Zakk Wylde Balancing Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society, Zakk Sabbath, And Solo Work [Opinion]

Zakk Wylde has been rehired by Ozzy Osbourne, bringing him full circle back to where he started. Zakk is quick to say he owes a lot to Ozzy who discovered Wylde in 1987.

Zakk Wylde is quoted in Loudwire, saying working with Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne is “pretty mind-blowing.”

“Well, I’m without a doubt truly blessed to have Ozzy in my life and then have Ozzy to take me from working at a gas station when I’m 19, 20 years old. It’s the biggest platform you can have, I mean Saint Rhoads started that way. And then being a huge fan of Jake [E. Lee] and obviously Tony Iommi ’cause I’m a huge [Black] Sabbath freako.”

Zakk Wylde has had a very prolific career as a guitarist with Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society, and Zakk Sabbath. Zakk Wylde has also found time to create some amazing solo music.

Zakk Wylde will be touring with Zakk Sabbath as they promote their 25 minute EP “War Pigs” in May and June, according to Guitar World. Then Zakk will go on tour with Ozzy Osbourne. After that tour, Zakk Wylde could be on Ozzy Osbourne’s next album.

Zakk Wylde was the lead guitarist on eight Ozzy Osbourne albums and will likely play on a ninth in 2018 or 2019. Zakk Wylde is featured on No Rest for the Wicked, Just Say Ozzy, No More Tears, Live & Loud, Ozzmosis, Down to Earth, Live at Budokan, and Black Rain. Ozzy Osbourne has produced a total of 11 albums under the name Ozzy Osbourne and 10 albums with Black Sabbath.

Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society produced 13 albums. Zakk Wylde is the front man for Black Label Society in addition to serving as the lead guitarist. Wylde has also produced two solo albums, Book of Shadows and Book of Shadows II. Wylde also produced an amazing southern rock album called Pride and Glory in 1994.

Ozzy Osbourne really did rescue Zakk Wylde from a gas station in New Jersey. Zakk Wylde sent Ozzy Osbourne a demo tape in 1987, Ozzy Osbourne hired Zakk Wylde in the same year, and the rest is history.

Listening to Black Label Society, it is really hard to imagine that Zakk Wylde is from New Jersey. Most would suspect Georgia or Alabama from Zakk Wylde’s singing voice and sound, which is an exquisitely southern rock when he is playing for Black Label Society.

Zakk Wylde, now 50-years-old, looks at least 20 years younger than his actual age and moves like he is about 30 years younger. It is hard to imagine that this man has seen half a century, but his experience with a guitar becomes quite clear in the quality of Wylde’s music.

Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath
Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath [Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]

Zakk Wylde’s versatility alone is enough to strike awe in fellow guitarists. To play for Black Sabbath’s Ozzy Osbourne and then create something like Black Label Society’s “Fire It Up” or “Suicide Messiah,” with the hard southern rock metal sound, is amazing.

Zakk Wylde acknowledges that a lot was made of a perceived shift is his work toward a more mellow sound in his solo work in Book of Shadows II. Wylde is quoted in Gig City.

“I’ve always loved the mellow stuff as much as I love the heavy stuff. I love Led Zeppelin when they’re doing ‘Black Dog,’ but I love it when they do ‘Going to California’ as well. With Oz, we’d do ‘No More Tears,’ ‘Miracle Man,’ but we’d do ‘Mama I’m Coming Home,’ ‘Road to Nowhere,’ ‘Time After Time,’ stuff like that. The mellow stuff’s always been around there. To me, it’s the same thing. It’s not a shift or anything like that. It’s just music.”

Ozzy Osbourne represents a sort of home turf feeling for Zakk Wylde, as quoted in Gig City. Zakk Wylde will always admire and appreciate his mentor Ozzy Osbourne.

“[Ozzy Osbourne] will always be my home away from home. When you do your own thing, it’s almost like you move out of your parents’ house, you got your own little apartment, it’s yours, that’s the whole thing: It’s just freedom. Not that I didn’t have all the freedom in the world when I was playing with Oz, ’cause I did. I was the guitarist. I played what I wanted to play.”

Zakk Wylde is known for his tremendous work ethic. With a career discography of 25 albums, not to mention several more guest spots on various albums, it would be hard to deny that Zakk Wylde is a hard worker. Zakk is quoted on Loudwire.

“I think you’ll keep working hard. If you have a work ethic and it’s in you, nothing is going to make that go away because you’re driven. Driven people don’t need motivation and driven people won’t change.”

Zakk Wild of Black Label Society Zakk Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne
Zakk Wild of Black Label Society Zakk Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne [Image by Scott Gries/Getty Images]

Zakk Wylde, and of course Ozzy Osbourne as well, believe in metal music, and they believe that the music business is what one makes of it. Zakk Wylde is a firm believer in playing the music one wants to play, promoting the music, and letting the chips fall.

Zakk Wylde is quoted in Gig City explaining that complaints about the music business are overstated. There is still room for hard working metal musicians.

“The bottom line is that if Alice in Chains or Soundgarden came out today, they would be just as impressive as they were when they came out when they did – and they’re doing what they want to do. You have to hit it as hard as you can, get on the road and promote your band, that’s how you do it. You can still have a career playing the music you want to play.”

Zakk Wylde doesn’t change for anyone, any more than Ozzy Osbourne does. Zakk Wylde helped keep Southern rock alive, even if he is from New Jersey, for over two decades with Black Label Society and the short-lived band Pride and Glory.


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Zakk Wylde is now going on tour with Ozzy Osbourne, but he hasn’t dissolved Black Label Society to do it. The hard working guitar player can do it all and always has. Zakk Wylde, like Ozzy Osbourne, plays the music he loves and finds there is always a demand for it.

Zakk Wylde and Ozzy Osbourne will be playing the heavy metal music they love together on tour soon.

[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]