI @ Rt. 20 with Like A Storm & Islander 

09/20     Green Bay, WI @ The Watering Hole with Like A Storm & Islander 

09/21     Battle Creek, MI @ Planet Rock with Like A Storm & Islander 

09/22     South Bend, IN @ Cheers with Like A Storm & Islander 

09/24     Ft. Wayne, IN @ Piere’s with Like A Storm & Islander 

09/25     Morgantown, WV @ Schmitt’s Saloon with Like A Storm & Islander 

09/26     York Sprngs, PA @ Fall Jam 2014 

09/27     Parkersburg, WV @ West Virginia Polo Club with Like A Storm & Islander 

09/29     New York, NY @ Webster Underground with Like A Storm & Islander 

10/01     Cleveland, OH @ Agora Ballrooom with Like A Storm & Islander 

10/03     Flint, MI @ Perani Arena with Like A Storm & Islander 

10/04     Louisville, KY @ Louder Than Life Festival

10/17     Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live Ballroom (with Buckcherry)

For more info visit


liason records logoJuly 21, 2014 – On August 19, Liaison Records will release the 25th Anniversary Edition of Better Than Ezra‘s first studio album, SURPRISE. Originally released on cassette only in 1989 by Swell Records, SURPRISE has been commercially unavailable and highly sought after by “Ezralites” for over two decades. You can check out the lyric video for the first single, “Circle Of Friends” below, and it is also available for download on iTunes & Amazon.

Newly re-mastered, SURPRISE is the only Better Than Ezra album to feature all four original members–Kevin Griffin (vocals, guitar), Joel Rundell (guitar), Tom Drummond (bass) & Cary Bonnecaze (drums).

Better Than Ezra formed in 1988 by Kevin Griffin and Cary Bonnecaze while attending LSU in Baton Rouge. With the addition of Joel Rundell and Tom Drummond, they moved into a house together and began focusing on writing their own songs which they would perform live and ultimately release on their debut studio album.

Cary recounts, “We recorded SURPRISE in a garage studio (literally) during the evenings and after classes, in the course of 5 days.  Once we had the cassettes made, we approached a local record store off the LSU campus to sell the album and within days it became their biggest selling album. We played bars and frat shows throughout the Southeast and sold SURPRISE wherever we could. Things seemed to be going well. Little did we know that within that year our world would change forever.”

“On August 8, 1990, after playing a show at Murphy’s Bar in Baton Rouge, Joel unexpectedly passed away. There is nothing like losing someone who you genuinely love and care for. It wasn’t ‘like’ losing a brother, we did lose a brother. This 25th Anniversary release is dedicated to Joel.

Continuing as a trio, Better Than Ezra released their second album, DELUXE, in 1993 on Swell Records. In 1995, Elektra Records re-released DELUXE and the single, “Good,” which helped push the album to Platinum status by the end of 1995.

As SURPRISE celebrates its 25th anniversary, Better Than Ezra has gone on to scan nearly two million albums in the United States.

rob zombies throatFrom ROB ZOMBIE’s Facebook page:
I am very sorry to everyone who was at RockFest. Believe it or not this is the first time in 29 years I have not been able to finish a show. I have played through many many nights with a fucked voice. I knew it backstage but came out and tried anyway, but failed. I understand people are pissed, but what can you do? It is easy to say “man up and just do it” but when no sound is coming out there is nothing you can do. If you have ever lost your voice before, then you know it doesn’t magically return just because you want it to. If there was a way to do the show I would have done it, as I have many, many times before. Fuck, I done shows where I walked to the side of the stage between songs to vomit I was so sick. Whatever. I’m not looking for sympathy and I don’t expect anyone care but these are the facts.

As far as everyone yelling “I’ve been a fan for 20 years and now I fucking hate you! you pussy rockstar!” What can I say fucking shitty stuff happens sometimes. I tried explaining it into the mic before I left the stage but I could barely croak out a word. Do you think their was any upside to that show for me? Nope, it’s all a big fucking mess that I wish never happened. We are trying to figure out a time and place to make it up to everybody.

I don’t take the fans for granted and I don’t take this situation lightly. My goal is to never let the fans down, but on that night I did. Unfortunately I had no choice.

rob zombie rock festFrom Rock Fest’s Facebook page:
Hey Rock Fest’ers, we understand your frustration completely. We were frustrated right along with you. We again apologize for it taking a while for the show to be officially called by RZ. We were working backstage on every and all options including medical treatment for Rob to see if he could continue with the show. We were fighting for You. Let’s all wish Rob Zombie a speedy recovery. Clearly there is something seriously wrong with Rob’s throat, as this is out of character for him. Thx to Corey Taylor and Stone Sour, P.O.D, Redlight King and Thousand Foot Krutch for killing it on the final day of RF14.

messagetovenusMIAMI, FL – Florida’s 21st Century rock outfit, Message To Venus, has teamed up with Revolver to launch a brand new song, “Hollow,” from the band’s upcoming debut album, Victims & Villains. Stream “Hollow” today exclusively at by clicking here.

“‘Hollow’ is a track about living the life you want,” vocalist/guitarist, Jandre Nadal, told Revolver. “Making your own choices as a person. Not following a shadow of what someone wants for you. This song has a powerful chorus. A lot of people can relate to this subject.”

Message To Venus recently launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for the release and promotion of Victims & Villains. The campaign, available online here, seeks to raise $10,000 during the months of July and August and offers several unique Victims & Villains perks, including advance music, a personalized Message To Venus comic book and more. Money raised during the campaign will be put toward a music video, touring expenses, marketing and more.

Commented the band:

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? The same applies to an album that goes unheard. And we want to be heard!That’s why we’ve decided to make our new album available to you, our closest fans, in advance of the official release date. With your support, we can raise the money needed to properly release and promote our new album, ‘Victims & Villains.’ For your contribution, you’ll receive exclusive perks in return, from an autographed copy of the new album, a limited edition poster to even having your own personalized comic book!”

Victims & Villains was recorded in the band’s native San Juan, Puerto Rico with producer, Leo Alvarez.

Victims & Villains teaser video can be seen below.

The upcoming album follows the 2011 EP, ‘The Envelope,’ which, along with lead single, “Universal You,” drew praise from established artists such as Godsmack and Halestorm while receiving weekly spins at SiriusXM Octane, MusicChoice and more. The track was also featured in the motion picture, The Witness (El Testigo). Stream the “Universal You” music video on YouTube, or scroll down to check it out.

Following the release of ‘The Envelope,’ Message To Venus made the decision to relocate from San Juan to Miami, Fla. “Puerto Rico is beautiful…it’s our home,” explained guitarist, John Feliciano. “We play there as often as we can, but in order to expand globally we want to be planted on soil where touring opportunities are more frequent.”

After being nominated for a Latin Rock Award in the ‘Slam Alternativo/Rock’ category in 2012, as well as participation in the International Day of Non-Violence, Message To Venus successfully employed the help of fans through a crowdfunding campaign and toured the U.S. in 2013.

The quartet is now seeking its dedicated fans’ help again to bring Victims & Villains to the masses. Stay tuned to the campaign page and Facebook for the latest info and updates.

Twenty-Three years after their last record, and nineteen months after the tragic loss of guitarist Mike Scaccia, DFW TX Speed/Thrash Metal pioneers, RIGOR MORTIS, announce the long awaited release of their fourth and final studio album – Slaves to the Grave (Due October 7th via Rigor Mortis Records). This marks the bands first studio album in 23 years, and the first with the classic original line up (Mike Scaccia - guitar, Casey Orr – Bass, Bruce Corbitt – Vocals, and Harden Harrison on drums), since their 1988 eponymous debut album. Recorded less than a year before Mike‘s passing, STTG was to going to herald the bands long overdue comeback. In February 2012, RIGOR MORTIS entered Ministry’s 13th Planet Studios in El Paso, and recorded the 10 tracks that would become Slaves to the Grave.

rigor mortisWhen no labels were willing to release the record (after all there would be no touring to support it, or follow up record), they decided to release it themselves. With no money, they started a fundraising campaign on IndieGoGo. They called in favors from their friends to get the record mixed and mastered just right and get the cover art just the way they envisioned it. They decided to add a behind the scenes “making of” DVD to the initial pressing, and to release it on vinyl. They are all very proud of this record and the history that surrounds it. They have endeavored every step of the way to do justice to the RIGOR MORTIS legacy, and bring honor to Mike Scacciaʼs last recorded testament. We think he’d be proud.

The subject matter hasn’t strayed much. Twisted tales of horror and woe, monsters and madmen, warfare and plague abound! The tracks are fast and heavy as one would expect, but there is also a maturity and growth that only comes with age and experience. Musically, STTG draws from a legacy of brutal influence. The Speed and Thrash Metal that RIGOR MORTIS cut their teeth on is evident throughout the record in the intensity and velocity of tracks like “Flesh For Flies“, but also, one could argue, are influences such as Italian horror soundtracks by Goblin, as heard on the outro solo of “Poltergeist“. While STTG was very much a group effort, and all four came together like a fist to crush all doubt, It has to be said, of course, that the highlight of this record, and indeed RIGOR MORTIS as a whole musically, is Mike Scacciaʼs incredible guitar playing. His freakish speed picking and beautiful sense of melody is mesmerizing. His solos are stupefying. Mikes style was much closer to Paganini, than to say, Mustaine or Dimebag. He was unique.

Without question, this record contains some of Mike‘s finest work. In his zone and with no restraints, he delivered some absolutely stellar performances. His solo at the end of “Blood Bath“, for instance, is absolutely breathtaking, exposing more heart and soul than precious few of his contemporaries possess. RIGOR MORTIS dedicates this record to Mike Scaccia 1965-2012.

Slaves to the Grave Track Listing:
1. Poltergeist 6:05
2. Rain of Ruin 4:21
3. Flesh for Flies 3:39
4. The Infected 3:51
5. Blood Bath 6:36
6. Ancient Horro 3:27
7. Fragrance of Corpse 3:13
8. Curse of the Draugr 3:34
9. Sacramentum Gladiatorum
10. Lududs Magnus 13:56

Oakland-based metal icons, MACHINE HEAD, have posted the fourth installment in their ongoing video blog documenting the creation of the band’s upcoming Nuclear Blast debut.

The band also recently launched their brand new homepage this week. Head over to and check it out!

Machine-Head-01Singer and guitarist Robb Flynn recently posted a new entry on his ongoing online journal “The General Journals: Diary Of A Frontman… And Other Ramblings“. In the newest posting entitled “Is it me you’re lookin’ for…”, the legendary frontman talks about his favorite beer, the new album artwork and more.‪

In April MACHINE HEAD released the prestigious 10“ vinyl EP Killers & Kings featuring the demo version of the title track as well as a cover of the IGNITE classic ‘Bleeding‘. The EP is available in two different colors (red & blue) and can be purchased with four different cover artworks.

