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Zakk Wylde made the musical world sit up and take notice when in 1988 he was plucked from the obscurity of a New Jersey bar to join Ozzy's group. Having co-written and played on that year's million-selling No Rest For The Wicked album and the Just Say Ozzy EP (1989), the pairing really took off with multi-platinum No More Tears (1991), 1993's Live And Loud (which won a Grammy for the track "I Don't Want To Change The World") and the platinum-selling Ozzmosis (1995).

Since 1994, Zakk has forged Black Label Society as a vehicle for his true vision: uncompromising, unfiltered, no-bullshit rock n' roll. Inspired by guitarists like Frank Marino, Robin Trower and Al DiMeola and the vocal styles of Elton John, Gregg Allman, Ozzy, Ray Charles and late Lynyrd Skynyrd front man Ronnie VanZant, Zakk and Black Label Society have issued the critically acclaimed albums Sonic Brew (1998) and Stronger Than Death (1999).

Both proved that Wylde was a master of the incendiary blues riff, as well as darker, more malevolent grooves. Besides releasing the live set Alcohol Fueled Brewtality Live + 5, in 2001, both Zakk and fellow BLS guitarist Nick Catanese appeared in the Warner Brothers film Rock Star. The movie starred Planet Of The Apes heartthrob Mark Wahlberg, and Jennifer Aniston of Friends fame, with a cameo from Brad Pitt. The project was loosely based on the true saga of Tim "Ripper" Owens and Judas Priest.

Black Label Society completed by Catanese and ex-Crowbar drummer Craig Nunenmacher will begin touring 1919 Eternal in the summer of 2002. Wylde enjoyed a busy 2001 with his return to Ozzy Osbourne's band and in 2002 there will still be much more touring to do with Ozzy. Although Zakk knows it will require much hard graft, he plans on keeping his two separate careers running for the foreseeable future.

"It just means I've gotta work harder," he shrugs. "I've got a family to support, so I know I've gotta work hard. I love being in Black Label, but I'll always be around for Ozzy, too. Just because you move out of the house, doesn't mean you don't love your dad anymore. Ozzy knows all he has to do is call and I'll be there."



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