Zakk Wylde Sonic Brew

by Chaz on February 26, 2011

Zakk Wylde

Doing what he does best.

On Sonic Brew—his third album since laving Ozzy Osbourne’s band in 1994, and his first with his latest band, Black Label Society—Wylde unleashes the type of high-octane, neck-thrashing music which made him a heavy metal hero and helped revitalize Osbourne’s career in the early Nineties. In fact, it was a brief reunion with Osbourne on an Asian tour in the spring of 1998 which inspired him to return to his hard-rocking roots. “It was just a lot of fun to play loud and heavy again,” says Wylde, who, on his previous solo albums, had made forays into southern rock and acoustic music. “That’s where this project really got started. Playing with Ozzy made me realize it was time to break out the distortion pedals and crank up the Marshalls again.”

Besides,” he adds with a chuckle. “I got sore on my butt from sitting on a stool during my acoustic tour in 1998. I had to stand up again.” Wylde recorded, mixed and mastered Sonic Brew in just 31 days, working only with drummer Phil Ordick and playing all guitar and bass parts himself. “It was a blast, man,” he says. “We really ripped it up. Either you can fuckin’ play or you can’t. What’s with all this preproduction crap? What a waste of time.” Many Wylde’s song from Sonic Brew featured a low E string tuned all the way down to A or B, giving them a dark, foreboding sound. “I was just trying to make it as heavy as I could,” he explains. “The whole album is playing with one finger on one string, just sliding up and down that detuned E string. Except the solos.”

Sonic Brew is filled with the kind of meaty, muscular lead playing upon which Wylde built his reputation. And he hopes to take charge of axe-toting listeners to back the airwaves and concerts all around the world. “Whatever happened to all the guitar bands?” he wonders. “These bands like Matchbox 20 should be taken out back and bludgeoned. In fact, I’ve got a Louisville Slugger with their name on it.” He pauses before continuing. “Actually, there’s enough success to go around for everyone. I just hope people are ready to rock.

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