The EP is available via the Nuclear Blast Mailorder here. A digital copy can be purchased via iTunes.

Killers & Kings‘ 10” tracking listing:

Side One: Killers & Kings (demo version)

Side Two: Our Darkest Days/Bleeding (IGNITE cover)

I remember growing up in the thrash scene and always wanting to hear the demo version of songs,” commented vocalist/guitarist Robb Flynn. “You searched them out. Thankfully my buddy Jim was a big ‘tape trader,’ and through trading we had both METALLICA demos, EXODUS demos, bootlegs of songs sometimes ‘years’ before they came out. I knew how to play every note of Pleasure Of The Flesh by EXODUS, easily 2 years before the record was out! My friends and I would debate the merits of each, but we all agreed, It was so much cooler to hear it BEFORE the album is out! So we’re gonna do that for you. I can’t wait for you guys to hear this stuff.”

07/10/14 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
07/11/14 Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
07/13/14 Billings, MT @ The Carlin
07/15/14 Fargo, ND @ The Venue
07/17/14 Ft. Wayne, IN @ Piere’s
07/19/14 Oshkosh, WI @ Ford Festival Park **(Rock USA Fest)
07/21/14 Nashville, TN @ Exit/In
07/23/14 Little Rock, AR @ Juanita’s
07/24/14 Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom
07/25/14 Springfield, MO @ Outland Ballroom

Deep Purple, fresh off a European tour to support their 19th studio album NOW What?!, is heading stateside for a North American trek! The tour kicks off August 4 in Scottsdale, AZ (all tour dates below).

NOW What?! was originally released in North America in April 2013 via earMusic / Eagle Rock Entertainment. The album marked the next great chapter in the band’s 40+ year career, blending the classic 70s Deep Purple spirit with modern production and a progressive mindset.

Blazing off the success of NOW What?!, Deep Purple is ready to bring the sizzle to the States this summer!

Deep-Purple08/04/14 Scottsdale, AZ Talking Stick Casino 8:00pm

08/05/14 Ventura, CA Ventura County Fair 8:00pm
08/06/14 Costa Mesa, CA Orange County Fair 8:00pm
08/08/14 Lincoln, CA Thunder Valley Casino Amphitheatre 8:00pm
08/09/14 Roseburg, OR Douglas County Fair 8:00pm
08/10/14 Snoqualmie, WA Snoqualmie Casino 8:00pm
08/13/14 Saratoga, CA Mountain Winery 8:00pm
08/14/14 Valley Center, CA Harrah’s Rincon Casino Event Center 8:00pm
08/15/14 Las Vegas, NV Fremont St. Downtown 8:00pm
08/16/14 Wendover, NV Peppermill Casino Concert Hall 8:00pm
08/20/14 Elgin, IL Festival Park 8:00pm
08/21/14 Windsor, ON Caesars Casino 8:00pm
08/22/14 Rama, ON Casino Rama 8:00pm
08/24/14 Morristown, NJ Mayo PAC 8:00pm
08/25/14 Englewood, NJ Bergen PAC 8:00pm
08/26/14 Westbury, NY NYCB Theatre at Westbury 8:00pm
08/29/14 Biloxi, MS Hard Rock Casino 8:00pm
08/30/14 Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live 8:00pm
08/31/14 Hollywood, FL Seminole Hard Rock Live Arena 8:00pm

terrorExperience authentic hardcore with TERROR’s brand new video for “Shot Of Reality”, taken from their latest album, Live By The Code. Take a step into the pit with behind-the-scenes footage of TERROR on and off the stage, proving to packed venues across the world that genuine, old-school hardcore still lives on.

There is still time to catch TERROR live performing at the 2014 Vans Warped Tour and signing posters at the Alternative Press tent.

View a full list of TERROR tour dates.

JOHN GARCIA is set to release his solo album John Garcia on August 5th in North America on Napalm Records!

john garciaToday the track “Her Bullets Energy” featuring Robby Krieger of The Doors on guitar is receiving its exclusive premiere courtesy of Rolling Stone. Check it out along with an exclusive interview with GARCIA HERE.

For those fans in the New York City area, JOHN GARCIA will be taking part in a special listening party for the new album. The party will take place Monday July 28th at 8:00 PM at Idle Hands Bar in New York City.

With VISTA CHINO, GARCIA makes music very close to his KYUSS roots, but on his self-titled solo album he also ventures out with some experiments and convinces all along the line. This record is full of first-class, catchy rock numbers that commute equally between Classic Rock and concise Stoner elements.

Once you’ve made contact and started ingesting the tracks ‘My Mind‘ or ‘5000 Miles‘, you will see this album is spreading like an infection to the body and one is happy to be involved in the short and crisp ‘Saddleback‘ or ‘Confusion‘, which is strongly rooted in Blues. ‘Her Bullets Energy‘ is the next ultra-bouncer on the record, with the legendary Robby Krieger (THE DOORS) on the guitar. JOHN GARCIA has delivered a multi-faceted and extremely intense solo album that will stir up more dust than a sandstorm in the California desert. Danko Jones, Tom Brayton, Mark Diamond and also GARCIA‘s old cohort of KYUSS Nick Oliveri show up as guest musicians to round out this solo masterpiece.

Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
Raleigh, NC

I just laugh to myself as I think about the “art” of waiting; because it is truly that…an art form. As I sit here, at my age, and think about the longest wait in my life, it was merely 364 days until that new GI Joe showed up under my Christmas tree (Thank You, Santa). But then, I remember…I’ve actually waited patiently for over 7300 days for something just as significant. Something so comforting that not even that hand-knit wool sweater from Grandma could compare. Something so invigorating, that not even a few unnoticed nips at the eggnog would even dare. Something so incredibly, motherfucking, cocksucking, knobby-kneed, hairy-legged, prickly-prickly, tick bitch looking incredible…that even a late 40′s scumbag like me would risk his life and limb to stand in line at the local record store to down right fist fight for a copy…..something so comforting that only the Dirty Boys Of The Underground could satisfy…a new KIX album! Well, here it is….Christmas in July, motherfuckers, 7300 days after we’ve heard a peep of new music out of them; and KIX are back to Rock Your Face Off! Away-Team caught up with bassist Mark Schenker to get the skinny on what the past 7300 days have held secret for so long in the KIX camp and why this legendary 80′s musical force is still relevant enough to put out their first new album of music in 20-years to an audience that’s been force-fed earfuls of cookie-cutter crap in the interim. It’s no bars, down and dirty and brutally honest…just what you’d expect from a guy who went from “fan to man” while those 20-years ticked by. What’s it like to watch your childhood heroes rock a stage…while you’re standing two feet from them? Let’s find out….

An Away-Team Exclusive With KIX Bassist

Mark Schenker


Photo Credit: Mark Weiss

Away-Team:  “Hey buddy, I’ve got so much to discuss here with this being the first inkling of KIX music the world has heard in the past twenty years (chuckles), but there’s just so much to talk about, man, let’s just jump right in, okay?”

Mark:  “Go, man….”

Away-Team:  “Roger that…So, twenty years… a new KIX record with all new music: Why?  I mean, us fans love the nostalgia, the tried and true…just good ol’ KIX, man.  You know?”

Mark:  “I hear you, but Craig, you know this about me…I am the biggest KIX fan ever!  I grew up listening to and idolizing those guys.  You know this.  The fans DO want to hear new KIX music.  I’m serious.  I want to hear my favorite band put out new music.  The fans agree!  They tell us all the time.  People do want a new KIX album and I’m here to tell you, I couldn’t be more proud than to be a part of giving it to them.”

Away-Team: “Now, just for the record, I wasn’t saying new music from KIX wouldn’t be cool as hell, but with you, Jimmy and Steve doing FUNNY MONEY (, Ronnie doing The Blues Vultures (, and Brian in Rhino Bucket (, it’s not like the fans weren’t hearing cool new music from their heroes. I mean, new music is great, but I’m simply saying, you didn’t have to do it and you would have still had the fans in droves.”

Kix - Live AfterShow

Photo Credit: Nadine Joy

Mark: “You’re probably right on the money, but as much as we’ve enjoyed the KIX fan support of our other bands, this was still way bigger than just KIX. This was about fans that we have all over the world who have been supporting us since the day the band went on hiatus back in ’95. This was a give-back to the fans that have loved and supported Steve, Ronnie, Brian and Jimmy for all these years. You know, I include myself in that fan base as well. I wanted to hear this record too!!!”

Away-Team: “So why not release it way back during the first of the reunion shows, in like 2003?”

Mark: “Good point, but none of us were sure if it was not just going to be a quick, one or two off, you know? We had no idea when all this started back up that it was going to be accepted like this or blow up the way it did. Once it became apparent that people were still coming to the shows, supporting us the way they did, we realized this was more than just playing a few shows and calling it a day. New music was something that the fans wanted; they love Steve, Jimmy, Ronnie and Brian! I mean, I count myself in that fan base…I love these guys too. And I’m not just saying that because they’re my friends and I get the chance to play in a band with them all…I love these guys and I love the whole KIX vibe, I always have! This album is for people like me, you…everyone who loved these guys in the 80’s and still love them 30-plus years later.”

Away-Team:  “Well, let’s talk about the new record; it’s called Rock Your Face Off, and it’s a smoker, man! [Editor’s Note: See Bam-Bam’s review of the album here:]

Mark: “Thanks, man. We’re pretty proud of it. I think it will be exactly what the fans are looking for. I mean, it’s got Ronnie and Brian’s fantastic guitar solos all over the place, Jimmy Chocolate, my favorite drummer in the world, just slingin’ lumber and then Steve’s voice; it still sounds amazing. The guy is a force of nature.”

Away-Team: “Yeah, he’s ‘okay’! (laughter all around) Seriously though, I remember you telling me a while back that the album was in the can last year. Why is it being released like, almost a year later?”

Mark: “We had some legal loose-ends to tie up. The release date was set for exactly 3-months from the time we signed the deal with our label [Loud & Proud Records], and we couldn’t legally do that until we were out of our old deal, so it took a ridiculous amount of behind the scenes work to get everything taken care of. We actually finished recording it all back in, like the end of October of last year.”


Photo Credit: Mark Weiss


Away-Team: “And I am not sure how many people know this or not, but you are kind of an accomplished producer who did both the FUNNY MONEY albums Skin To Skin and Stick-It as well. You’ve worked alongside Beau Hill (Warrant, Winger, Ratt, early KIX) on some of that stuff too. Why didn’t you double-duty on this one?”

