In a brand new interview with Australia’s Heavy magazine, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY mainman Zakk Wylde credited BLACK SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne for making it possible for Wylde to have a successful career in the music industry.
“Without Ozzy, I wouldn’t be talking here with you right now,” Wylde said. “I’ve always loved Ozzy. He’s always been one of the coolest guys and he’s like an older brother and it’s truly a blessing. I still talk to Ozzy, ‘cause he’s family to me. Just because BLACK LABEL is full time, it doesn’t really matter. Because if [current OZZY OSBOURNE guitarist] Gus G.’s wife was having a baby and Ozzy wanted me to fill in, I’d do it.”
He continued: “The thing is, with Ozzy, he introduces you to the world, and whatever you want to do is up to you. What are you gonna do? We all gotta have jobs and pay bills. Ozzy offered me an opportunity and introduced me to the world, and you just gotta role your sleeves up and get to work instead of sitting on the couch, talking about how you’re gonna be bigger than McDonalds.”
Speaking to Guitar International in May 2011, Zakk was asked how well he thought Gus had filled his shoes in Ozzy Osbourne’s band. “Gus is doing awesome, man,” Zakk replied. “Anyone that goes to their show is just like, ‘Gus is amazing, man.’ He is. And he’s super-cool. Gus is in FIREWIND, which is ridiculously slammin’, too. I think Gus is doin’ awesome. And everybody in the BLACK LABEL family is behind Gus, anyway. We’re all rooting for him.”
Ozzy told Classic Rock magazine in a June 2009 interview that he was on the lookout for a new guitar player to replace Zakk Wylde.
As for why he wanted to break away from Wylde, who had played with Ozzy on and off since 1988, Ozzy said, “I haven’t fallen out with Zakk, but Zakk’s got his own band, and I felt like my stuff was beginning to sound like BLACK LABEL SOCIETY. I just felt like I wanted a change, y’know?”
In an interview with a Eugene, Oregon radio station in July 2009, Zakk slammed Ozzy over his Classic Rock comments, saying in part, “I’ve gotta be honest with you. The boss hasn’t even given me a phone call, so I mean… I’m just like… I don’t know what’s going on over there. Are we doing this thing or are we not doing it?… I mean, it’s like, dude, you don’t wanna play with me anymore? Fine. Play with whoever the hell you wanna play with. I couldn’t give a rat’s ass. Like I’m gonna get all jealous or whatever. But you know what?! Man up and give me a phone call and tell me what the hell’s going on.”
Wylde’s answer after that abruptly turned into an obscenity-filled rant directed at Ozzy that had to be heavily bleeped by the station.