Mark: “As much as I would have loved to be the one to produce the new KIX album, we needed to bring in someone who knew and was intimately familiar with the KIX sound from the inside and someone who could possibly contribute to the writing process as well. It was actually Brian that came up with the idea to use Taylor Rhodes. A lot of KIX fans may not know this, but he was the obvious choice because he worked on Blow My Fuse and Hotwire, he co-wrote like a lot of the big KIX fan-favorite hits, not to mention he wrote Aerosmith’s “Cryin” and a ton of other big songs that still get played…we didn’t know if he’d do it or not, but Brian hit him up to ask and courted him so to speak he came up from Nashville and stayed at my house during the whole demoing and recording process…”

Away-Team: “Which, I’d like to add, your house is like also a state-of-the-art recording facility that basically allows you to live there when it’s not humming with sound, so I’m sure there were many late nights when you two probably hopped out of bed and ran down the hall to the control room and tracked ideas as they streamed through your heads, right? (laughs)”

Mark: “Oh man, totally! That guy is just awesome! I mean, we had a few things that I had done with outside writers like “You’re Gone”“Wheels In Motion”“Rock-N-Roll Showdown”…and then Steve had some really great stuff he was working on with “Tail On The Wag”“Inside Outside Inn”…I mean, we all had a ton of ideas and completed songs so when Taylor showed up, it got real serious, real quick. We had like 30 song in fairly complete form that were all decent demos and he just came in and said, “Yep”, “Nope”, “This is good”, “No way”…there’s no grey area with him, man…it’s all cut and dry. Taylor came up with a better bridge and the whoa whoas for a song I wrote with another writer called “Love Me With Your Top Down”, which is the first single…”

Away-Team: “A very good choice, I might add….”

Mark: “Thanks, bro! We think so too. I actually loved “Rollin’ In Honey”, but everyone pretty much agreed that “Top Down” was the one to launch first, so that decision was pretty easy. At first the title track was going to be the single but we’re saving that one!”

Kix Group Shot

Photo Credit: Mark Weiss

Away-Team: “Did you engineer the record? I know you couldn’t just sit still in that studio, bro. I’ve known you too long to see that happening. (laughter)”

Mark: “Yeah, I engineered the guitars, bass and vocals – everything but the drums. We had a good friend of ours, Scott Spellbring, record and engineer the drums at his studio in Fairfax, Virginia. It was Cue Studios and they had all the awesome mics, the great room…we recorded in the “Red Room” there, everything we possibly needed to record drums for album quality. Scott did an awesome job, which was great because I had enough on my plate with the rest of the stuff, so it just worked out better doing it that way. But everything else was done in my studio.”

Away-Team: “Did that make it easier for the whole band to be a part of the writing process on this one? I mean, this was totally a communal effort, right?”

Mark: “Absolutely! I think it would be more accurate to call it the “creative process”. We all took part in the entire creative process from the beginning. There were some songs that we had that I thought were really great that I just loved and we tried to sell those over and over to Taylor, but they just weren’t KIX songs. As it turns out he was right. So, the creative process was an all-around band effort when deciding the songs we were going to present to Taylor, the writing, the performance…it was a total band effort with Taylor absolutely being that 6th member!”

Away-Team: “How about the running order of the tracks, bro? I mean, I’m probably not alone when I say that the first two KIX albums [Self-Titled and Cool Kids] were just very well put together. The song order JUST MADE SENSE! Everything flowed, everything rocked….total bombast from start to finish. Did you guys go for this when figuring out the running order?”

Mark: “(laughs) Well, I’ll tell you, I think we all knew that “Wheels [In Motion]” was going to be the opener because Tom Lipsky from our record label loved that song as well and we all thought it was just the perfect kickoff to a new album, so that one was pretty much set from the beginning. Steve actually, he creates the setlist when we perform live, and all of us usually banter back and forth over email about the order the songs are going to be played in a live setting, so Steve, he came up with an album order that he liked and Taylor, he came up with an order that he liked from riding around in his car in Nashville listening to the tracks over and over, and like Taylor is intense…he either does it full-on 10 or he doesn’t even bother which is why I think he and I got along so well so fast (laughs), so Taylor had this killer running order, and the funny thing is…it just so happened, that Taylor’s order….and keep in mind, he hadn’t even seen Steve’s email with his choice of running order…both of them pretty much had the exact same running order list that became what you guys are going to hear on the album! There was like maybe only two or three songs that were slightly different but in the same section, and Steve liked Taylor’s better, so we pretty much went with Taylor’s order. It was weird!”

Away-Team: “All meant to be, I guess…you can’t argue with lucky situations in this business, you know what I mean?”


Photo Credit: Mark Weiss

Mark: “So true, Craig. Very, very true. Happy accidents. This whole thing has just been a lucky situation for me, man. I can’t tell you how crazy it all is. I get to see one of my favorite bands in the world, every time they play live….with the best seat in the house. It’s just amazing! Sometimes, when I’m like playing a groove and Steve’s doing his thing with the audience, I just stand there…even after 11-12 years in the band, two feet from the guy and I’m like, ‘That’s Steve Whiteman. And behind me is fucking Jimmy “Chocolate” [Chalfant]…oh, and there’s Ronnie and Brian running around playing some fierce motherfucking guitar’…it’s just amazing, man. And like I said at the very beginning, I think the rest of the fans feel that way too. These guys are loved the world over. They’re just great people, great musicians, and the fans can’t get enough of them. You’re right. This business is crazy like that and I can’t believe sometimes that I get to be a part of all this. I feel like some sort of radio contest winner every night we play! Now, I’m in the band…I get to be a part of it all and still see these guys play their asses off every night…with the best seat in the joint!  (we both crack up laughing)”

Away-Team: “Nice, brother.  I’m proud of you.  Hey, before we wrap it up, let’s talk about what you’re listening to nowadays.  I know you and I have always talked “new music” with each other for years; shit that rocks, stuff with great production, odd-ball crap…what are you listening to these days?”

Mark:  “Oh gosh!  It depends on what kind of mood I’m in, you know?  I’m a music teacher as well for a school called Bach To Rock in McLean, Virginia, and I get to hear all these new bands that my students turn me on to.  I mean, it’s really weird because I’m a bass player and I spend most of my time teaching guitar. They give me all the hard rock and metal kids! (laughs)  So, I hear a lot of different styles.  I mean, I love Avenged Sevenfold as far as the heavy stuff goes.  And I’ve been a huge fan of Bullet For My Valentine for a while.  Those guys just write great music and that dude can sing his ass off, they are cocky as fuck live, they know how good they are and it’s a beautiful thing to watch, and I love his voice!  I’m also really into this new band Blackberry Smoke that Brian [“Damage” Forsythe] turned me on to.  I know everyone compares them to Lynyrd Skynyrd, but I have no problem with that…I love Skynyrd and these guys are projecting similar, swampy kind of thick ass vibe as well.  And of course, as far as bass stuff goes, I’ve always been a huge Billy Sheehan fan and he and Ritchie Kotzen have this band The Winery Dogs along with Mike Portnoy on drums and they’re just earth shattering, they make you wanna sell your instruments and go sell oranges or something!  I just wanna hang it up after seeing them! I really like Asking Alexandria too.  They’re really heavy with a lot of attitude and I love that!  I also love Brad Paisley as far as Country music goes because he’s a great guitarist and I don’t know if a lot of people know this, but he won a Grammy Award for his vocals, man.  He’s got a killer voice!  I even like the band FUN, hell, Steve likes FUN, I’ll pretty much go see anything live, even saw Christina Perri recently but don’t print that! (laughs).  Good music is good music, right?  I may not go buy all their records, but I’ll go see them live and support them.  This kind of thing inspires me and makes me know I still need to go practice my ass off! (laughs)”

Away-Team:  “I hear you, loud and clear.  You said it best; “Good Music is Good Music”.  So, in conclusion, is there any message from Mark Schenker and the KIX army that you want to say to the fans, the people you adore, the ones who can’t wait to get this record and have something else to add to their long-standing KIX collections?”

Mark:  “Yeah, I kinda touched on it at the beginning of the interview, but my personal message to the KIX fans is that I am just really happy that you get to hear your favorite KIX guys play new music.  I really am.  I’m the biggest KIX fan that just accidentally happens to be in the band, so I’m really excited that we all get to enjoy this together, Craig.  You, me, the fans…get ready…here it comes….”

Away-Team:  “You’re coming to Rock Our Face Off!!! (laughs)”

Mark:  “You bet!”

Away-Team:  “Thanks, buddy.  You know I’m real proud of you and can’t wait to see the band enjoy their much deserved success, albeit even if it’s 35-years later than it should have been!  Give em’ hell, bro!”

Mark:  “Thanks, Craig…we’ll see you guys, as they say in KIX world, coming soon to a dump near you!!”


Photo Credit: Marcy Royce

And so ended a conversation that could have continued for another two hours considering Mark is an encyclopedia of Recording Production knowledge, Music History and every strange topic you’d ever imagine from The Discovery Channel – Mark’s close friends actually call him “Mark-ipedia” – because he seems to know something about everything! Check out the boys on the road as they bust out in support of Rock Your Face Off (Loud & Proud Records) which will hit stores and online retail outlets on August 5th. Head over to for all the tour schedules and more, and “Like” them on Facebook: A special thanks to Amanda Cagan at ABC Publicity for all the love getting this interview set up, and to the gang at Loud & Proud Records for their support of the staff here at Away-Team.

From the LATimes:

johnny wintersTexas blues icon Johnny Winter, who rose to fame in the late 1960s and `70s for his energetic performances and musical collaborations including with childhood hero Muddy Waters, has died. He was 70.

His representative, Carla Parisi, confirmed Thursday that Winter died in a hotel room in Zurich a day earlier. The statement said his wife, family and bandmates were all saddened by the loss of one of the world’s finest guitarists.

He had been on an extensive tour this year that brought him to Europe. His last performance came Saturday at the Lovely Days Festival in Wiesen, Austria.

Winter was one of the most popular live acts of the early 1970s, when his signature fast blues guitar solos attracted a wide following.

His career received a big boost early on when Rolling Stone magazine singled him out as one of the best blues guitarists on the Texas scene. This helped secure a substantial recording contract from Columbia Records and gave him a wide following among college students and young blues fans.

The magazine later named him one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

Nothing in my entire career will ever parallel what you are about to read here.  This is an interview from my early days of music journalism when I wrote for the amazing EDGE Magazine and my friend/magazine editor Tom Taylor.  The date was March 13, 2003 and in true,  Throwback Thursday fashion, things were way better back then.  Dimebag was still alive, music was flourishing for Rock bands again and things just felt good in the Universe.  There’s really no way to intro this other than to say, this is, without question, the most insane, informative, hilarious and yet hauntingly sad interview (for reasons that are apparent by the changes we’ve seen over these past 11-years since it was written) interview I have EVER done in my life!  It is my favorite piece of any I’ve written.  I hope you’ll understand why and enjoy it as much as I did.  Here it is, in its entirety and as it appeared over two issues of EDGE Magazine:

“Honey, I Broke The F%$king Phone”

An Exclusive Interview With BLACK LABEL SOCIETY’s Zakk Wylde

BLS - Guitar pose

My first introduction to the amazing guitar skills and musical virtuosity that is Zakk Wylde came in 1988, as it did for most anyone who was a fan of Ozzy. The 18 year old wunderkind was touted as the new Randy Rhoads, and Ozzy was very vocal about his new discovery. I, along with a million watchful eyes and ears, took heed and grabbed my copy of Ozzy’s No Rest For The Wicked the minute it hit the stores that year. My first step before putting the cassette into my car stereo was to check out what this ‘kid’ looked like. I’m sure every Zakk fan remembers doing the same thing, and I’m sure they even remember the striking resemblance that he had to the late Randy Rhoads. But could he play? Oh sure, we all laugh at the question now, but back then, this was serious business. This kid was coming in to fill the shoes of two of the greatest guitar players the 80′s had ever seen: Randy Rhoads and Jake E. Lee! Well, our questions were answered in the first fifteen seconds of the lead-off track, “Miracle Man”. Yes, this kid could play… and he could also play every bit of the Rock-N-Roll lifestyle that was necessary to remain one of the Ozzy camp’s longest standing members, sans ol’ Ozzy himself. Many albums later, including a few solo projects like the underrated PRIDE & GLORY and BOOK OF SHADOWS, Zakk went headfirst into a solo career that, to this day, boasts the most rabid fan base spanning at least three generations! Ozzy himself is the only artist who can top Zakk’s popularity, and since Ozzy continues to welcome Zakk into the fold each year to play, record and just hang out with him, one can honestly say that this musical and personal friendship will certainly continue forever, placing both men in the history books as Rock Music’s Elite! On his own, Zakk Wylde is the fret-burning machine he’s always demonstrated with Ozzy, however, as a solo artist with his band BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, he is a voice to be heard, as well. Handling all the lead vocals, guitars and song writing, Zakk has created a new style that has been unsuccessfully copied, stolen and bastardized beyond recognition. Does he care? In his own words, “Fuck No!” Why should he? When you’ve cornered the market on individual style that is as true to you as the blood that runs through your veins, you don’t have to worry about the ‘next guy’. I remember in 1999 when Zakk released his first BLACK LABEL SOCIETY record called Sonic Brew. I was talking to a record producer and A&R guy in New Jersey who had just seen him introduce the band at a local club. Both made note of the fact that Zakk was THE ultimate definition of ‘Rock-N-Roll’, from his look, to his deadly attack on his trade. The conversation rolled around to the production on that particular album and I clearly remember them both saying that they “hadn’t heard a record produced that loud and balls-out” in their life. Pretty strong words, but ones with plenty of backing if one should need it. Just try and listen to those early singles like “Bored To Tears” on this classic piece of molten Metal without having to adjust your volume knob down! It’s so heavy it pushes against your damn sternum like a sheet metal hole punch. And who can forget the blast created inside your poor eye-sockets from last year’s 1919 Eternal album? I could go on and on praising this man, his band, and his work with projects like the 2001 major motion picture ROCKSTAR, which featured his work with the movie screen psuedo-band STEEL DRAGON, but why? He’s on the phone, right now, and it’s only 12:30 in the afternoon, so we’re bound to catch him after a good night’s sleep. What do you say we let Zakk tell us how it’s all done? Be prepared, however, because if you ever thought you had cornered the market on the most colorful ways to use the ‘F-Word’, if you’re a fan of FOO-FIGHTERS front man Dave Grohl, or if you’re against cruelty to nature that involves driving over a live Christmas tree in a rented 4×4 truck on the lawn of party pal, PANTERA guitarist Dimebag Darrell’s sprawling estate, you might want to take your Geritol and go back to bed! Here he is, ladies and the rest who call themselves men… the maniacal, string shredding monster we all love…

Mr. Zakk Wylde… Ozzfest 2005 [phone rings at 12:30 p.m., it's SPITFIRE Records' head of P/R, Anthony Syme]

TONY: “Hey Bamster, you ready, bro? I got Zakk on the conference line.”

B2: “Tony, I’ve been ready for this since we talked about it in November of last year. Put that maniac through, beyoootch! (laughs)”

TONY: “(laughs) O.k., hold on, I’m gonna put you on hold for a second and then I’ll be right back. It’ll be me you hear, then Zakk, hang tight. [30-second pause] O.k., Bam-Bam, here’s Zakk… enjoy!”

B2: “Thanks Tony, tell Jon in Publicity I said I owe him a couple shots of Jaeger when I’m in New York. Zakk, are you there, bro?”

ZAKK: “[through terrible reception] Yeah, buddy, I’m here. How are you?”

B2: “I’m doing great… You know, I’m having a hell of a time hearing you. It sounds like either our conference line is fucked up, or one of us has bad reception here.”

ZAKK: “Goddamnit! It’s probably this motherfucking phone, bro. This piece of shit fucking sucks. My wife just spent fucking over 200 bucks on this piece of fucking crap, and I still can’t make a goddamn phone call with any decent fucking reception. Look bro, you wanna call me back and see if that’s any better?”

B2: “Well, I can do that, or I can give you my 800 number and you can call me so you don’t have to feel all weird giving out your home phone number. It’s up to you. Let me give you my number…”

ZAKK: “O.k., hold on, let me get a fucking pen or something to write with. (To his wife) Honey, you gotta pen or something, this motherfucking phone is still fucking up and I’m gonna have to call EDGE Magazine back to do this fucking interview because of this fucking phone! Now, I can’t find anything to fucking write with, Bam. Here, let me give you my number and you call me right back.”

B2: “O.k., shoot.” [Writer's Note: Now you didn't really think I was going to publish this part, did you?] Alright Zakk, I’ll call you right back. Hang tight.” [I redial THE number and although the reception is somewhat better, we're still pretty static-laden!]

B2: “Well, Zakk, this looks like it’s the best it’s gonna get, bro. Let’s do this thing! Seems someone like you shouldn’t have to be at the liberty of the phone company for decent service, bro. Let’s go bust some balls on the phone company, whatta ya say? (laughs)”

ZAKK: “No fuckin’ shit! I can’t believe we blew all this fucking money on these motherfucking phones and you can’t even talk on the motherfuckers. It sounds like horseshit! So, anyway, how are you doing, bro, you doing good?”

B2: “Doing great, Zakk. It’s been a long time, you know. The last time we spoke was back in ’99 when you were doing the P/R for Sonic Brew, right?”

ZAKK: “Oh, who fucking knows, man. I’m pumping out so many motherfucking albums, it’s nuts!”

B2: “(laughs) Well, it goes without saying that you’ve got a slew of fans in the Southeast and I’ve got the fortunate opportunity of having an online addition to the magazine which allows me to get the readers to post some questions that they want to ask you. So, with your permission, I’m going to throw a few of those in, and get you to attack those as well.”

ZAKK: “Oh, hell yeah, that’s cool! As long as it’s not like a bunch of POISON wannabes tryin’ to beat me down, cuz you know I only go with the originals on that shit! (laughs)”

B2: “So, I take it you’re not a fan of the 80′s Glam/Hair bands from back in the day?”

ZAKK: “Oh no, I love that shit. It is what it is. I just can’t stand someone who’s out there trying to be someone else. Those guys in POISON are great, man! They did their own thing and they did it better than anyone else. You can’t fault that. I’m really good friends with Brett and those guys. They had some good tunes. It’s just the fucking poser ass copycats that piss me off. You know what I mean? I can’t stand people who ask questions that are all about how to be just like someone else, cuz that’s bullshit. You can’t be POISON; they’ve already done it. You can’t be OZZY, for one because you’d need two livers (laughs), and for another because there’s only one OZZY. You know what I mean?”

B2: “(laughs) Absolutely! These questions that the readers have are all about gaining knowledge about you, not copying, so I think you’ll have fun with these.”

ZAKK: “Hell yeah, that rocks. Let’s do ‘em all!” [Zakk and I take a brief pause from the interview here to do some funny P/R sound-bytes to promote the interview for the EDGE Magazine Online Website. Needless to say, they are fucking poetry and will be worth every bit of your time to check out and even request copies. On one of these, I ask Zakk to say "Hey, this is Zakk Wylde from BLACK LABEL SOCIETY and I'll take a couple of those Page 5 Girls with nothing on them... to go!" Here's what he says about my request.]

ZAKK: “(laughs) Oh shit, I don’t know if my wife will like that one too much. (laughs)”

B2: “Fuck! I forgot. She’s standing right there in the same room, isn’t she?”

ZAKK: “(laughs) Yeah, I can see it now… She’ll look over at me and say, ‘What did you just fucking say?’ (laughs) Then she’ll kick my fucking ass! (laughs).”

B2: “Oh, dude, I’m not gonna get you busted out, bro. I’ll just start in with the interview to avoid massive pain and agony! (laughter all around) O.k., Zakk, here’s one from the readers: What do you mean when you refer to your style as ‘Chicken Pickin’?”

ZAKK: “Well, you can ask any guitar player and I think they’re familiar with it. It’s when you’re using your fingers and doing banjo rolls and that shit. You know, Steve Morse from the DIXIE DREGS [as well as KANSAS and late 90's era DEEP PURPLE] does a lot of that, like the country guitar playing. I use it a bit, it’s pretty basic to do, but when you see someone do it who is really well-versed in the style, dude, it’s amazing to watch. Check out Morse, he’s the shit with that stuff, the old DIXIE DREGS stuff is the place to go for that shit. Killer!”

B2: “O.k. here’s something I have always wanted to ask you since we spoke last. A few years ago, I was in a conversation with some friends of mine in the record industry and they both made mention about seeing you live when BLACK LABEL was first doing club shows, and each of them made reference to your whole Rock-N-Roll demeanor as being, ‘The Real Thing’. From the chain hanging around the waste, to the stance you have on-stage, right down to the way you step up to the mic to sing. It’s always done so hardcore Rock-N-Roll, that there’s no denying that Zakk Wylde is the epitome of the art!”

ZAKK: “I’ve been trying to convince my old lady of that for a while, but she ain’t fucking buying it. (laughs)”

B2: “(laughs) Well, the question that I wanted to put out there was, since people are so compelled to make these Top Ten and Top Twenty lists that refer to the ‘What To Do’ and ‘What Not To Do’ things in a category, I thought it would be cool to get the lowdown on ‘Zakk Wylde’s Top Five Things That Are Necessary To Be A Rocker’. Are you up for it?”

ZAKK: “Absolutely! Let’s see, first… Well, this one is obvious. First thing is Don’t Be An Asshole! Second is, Don’t Buy Your Own Shit! Third would have to be to Keep Playing Your Motherfuckin’ Ass Off! You gotta just keep practicing every motherfucking day. Fourth would be mandatory, Drink Lots Of Motherfuckin’ Beer! And….

B2: “You got one more, bro. Don’t give out on me now.”

ZAKK: “Shit, ummm… O.k., number five is Fuck The Living Crap Outta Your Old Lady! That should be number one, shouldn’t it? (laughs)”

B2: “(laughs) You almost said something in that stutter that got your ass in trouble didn’t you? (laughs)”

ZAKK: “(laughs) I only had one more to go, so I figured I better say something like that, so I didn’t leave anybody out. (laughs) That’s still a good one though, isn’t it, bro?”

B2: “Most definitely. Ass is always a good thing and making sure your lady thinks or knows it’s always hers that you’re banging is even better! (laughs)”

ZAKK: “(laughs) I hear ya, bro! I’m right there with ya, I read you loud and clear. (laughs) You’re gonna get me in trouble. (laughs) Next question…. (busts out laughing) I can’t hear you Bam-Bam, it must be this bad reception… (laughs)”

B2: “Oh, go ahead and blame the bad reception, bitch. Don’t start getting all pussy whipped on me! (laughs) O.k., we’ll move on. Let’s go the complete opposite and find out, ‘Zakk’s Top Five Things That Aren’t Rock-N-Roll’. And don’t just say ‘The opposite of everything I just said,’ that wouldn’t make good reading, bro. (laughs)”

ZAKK: “Umm, well, number one would have to be Not Being Yourself Or Doing Everything That Other People Tell You Is Cool. That pisses me off when I see people being like that. Number two is Being A Lazy-Ass Motherfucker. That’s not cool. Ummm, number three… When People Drink All Your Fuckin’ Beer And Don’t Pay For Any Of It. That’s bullshit. I hate that fucking shit!”

B2: “(laughs) But isn’t that like half your fucking friends, Zakk? (laughs)”

ZAKK: “(laughs) Hell yeah, (to his wife) He said my friends come over and drink all my beer and don’t pay for any of it. (laughs) Ain’t that the fuckin’ truth. Geez, I got tears coming out of my motherfuckin’ eyes over here.”

B2: “O.k., next…”

ZAKK: “Umm, If You Fuck Up One Of My Les Pauls.”

B2: “O.k., you’ve got one more.”

ZAKK: “Oh shit, I don’t know. Ummm, last one would be… If You Fuck Up Two Of My Les Pauls. (laughs) How’s that?”

B2: “Hey, I’m not gonna argue with you, bro. I’m afraid you’ll stick your woman on me and she’ll beat my ass like she does you! (laughs) Listen, since we’re in a shit-talking mood right now, let’s see how much I can drag out of you. I was a huge fan of Ozzy’s last album, Down To Earth, which you played on. You, however, have been quoted many times as not being a fan of this record, at all. Can we talk about that? Why were you so angry with this album?” BLS - Blessed

ZAKK: “Well, put it this way, Tim Palmer, the producer, did a great job. Sonically, I think the thing sounds great. The only thing that I made a big fucking stink about was that there were songs, umm, this whole thing got blown outta proportion. You know, I’m an Ozzy fan and I’m a SABBATH freak, and I love that shit. The music means something to me, you know what I mean? Obviously when I play this stuff, whether it’s with fucking Ozzy, or whatever., I’m not just showing up for a fucking paycheck. I never thought of myself as a side guy in any band I’ve ever played in. When I do a record with a band or my own stuff, it’s like, ‘Here’s Our New Shit’! I’ve always helped to write everything I’ve ever played on and put in my two-cents, so I always have come away feeling proud of what I have played. That wasn’t the case here. You always have this feeling that you wanna blow your fucking friends away when they hear your new fucking shit, and with this record… well, we had all these goddamn songs in a pile that we could have picked from, and here they are pushing these damn OFFSPRING songs on me and all this pussy crap that Dave Grohl wrote, and I mean it was all just God fucking awful, bad, terrible horseshit! I’m just speaking on behalf of the whole fucking Ozzy legion of fans here. That’s all I’m representing! I mean Sharon [Osbourne] wanted me to go down there and be a part of that process, and I’m like, ‘I don’t fucking want to go down there. I might get fucking scabies or something from these record company pricks,’ you know? You go down there with all these record company pukes and it’s like, ‘Why the fuck am I doing this?’ Half the time it’s like you’re talking to a brick fucking wall anyway. I don’t have time for that shit. I’m nothing but some stupid, douche bag, Mick, kraute, guitar player. They don’t give a fuck! But, you know what I mean? The whole thing was like, ‘Zakk, we really want your opinion on this thing.’ So, I’m like, ‘You really want my motherfucking opinion? You actually wanna know what the fuck I think?’ And they’re like, ‘Yes.’ So, I tell ‘em, ‘I’ll tell you right fuckin’ now that this shit you’re playing for me, if you expect me to play this shit onstage, you’re fucking nuts! We’ll get bottled to death, probably even fucking shot!’ I’m like, ‘Are you guys fucking high? Listen to this fucking shit! Anyone who likes Ozzy does not dig this fucking shit. They hate the fucking bands that the producers are blowing to write this shit, how can this make any sense to an Ozzy fan? This shit is like fucking kryptonite!’ Then the fucking assholes come back at me and say, ‘Hey, Zakk, you don’t have to be all like that!’ (laughs) What the fuck? They asked me my motherfucking opinion! Kiss my fucking ass, goddamnit! Don’t ask me if you don’t want to know what I think, Mr. Fucking Record Company Guy!! What the fuck do they want me to do, lie? Tell them I love this shit? I tell you what, I’m surprised that the Ozzy fans just didn’t fucking shoot us. It was that bad! They were all in my face saying, ‘You know we can’t be making PANTERA or SLAYER Records, Zakk.’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, no fucking kidding, asshole, but we can do shit like ALICE IN CHAINS, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS, stuff like that,’ you know what I mean? I mean, that’s pretty heavy shit that can be commercial if it has to be, and they were like, ‘Uuuh, we don’t know. We’ll think about it.’ Yeah, right. Kiss my fucking ass you bunch of record company fucks!” [Writer's Note: So, it wasn't as hard as I thought to get Zakk to open up about this subject! But would he do the same for all the rumors about his hatred for Dave Grohl? Shit, are you kidding? This is Zakk Wylde we're talking about here.]

B2: “So, Tim Palmer wasn’t the one you really had the beef with on that one, it was the songwriters, right?”

ZAKK: “No, I never had anything against Tim Palmer. He did a great job producing that record. It was the fucking songwriters. Hell, I mean they wouldn’t even put those fucking crap ass songs on their own shitty fucking records, so why should I think it’s a great idea to play them on one of Ozzy’s. Oh, go ahead and pawn your fucked up songs off on the Godfather Of Metal. Now, that makes perfect fucking sense, doesn’t it? Shit!”

B2: “Now, Dave Grohl is one of the names that stands out as having a hand in the songwriting for this record. What was the deal between you and him?”

ZAKK: “Oh shit, now that motherfucker, back in the day, was bagging on Heavy Metal kids when NIRVANA was going through their heyday and shit. I remember reading a thing and he was like, ‘Well, you know, our fucking fans aren’t like those stupid Heavy Metal kids!’ Now here I am saying to myself, ‘Hey, you asshole! That’s me you’re talking about!’ Ever since I read that, I’m like, ‘Fuck that motherfucker.’ And now that like NIRVANA and all that horseshit is fucking done, that pussy ass motherfucker wants to jump on the bandwagon with the whole ‘Heavy’ thing, and I’m like, ‘You know what? You can wear your fucking MOTORHEAD shirt all you want, cause that’s about the closest you’re gonna ever get to a fucking heavy riff ever, you fucking cunt!’”

B2: “Ummm, hey Zakk, how do you really feel about the whole Dave Grohl thing? (laughs from both ends of the phone)”

ZAKK: “Dude, I had to play that fucking piece of shit song he wrote in the studio. Man, I’m glad you asked me what the fuck I think about him. Nobody else has the balls to ask me that shit because they’re scared of what I’m gonna say. What I’m saying ain’t scary; it’s the fucking truth. If the truth fucking scares people, then fuck them. I didn’t get into this business to bottle my shit up and lie about somebody’s music and shit. I mean, you can listen to what you want to listen to, but if someone wants to know what I think, I’m gonna fucking tell them. Fuck that lying shit! That shit’s for pussies!”

B2: “I hear you, but his song didn’t actually make it onto the album, did it?”

ZAKK: “No it didn’t get on the record, but still I had to play on that fucking piece of shit in the studio. And now that motherfucker is jumping on the wagon with all those people he was dissin’ before. When we play our heavy shit it’s like, ‘Dude, just fuck off, take your goddamn MOTORHEAD shirt and shove it up your fuckin’ ass and get the fuck outta here!’ You know, that’s like Kip Winger wearing a fucking SLAYER shirt! He’ll wear it just so he looks cool. I remember when we opened up for that fucking piece of shit band CRAZYTOWN, we went on before them at OZZFEST. We crucified them fuckers every night, and I remember the fucking singer getting bottled right there on stage after they’d go on right after we played. People didn’t want to hear that candy-ass bullshit! The singer is like, ‘Dude, can you hook us up with some fuckin’ merch? Man, we’re down wit the BLACK LABEL brothers!’ (laughs) I told Tim, our tour manager, ‘If that motherfucker wants any of our shit, tell him to go fucking buy it like everybody else. Fuck that little weasel and his piece of crap band!’ You know what I mean? He wants to wear our shit on stage in front of our audience so everybody will think they’re cool and not throw bottles and shit at them when they try to go on after us. (laughs) Like our fans are gonna go, ‘Wow, I guess they’re friends with the BLACK LABEL guys!’ Bullshit! Get the fuck outta here with that stupid shit! Damn pussies! (laughs)”

B2: “(laughs) You know, I don’t want to point the finger, and put the blame on Sharon with all of this, but I can name a bunch of bands that have no business being on OZZFEST, let alone headlining in front of BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, but who’s fault is that shit? I know it’s all about introducing new bands to the world, but I just feel that OZZFEST is not the place to do a lot of experimenting around like that. I have never personally attended an OZZFEST in my life, and I get labels throwing tickets at me left and right each year to do so, but I’ve got to tell you, if I ever did go, it would be late in the day, and only to see bands like you, MARILYN MANSON, OZZY and maybe this year, CRADLE OF FILTH. I’m not really down with any of the other bands on the bill.”

ZAKK: “I was just talking about this the other day with some guy that worked at one of the labels, he was talking about how fucking pathetic some of this shit is, and I’m like thinking to myself, you know this year, you’re gonna have some fucking new bands out there like that band SHADOW’S FALL. Those guys can fucking rip on some guitars and they’re like a bunch of fucking young kids. Man, obviously they listen to guys like Dime (PANTERA), and Randy Rhoads, you know what I mean? As far as I’m concerned, they’re playing their fucking instruments, and they’re good at it. You know what I mean? Let me tell you a funny fucking story. This will fucking kill you, Bam-Bam. I was doing an in-store at this record store the other day and (laughs) this manager of this store goes, ‘Hey, Zakk, I gotta story for you that’s the gayest of gay, man!’ This fucking label has just put out this Jimmi Hendrix anthology box set or some shit, and this record store manager is talking to the label rep and he overheard her talking to someone at the record store and she said, ‘Well, is Jimmy gonna be available to do interviews cause we really need to push this release?’ (laughs) Can you believe that shit? Is fucking Hendrix gonna be available to do interviews? (laughs for days) Oh shit, this is what we’re dealing with in the world right now, bro. This is why good Metal bands can’t get any fucking where because these are the stupid fucks the labels have working for them, promoting this shit. And here’s one better than that… One of those same guys in that record store said he called up one of the record companies to ask them for tickets to a fucking DEF LEPPARD performance. He needed press passes or some shit like that. Now, Bam, what is their fucking label, like Mercury or something like that?”

B2: “Yeah, but I believe Mercury is a division of Polygram, which was sold to Universal and Interscope Records, so I think it’s all under that Universal umbrella now.”

ZAKK: “Yeah, but it’s something that’s been around for fucking years, you see where I’m headed? We’re talking a major fucking label here, not like Joe Blow Fucking Records, a major label, who should fucking know better. So, this guys goes, ‘Can I get some press passes for the DEF LEPPARD show?’ And the chic goes, ‘Umm, what is the act again?’ And he says, ‘DEF LEPPARD, I need press passes and an after show interview pass.’ And the chic says, ‘Yeah, o.k., he’s a rapper, right? Let me transfer you to the Urban/Rap Department!’ She thinks the fucking guy’s name is DEF LEPPARD! (laughs) Oh, this shit is totally killing me! Ladies and Gentlemen, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Def Fuckin’ Leppard! (laughs) What the fuck? Flat out, the girl has no fucking clue who the fuck DEF LEPPARD is.”

B2: “That’s the sickest story I’ve ever heard, man! So much for those college interns that work at the labels for free, huh? Half of those kids weren’t even alive when these bands were hitting their stride.”

ZAKK: “Dude, that’s no fucking excuse. I wasn’t fucking alive, or else I was just being born. I was born in ’67, so when that first SABBATH album came out, I was like fucking two, so that’s no excuse, man. No excuse at all. I know every fucking thing about BLACK SABBATH!”

B2: “Yeah, I know what you’re saying. Speaking of SABBATH and OZZY, let’s shoot back to your younger days and what you were doing before you landed the gig with the Grandfather Of Metal back in ’87/’88. Who were you listening to and what were you doing before you got the gig with Ozzy?”

ZAKK: “Well, I was a hardcore fucking drug dealer at the time. (laughs) No, seriously though, I’m not a drughead, bro. All I do is drink beer and eat my wife’s ass, you know? (laughs) That ain’t too serious of a habit, is it? (laughs) Back at the time, I auditioned, just like everybody else and I got fucking lucky, man. That’s all!”

B2: “Oh, come on Zakk, it couldn’t have been that easy and just based on luck, bro.”

ZAKK: “Well, as far as what I was listening to, shit, you ask anybody my age and in my genre what they were listening to, and it’s all the same. I was hitting up the Randy Rhoads, SABBATH… Hell, I’ve got like an Ozzy/Randy Rhoads shrine in my room right now. You should see all the shit I’ve got. For me, that was the ultimate goal in life, and it still is, you know, to play with Ozzy. It’s like, without a doubt, the most Cinderella story you’ve ever heard. It’s like being a BEATLES fan and then being asked to go do John Lennon‘s parts with the original band. You know?”

B2: “I’m with you, bro. It’s like Eddie Van Halen coming in and saying, ‘Hey Bam, Alex quit. You wanna play with us!’ (laughs) I’m right there with you, but just not as talented to be able to say I did it. Now, how did you feel about the guitarist who’s place you actually took? I’m a huge Jake E. Lee fan and I don’t think that guy gets as much credit as he deserves.”

ZAKK: “Oh, shit, man. Jake is amazing!”

B2: “I agree, and I think most people credit you for sounding so much like Randy, but I honestly think you have more of Jake E.’s style coming out of you sans that little ‘pig squeal’ effect that you use so much that has become your trademark.”

ZAKK: “If you ask any guitar player, they’ll tell you the same thing, Jake is so underrated. I mean, Jake’s fucking awesome. Every time I hear Jake play, I can tell you that he’s the one jamming. At the end of the day that’s the true mark of anybody who’s fucking ripping – when you can tell who it is by their style. I mean Jake’s fucking got chops, he can play so fucking fast that it’ll make your head come off. He’s just got tons of blues in that style of his.” BLS group

B2: “I’m glad you mentioned that because, getting over to your new record, The Blessed Hellride, which will be out on Spitfire Records in mid-April, I’m hearing some very blues influenced stuff. I’ve only heard six songs off of the record, but the title track, I mean, would it be safe to say that it’s very blues influenced? It’s got you playing acoustic guitar all the way through, it’s mellow, it’s bluesy… What’s your feelings on this one?”

ZAKK: “Well, basically what we did when we got together for this one, is we just whipped out all the old POISON records and started listening to them and we said, ‘This is what we’re going for, baby, right here!’”

B2: “(laughs) Oh quit pulling my fucking leg here, Zakk. You’ve never owned a POISON record in your life.”

ZAKK: “No, just the early stuff before they sold out, bro.”

B2: “O.k., far be it for me to argue with Zakk Wylde, and I really am a huge fan of POISON and everything they did back in the day, but I gotta be honest with you, bro, they sold-out the second they stepped onto a stage back in the early 80′s! (laughs)”

ZAKK: “Hey, man, their shit was very ZEPPELIN orientated in the beginning, man! Hey, it’s all good, Bam-Bam, I’m just bustin’ your balls here. I mean, like I said before, I’m very good friends with those guys, I love em’ to death, man. I mean, they’ll flat out tell you that they suck as musicians, and that’s why they’re such cool fucking guys, cuz they’ll just take the piss out of any insult you throw at them, you know?”

B2: “(laughs) Absolutely. But, when you guys were sitting down to write this record, I mean, what was the logic behind it all. The songs I heard had many differences. I mean, ‘The Blessed Hellride’, I thought that would just be a barn stormer and yet, it’s an acoustic, ballad type thing, if you will.”

ZAKK: “Well, The Blessed Hellride, that’s just a fucking title, man. That’s just a goof. It’s like when you’re all hung over and you gotta get up in the morning, you know, ‘Get the fuck up man, shake it off. We gotta go make some damn music.’ That’s The Blessed Hellride. When you don’t feel like fucking moving, but you know you gotta get your ass outta bed and do your thing, that’s The Blessed Hellride. To us, it’s a daily grind. We gotta get up and get on The Blessed Hellride. That’s where that came from. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a band or what. Me and you could be workin’ at a fucking gas station and you look at me and go, ‘Hey Zakk, where are we heading today?’ And I’m like, ‘Oh Bam, it’s back on the fucking Blessed Hellride.’ You know?”

B2: “Well, did you intentionally go in a different direction here because the last album was just so balls-out kick ass?”

ZAKK: “Well, let’s put it this way, I’d never go into the fucking studio and say, ‘Well, we gotta write a record like this and we gotta write a song for radio.’ I mean, who the fuck writes records like that?”

B2: “Well, for one, Ronnie James DIO told me he wrote a couple like that.”

ZAKK: “Oh what fuckin’ ever! It’s like listening to ZEPPELIN or SABBATH. I dare you to tell me which one is the best because it just depends on what mood you’re in. They’re all fucking great! But let’s say I want to hear something other than that “Whole Lotta Love” style thing. Well, throw on Physical Graffiti and you’re covered, you know? It’s just the way the songs came out when they came out. That’s the mark of a true artist. I mean, when you go take a shit, you don’t fucking go, ‘Man, look at the size of that fucking thing, I can’t believe that thing didn’t break apart.’ (laughs all around) You don’t go in there and plan what your shit’s gonna look like when it comes out. (laughs) I mean, you go in there and you write riffs, and you’ve got no idea what they’re gonna sound like before you crank them out. You just do it. It’s just a concoction of what you listen to that makes it all happen. I can’t stand these fucking bands like N’SYNC or whatever the horseshit is everybody’s listening to, and these guys wear like a ZEPPELIN T-shirt, or a SABBATH T-shirt, and they’re like, ‘Hey, this is us, this is what we’re into.’ I’m like, ‘Are you for fuckin’ real? What the fuck are you talking about? You never heard a ZEPPELIN or SABBATH record in your life, you little cock sucker. Your music doesn’t even sound anything like that. If you’re really such a fucking fan, then why do you play that shit you’re playing?’ I don’t get it. It’s not even close. You wanna hear someone who’s being real? That would be like the guys in GUNS AND ROSES saying they dig THE STONES, early SEX PISTOLS, and fucking AEROSMITH! Well yeah, and it fucking sounds like it. That’s what I mean about being true to what you love. You don’t hear the guys in G’N’R saying, ‘Oh, let’s see, who’s our favorite band? Ummm, DEPECHE MODE!’ (laughs) You know what I mean? I mean listen to their shit. [Zakk imitates Axl's classic banshee scream in 'Welcome To The Jungle'], Shananana-Knees-Knees! That’s powerful shit. They know where it’s all coming from too, and that’s cool. At least some pop bands like OASIS, when someone says, ‘Who’s your favorite band?’ they say, ‘The fucking BEATLES, and the reason our shit sounds like them is because we fucking love those guys.’ End of fucking story. I remember when KINGDOM COME came out, and people were like, ‘Oh, you like ZEPPELIN?’ and they were like, ‘Who’s that?’. Give me a fuckin’ break! I mean, if they had just said, ‘We’re ZEPPELIN freaks,’ it would have been cool. But they’re like, ‘Who The Fuck Are They?’ Get the fuck outta here! I’m not trying to say they were rip-offs. I mean that song sounded like it was influenced by ZEPPELIN, no doubt, but I’m not trying to say they were a total rip-off band. It’s just if they had said, ‘Yeah, we’re influenced by ZEPPELIN cause they’re one of the greatest fucking bands that ever lived,’ that would have been cool. But they just fucking lied. Big fucking deal. If you’re stealing from the best, so what! Who cares? But you can’t just act like you’ve never heard of these guys before. That’s horseshit, man!”

B2: “Oh man, I feel bad talking about this because I’m really good friends with their first drummer, James Kottak, who now plays for the SCORPIONS.”

ZAKK: “Oh, James is a cool motherfucker. I’m talking more about that fucking singer in all those interviews he did back in the day, acting like he’d never even heard of ZEPPELIN. You know, some shit about he was from Canada or something, dude. Give me a fucking break over here, you know?”

B2: “Now, I know most people try to keep your different entities separate when they talk about Zakk the solo artist and the band BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, but they are kind of one in the same because this is your solo project, but it is a very established band, as well.”

ZAKK: “Yeah, I don’t know why they do that fucking shit. Just to sell records, I guess. But BLACK LABEL SOCIETY is actually bigger than Zakk Wylde. It’s a fucking lifestyle that’s bigger than me or anybody in it.”

B2: “In keeping with that, who’s taking the Blessed Hellride with you this time around? Who are the musicians in the band at this point?”

ZAKK: “Well you got Nick Catanese, my evil fucking twin on guitar with me, then we got Craig Nunenmacher playing drums, and Mike Inez is gonna be playing bass with us.”

B2: “Oh wow!”

ZAKK: “Yeah, we got Skank Magnolia back in the fold with us (laughs). That guy is hysterical. He’s a sick ass bass player too. So, Mike’s gonna do the fucking thing with us, and we got the rest of the road crew, all the alcoholics and druggies are gonna be out doing this thing with us. Let the fucking comedy begin!”

B2: “I hear you! Let The Blessed Hellride begin! Now, here’s something that has had me curious ever since the movie Rockstar came out. You got the chance to play with some of the best players in the business, in my opinion, on this soundtrack. I am one of the hugest Jason Bonham fans, and I have always wondered why you and former DOKKEN bassist, Jeff Pilson haven’t put an album out together. That would fucking rule, man!”

ZAKK: “Oh shit, people always say that Jason gets so much credit because of who his dad is [Obligatory Writer's Note: For those who may have been living under a rock for the past 20 years, we're referring, of course, to the legendary ZEPPELIN drummer, John Bonham.], but let me tell you right now, that motherfucker’s timing is unreal. It’s gotta be a genetic thing going on there, but he is just incredible. It still sounds like Jason, but you hear a lot of his pops rolling around in there. He’s his own guy, but it’s pretty weird sometimes to be playing with him and it just feel like you’re playing with Bonzo, in the flesh.”

B2: “He’s so good, man. So, is there anything in the can or any plans that you, Jason, and Jeff would do anything like that, cuz that’s an album that I would line up and beat the shit out of somebody to get a hold of?”

ZAKK: “Well, right now, there’s no plans to do anything like that. You know, Jeff, he’s out doing his own thing, and Jason, he’s got that band. What’s it called? Ummm, HEALING SIXES, or something like that? He’s out bustin’ his balls doing that thing, and there’s talk that they’re gonna get the ZEPPELIN thing back together and he’s gonna be the one going out with them as the drummer, so he’s gonna be busy.”

B2: “Oh, are you serious? I read somewhere that Jason has said no one had ever contacted him on doing that. That was back in January of this year.”

ZAKK: “Yeah, I’ve read where it’s gonna be Jason and somebody even said it was gonna be Dave Fuckin’ Grohl doin’ that shit. If they’re gonna go back out and there’s no way to bring John Bonham back to life, then, I mean, who you gonna get?”

B2: “Oh, Jason, totally!”

ZAKK: “I mean, you gotta! It’s the only logical fucking choice, man!”

B2: “Well, judging on the Rock Star soundtrack, and the songs you guys all played together, I would really hope that the idea of you guys getting together and doing an album would be something that you think about. I know as cheesy as you might be thinking those songs were, and the fact that I know they were written by somebody else might have you down on them a bit, I think the three of you would put out one of the most killer albums to date in Rock-N-Roll!”

ZAKK: “Yeah, that was all 80′s period, goofy shit, but I had a great time playing with Jason and Jeff. I mean, Jeff is one hell of a fucking bass player. We were screwing around in the studio with all this fusion shit, and I was like, ‘Hey motherfucker, I never knew you could play like that!’ You know, you just listen to those DOKKEN records and it’s like, Bloomp, Bloomp, Bloomp. You know, shit like that. And Jeff’s got a killer fucking voice. Geez, he can sing, and he’s a sick ass bass player. He’s got it going on, man.”

B2: “Let’s talk about another friend of yours, your drinking buddy. (laughs) What’s up these days with Dime?”

ZAKK: “Oh God, man, I love Dime to death. It’s always fucking comedy whenever I hook up with him! (laughs)”

B2: “Yeah, comedy and destruction! (laughs) Let’s talk about the last time you two were together over this past Christmas. Is it true that you totally destroyed a rented truck by driving into trees in Dime’s front yard?”

ZAKK: “(laughs) I ended up actually paying for that thing, though. I hooked that driver up with a couple of my Les Pauls, my Zakk Wylde signature Les Pauls and some shit, and Dime paid him a bunch of money to cover all the damage, so it’s all good.”

B2: “But let’s talk about what happened.”

ZAKK: “Well, (laughs) rearview mirrors were hanging off this thing, the whole bottom of it was smashed to fuck. It was a fucking mess when I was done with that thing.”

B2: “Now, the way I heard it, you were running over a Christmas tree in Dime’s front yard.”

ZAKK: “Yeah, some shit like that. Dime was like, ‘Hey Zakk, Rita,’ that’s Dime’s old lady, Rita. So he’s like, ‘Yeah, Rita don’t like that fucking tree, why don’t you take it out.’ So, I’m like, ‘O.k., give me the keys,’ and I just start smashing into this fucking tree in his front yard. It was hilarious. I was running this motherfucking tree over, raising some hell, drinking some brew.”

B2: “Now, the way I heard it, you weren’t just drinking brew on this night, you were drinking one of Dime’s patented medicines called a Black Tooth Grin. What the hell is that?”

ZAKK: “Well, that’s Dime’s favorite. It’s Crown Royal and Coca-Cola, he calls it a Black Tooth Grin. I like mine mixed with Ginger Ale, and Dime calls that one the Zakk Tooth Grin. Either way, it’s good shit, and you drink a lot of it, you don’t get too blitzed, but you do some stupid shit like run over motherfucking trees in people’s yards and shit. Crown Royal, Ginger Ale and some ice; you’re ready to roll!”

B2: “Are you and Dime planning on doing anything together soon?”

ZAKK: “Well, I sang on some of Dime’s new shit. You know he’s got that new band called NEW FOUND POWER; it’s really great! People ask me, ‘Hey, what do they sound like?’ Well, Dime’s writing all the riffs and the music. What the fuck do you think it sounds like?”

B2: “Plus he’s got Vinnie playing drums, so that kind of makes it a no-brainer if you ask me. I mean, all you need it Phil back and you’ve got PANTERA!”

ZAKK: “Yeah, no shit. That’s what they sound like. It’s crushing, heavy shit. As far as I’m concerned, for that type of music, there is no comparison. They’re the best. I think it’s fucking awesome and I hope they do well with it. So, I sang backups on one song, and I played a solo on one of them. We had a fucking blast. You know what would be cool? To have SLAYER, NEW FOUND POWER, and BLACK LABEL SOCIETY all on tour together on the same bill. That would be the fucking shit, man!”

B2: “For some reason, I can actually see that happening. Now, you’re headed out to Las Vegas to do a one-off House Of Blues Show with Ozzy tomorrow night (Friday, March 14th), right? How did that come about?”

ZAKK: “Well, Ozzy just called me up, and he’s been dealing with poor Sharon being sick for the past nine months, and he was just like, ‘Hey Zakk, I wanna get out of the fucking house and go play some music.’ So, I’m like, ‘Whatever you want, buddy. Let’s go do it.’ So, we’re gonna go do that, and then I’ll be out touring with BLACK LABEL after that and all the way through the OZZFEST dates, where I’ll be playing with both bands again.”

B2: “Now, do you feel comfortable talking about how Sharon is doing right now? I keep seeing you pop up on a few episodes of THE OSBOURNES, and I know you’re a friend of the family, not just Ozzy, so how the hell is she doing now?”

ZAKK: “Sharon’s doing really well now, which I think is just fucking awesome. Sharon’s like my fucking mother, but there was a time there when me and Ozzy would talk like twice a day and he’d be telling me, ‘Zakk, I just wake up every day and I don’t know if she’s going to be laying there dead beside me, or what.’ I mean, this is like the most financially and physically successful he’s ever been in his whole career, and he’s been the most miserable I’ve ever seen him the whole time I’ve known him. It’s fucking tragic, man. But she’s doing really well, and me and Ozzy are gonna be out there playing. We’ll have a couple of drinks together and it’ll be good for him. He can still fucking throw down, man. He told me on the last OZZFEST we did, because he was so upset about everything that was going on with Sharon, that he didn’t remember any of it. Not one fucking bit of it. We’d go onstage, totally sober, we’d come off and he’d just get ripped and sit there on the bus. He didn’t remember the whole fucking tour! It was sad.”

B2: “Now I was reading all over the place that he was sober all the way on that last tour.”

ZAKK: “Oh, Bam-Bam, give me a fucking break. Now, I know him really well, and the whole time I’ve been friends with him, I have never, ever seen him go onstage with anything in him. He’s totally sober onstage, always! But man, if he gets off the stage and wants to get a bomb on, you better run for the fucking hills! It’s on, man! Ozzy has no takers when it comes to grabbing that crown, let me tell you. Now, he doesn’t get fucked up every day like he used to, but he can still throw down from time to time. I swear I’ve never seen anybody who can do it like him. He just totally gets obliterated, and then he’s up at the crack of dawn the next day like nothing happened. (in his best British by way of Jersey accent) ‘Hallo guys, what do you feel like doing today?’ (laughs) The fucking guy kills me!” BLS - Drum-Guitar

B2: “Well, let’s finish it all up with a quote from Zakk. This is your chance to sign off with all the EDGE Readers and say what you want to and get it all out there in the open. Go for it, Zakk!”

ZAKK: “I wanna tell everybody that it’s more fucking alcohol fueled motherfucking brutality, just chock full of fucking alcohol, violence, rottweillers, ravens, chains, skulls and all that other horseshit. It’s a ton of fucking Marshalls and fucking Les Pauls. So, you know, it’s another chock full serving of a keg of BLACK LABEL! (laughs)”

B2: “What a note to end on. Zakk, thanks for all your time. You’re a fucking hero of mine and a million other fans out there, and I’ll support you through whatever you decide to do in your career, bro!”

ZAKK: “Thank you, brother, it’s been fun. You take care, buddy!”

And as I hung the phone up, I sat for at least ten minutes feeling as if I’d just drank heavily from that keg Zakk was referring to. It was 1:40 p.m., almost an hour and a half from the time we began. Zakk could obviously clock out and scream, “Beer thirty! Hand me a Black Label!” Me, I had to stagger around for the next four hours acting as if anything my day put in front of me was even half as important as what I had just witnessed. One thing that did keep me laughing until the 5:30 whistle came rumbling in, was the vision of Zakk trying to make a call on one of those new phones. I imagined the banter that would obviously be exchanged if that call was to his long-time friend and band mate, Ozzy Osbourne. It would be a record setting day for the most uses of the ‘F-Word’ the world could imagine. My thanks to Zakk for more of his time than what I was originally allotted for this interview. You are a most generous host, my friend! Also, thanks to Jon Paris from Spitfire Records for the major hook-up on this one. Buckle up for The Blessed Hellride. It’s a lot faster than you think!

Pillbuster - BrothelPILLBUSTER – “Brothel” – Stonekill Records

Reviewed by:  Craig “Bam-Bam” Stegall

Rating:  9 Out Of 10

It’s always nice to see old friends make a mark in the music business and do it in such a way that you know you won’t be the only one to notice. Pillbuster are not newbees to the scene. Hailing from Virginia Beach, VA and making their rounds through the N.C. circuit, I happened to catch them when they breezed through the Raleigh/Jacksonville areas and have found myself a fan ever since. Here’s the deal; the band comes off like gangbusters on record, but like Clutch, Slayer, Van Halen and Iron Maiden…this band has to be seen in a live setting to be truly appreciated. There’s no denying it. What we have here, however, in “Brothel” is a 4-song E.P. that damn near captures that experience to perfection. I don’t know if it’s just the right amount of doom and sludge in my diet that this small dose just hit the spot; or if it’s really that “A Parting Gift” may be the coolest song I’ve heard since Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”! So unique and brooding in its attack and yet just amazingly beautiful on a whole melodic level that my mind can’t even begin to dissect. This is just brilliant writing with soulful performance! Totally better with a few bong hits, but even distinguished enough for the Grey Poupon pallets. “Brothel” is the real deal! Go give Brett, Chris, Joe and Dougie some love: Very, Very Highly Recommended!!!

These Raven Skies

THESE RAVEN SKIES – “S/T” – Blackstream Records

Reviewed By:  Craig “Bam-Bam” Stegall

Rating:  8 Out Of 10

Calgary Canucks These Raven Skies comfortably mix a wide range of easily recognisable roots headfirst into a fiery brew of heavy rock guitar, Bonham-inspired skin pounding and a singer that can easily bridge the gap between Judas Priest and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Whether instantly drawn to the light of perfectly mastered slide-guitar courtesy of “Come Sit Next To Me” or the eerie attack of Perkins’ (yeah, he’s kinda doing the first name only/Sting thing) dead-on Rob Halford (ala: “Deliver The Goods”) approach to “Are We Having Fun Yet?” the boys are making noise and it sounds pretty damn awesome. Stellar production makes up for some of the weaker tracks, and yes, there are a couple: “Emily And Alick” and “Open Road”. (Stick to the rockers, fellas!) Overall, a nice run at the bulls and extremely welcome in this world of cookie-cutter radio rock bands. Most promising is the fact that I treated it just like my first copy of Zeppelin “I”, I listened to the whole thing, all the way through in one sitting….and then hit repeat immediately. Good sign? I should say so. Very Highly Recommended.

Islander album art

Islander – “Violence & Destruction” – Victory Records

Reviewed By – Craig “Bam-Bam” Stegall

Rating – 6 Out Of 10

This was totally one of those albums that I knew I was going to hate just by the cover.  Stupid thought process, I realize, but what a way to look like one of my parents’ old, early-70′s vinyl record selections. I can totally hear shades of Glen Campbell radiating from within.  Geez!!!  But since I did go to college to learn such wonderful cliches as, “You can’t judge a book by its cover”, I put  my studious mind on sleep-mode and dropped the needle.  What I got?  Well, that was a nice little surprise in the form of crushing breakdowns, metallic guitars, syncopated drum noodling and strangely melodic and very tasty vocal hooks.  Not a bad deal, to say the least.  The real news is, my seasoned, more mature listeners; Islander is one of those bands that you’d probably never…no, make that, you would NEVER just pick out and listen to the whole album, front to back.  It’s one of those little moments when they pop up in your iShuffle, you grab for your player to check and see who it is because it’s kind of kicking your ass at the time.  We all need a band like this, so basically, the album works well for me, in small doses.  The main reason is that, any more than that and I’m hearing the same trick bag over and over and over.  It becomes obvious that a limited vocabulary sounds like you’re repeating the same thing every 2-seconds.  My vote is that they should have just packaged up “Coconut Dracula”, “Cold Speak”, “Side Effects Of Youth” and the punchy title track and offered us a flawless E.P.  Easily an 8 Out Of 10 on  my scale.  But, you keep letting me hear you lean on the same intro and use that scream/sing thing as a constant crutch to bridge the verse and chorus, and I promise you, I’m hitting fast-forward quicker than this one will land in the cut-out bin (that’s the “Please fucking steal this CD” section of your non-existent local record store).  Sorry I can’t be a decent party host on this one, but monotony is not one of my stronger suits.  Use my EP idea next time, fellas.  I’m sure there will also be some better photo ops for a slight upgrade on your cover art as well.


Sevendust Band Promo 2014SEVENDUST has been selling out clubs and theatres across the country on their acoustic U.S. tour, “An Evening With SEVENDUST,” which launched April 1 in Athens, GA.  On July 23, the band–Lajon Witherspoon (vocals), Morgan Rose (drums/vocals), Clint Lowery (guitar/vocals), John Connolly (guitar/vocals) and Vince Hornsby (bass/vocals)—will plug back in for a new round of electric shows with Gemini Syndrome supporting.
Their critically acclaimed acoustic album, TIME TRAVELERS & BONFIRES, was released April 15 on the band’s 7Bros. Records, in conjunction with ADA Label Services.  It debuted at #1 on Billboard’s “Top Hard Music Albums” chart (their second consecutive #1 album), #19 on the “Top 200 Albums” chart, #2 on the “Record Label Independent Current Albums” chart, #4 on the “Top Current Rock Albums” chart, #15 on the “Overall Digital Albums” chart and #8 on the “Top Internet Albums” chart. 
Check out SEVENDUST at any of the following stops:
DATE               CITY                             VENUE
Wed 7/23          Cleveland, OH               House of Blues
Thu 7/24            Pittsburgh, PA              Altar Bar
Fri 7/25             Lynchburg, VA              Phase 2
Sat 7/26            Inwood, WV                  Shiley Acres
Mon 7/28          Pensacola, FL               Vinyl Music Hall
Wed 7/30          Baton Rouge, LA           The Varsity Theatre
Thu 7/31            Biloxi, MS                     Hard Rock Live
Fri 8/1               Chattanooga, TN           Track 29
Sat 8/2              Morristown, TN              Jefferson Federal Amphitheatre
Tue 8/5             Flint, MI                                    The Machine Shop
Wed 8/6            Des Moines, IA             Wooly’s
Fri 8/8               Lincoln, NE                   Bourbon Theater
Sat 8/9              Sturgis, SD                   Buffalo Chip Fairground
Sun 8/10           Minot, ND                     City Auditorium
Mon 8/11          Fargo, ND                     The Venue
Thu 8/14            Pontiac, IL                    Freakster’s Road House
Fri 8/15             Cedar Falls, IA              Pepsi Pavilion
Sat 8/16            Sedalia, MO                  Grandstand/Missouri State Fair
Sun 8/17           Wichita, KS                   The Cotillion
Tue 8/19            Tulsa, OK                      Cain’s Ballroom
Thu 8/21            La Crosse, WI               La Crosse Center
Fri 8/22             Fond Du Lac, WI           Shack Event Center
Sat 8/23            Sioux City, IA                Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
For more info visit SEVENDUST’s Official Website here.

Gilby Clarke 2014HOLLYWOOD, CA – Gilby Clarke embarks solo on a worldwide summer tour – kicking off in London, England at The Underworld.  Before Clarke crosses the pond, he will deliver to all the fans a new track, which will be announced in the weeks to come.

Recently, Clarke released a new video Tijuana Jail – Originally released in 1994, Clarke updated this fan favorite with a 2014 video version that can see below.

Best known for his tour of duty with Guns n’ Roses, Gilby Clarke was 17 when he traded Cleveland for Hollywood. A troubadour in the Ronnie Wood tradition: a barroom brawler with attendant Stonesy swagger, plus a catalog of well-written ditties. Clarke joined Guns in the early 90’s as the Use Your Illusion tour kicked off. He appeared on the bands Spaghetti IncidentLive Era ’88-’91 & Greatest Hits albums. Surviving the longest tour in history - Clarke went solo & came out swinging with Pawn Shop Guitars. A catalog of rock n roll purity: “Tijuana Jail”, “Cure Me… Or Kill Me…” & The Stones’ “Dead Flowers” put this record on many year-end top 10 lists.

Along the way Clarke split time producing worthy bands: LA Guns & The Bronx while touring/recording with Heart, The MC5, Nancy Sinatra & Slash’s SnakepitClarke also starred in the CBS TV show Rockstar Supernova with Tommy Lee and joined his new bandmate for an all-star VH1 Rock Honors appearance. Recently, Clarke & his GNR alumni pulled off an amazing Rock N’ Roll Hall Of Fame performance when the band was inducted in 2012 & continues to play with the ex-gunners from time to time in Kings Of Chaos.


07.12.14 ANAHEIM, CA                    HOUSE OF BLUES 

07.16.14 GOLDEN, CO                      BUFFALO ROSE **NO QUIET RIOT


07.20.14 JOLIET, IL MO                      JOE’S MUSIC VENUE

07.22.14 PORTLAND, ME                   ASYLUM BALLROOM


07.24.14 BOSTON, MA                      THE WILBUR THEATRE



07.27.14 BRISTOL, CT                         BLEACHERS BAR **NO QUIET RIOT

08.01.14 STURGIS, SD                         GLENCOE PAVILLION ** BULLETBOYS TO OPEN


08.15.14 SIOUX CITY, IA                    HARD ROCK HOTEL & CASINO W/ QUIET RIOT

08.16.14 RINGLE, WI                          Q & Z EXPO CENTER W/QUIET RIOT


For more information on Gilby Clarke,  his tour and new music click here.