Zakk Wylde

Zakk Wylde

(August 2010)
Background information
Birth name Jeffrey Phillip Wielandt
Born (1967-01-14) January 14, 1967
Bayonne, New Jersey, United States
Genres Heavy metal, hard rock, sludge metal, groove metal, southern rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, actor, producer
Instruments Guitar, vocals, keyboards, harmonica
Years active 1987–present
Labels Geffen, Spitfire, InsideOut Music, Artemis, Roadrunner, Epic, Sony
Associated acts Black Label Society, Ozzy Osbourne, Pride & Glory, Steel Dragon, Britny Fox, Zakk Sabbath (Black Sabbath tribute band)
Notable instruments
Zakk Wylde Signature Les Paul,
Zakk Wylde Signature Gibson Flying V,
Zakk Wylde Epiphone ZV,
Signature GMW custom V

Zakk Wylde (born Jeffrey Phillip Wielandt on January 14, 1967) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and occasional actor who is best known as the former guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, and founder of the heavy metal band Black Label Society. His signature bulls-eye design appears on many of his guitars and is widely recognized. He was the lead guitarist and vocalist in Pride & Glory, who released one self-titled album in 1994 before disbanding. As a solo artist he released Book of Shadows and Book of Shadows II.

Early life

Jeffrey Phillip Wielandt was born in Bayonne, New Jersey on 14 January 1967. He started playing the guitar at the age of 8, but didn't become serious about it until his first year in high school. At the age of 14 he worked at Silverton Music in the Silverton section of Toms River, New Jersey. Wielandt grew up in Jackson, New Jersey, and went to Jackson Memorial High School, where he graduated in 1985. He has stated that he would practice playing the guitar as much as 12 hours per day and would often play the guitar almost non-stop between coming home from school and leaving for school the next morning, then sleeping through the school day.

Wylde in 2006

Music career

Wylde played locally with his first band Stone Henge, then later with local Jersey band Zyris. Later, he landed the role as lead guitarist and co-writer for Ozzy Osbourne. He sent Osbourne a demo tape in 1987 and was hired to replace Jake E. Lee, who replaced Brad Gillis, who replaced the deceased Randy Rhoads. Rhoads remains Wylde's foremost guitar-playing and stagecraft influence.[1]

Wylde gravitated toward a particular Les Paul guitar, which has become known as "The Grail"; his famous bullseye-painted Gibson Les Paul custom. Wylde lost the guitar in 2000 after it fell from the back of a truck transporting equipment as he was travelling between gigs in Texas. Rewards were offered to anyone that had information about the guitar. Wylde and The Grail were reunited three years later when a fan bought it at a Dallas pawn shop and saw the initials "Z.W." carved into the humbucker pickups backs. He contacted Wylde's former webmaster Randy Canis to arrange its return to Wylde. Grateful, Wylde gave the fan his signature model in exchange.[2] In 1995, Wylde auditioned for Guns N' Roses.[3][4][5]

Wylde was replaced in Osbourne's band by Joe Holmes from 1995 until his return in 2001. On January 17, 2006, Zakk Wylde was recognized at the Hollywood Rock Walk of Fame, featuring his handprints and signature, in recognition of his successful career as a musician and his contribution to the music industry. The event was open to the public and many rock celebrities were present, including Ozzy Osbourne. For a time in the mid-2000s he contributed a monthly column entitled "Brew-tality" for a guitar magazine, discussing his techniques and equipment, as well as transcribing riffs and solo sections. After auditions in 2004/2005, Ozzy Osbourne announced Wylde as the official guitarist for his album, Black Rain, which was released in 2007. On stage with Osbourne, Wylde has been credited for lending a high level of energy and passion to performances. Black Label Society's album Shot To Hell, was released on September 11, 2006 in the UK, and September 12, 2006 in the U.S. through Roadrunner records, with production by Michael Beinhorn. Black Label Society headlined the second stage at the 2006 Ozzfest, with Wylde playing double duty with Ozzy on certain dates.[6] He also joined Ozzy Osbourne for the Ozzy and Friends Tour in replacement of the Black Sabbath tour scheduled for the summer of 2012, playing a range of European dates including Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium.[7]

Black Label Society released 'The Song Remains Not the Same' on May 10, 2011 on E1. Wylde also played a guitar solo on Black Veil Brides' cover of Kiss' "Unholy," on the 2011 EP Rebels.

Wylde, along with Steve Vai, Nuno Bettencourt, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Tosin Abasi, was featured on the Generation Axe tour in April and May 2016.

Personal life

Wylde and his wife Barbaranne have four children: Hayley Rae, Hendrix, Sabbath, and Jesse[8]—who is godson to Ozzy Osbourne.[9] Wylde was a close friend of Pantera and Damageplan guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott and subsequently dedicated the song, "In this River" in his memory. He is a New York Yankees fan. As of 2011, he is in partnership with Blair's Sauces and Snacks to produce "Berserker" Hot Sauce and several variations.[10] Wylde is Irish Catholic and has spoken about his faith, calling himself a "soldier of Christ".[11] Wylde's health has come under scrutiny for several years. Wylde was asked by Sharon Osbourne to attend rehab, but left early on.[12] In August 2009, Wylde was hospitalized due to blood clots;[13] he was subsequently forced to cancel his tour with Mudvayne and Static-X.[14] After his hospitalization, Wylde stopped drinking alcohol and is now sober.[15]

Wylde in Philadelphia (2005) playing a Gibson Chet Atkins CE


Wylde is known for his use of Gibson Les Paul Custom model guitars, equipped with EMG -81 and -85 active pickups, with a "bulls-eye" graphic on them, a design he used to differentiate himself visually from Randy Rhoads – who was also frequently identified by his cream Les Paul Custom, the guitar he has used since he was 12 years old. The "bulls-eye" paint job was originally supposed to look like the spiral from the movie Vertigo, but when it came back incorrectly from the luthier, he liked the result and stuck with it.[16] He was sometimes criticized by viewers and media for taking the idea of the "bulls-eye" from Eddie Ojeda from Twisted Sister, however, both Ojeda and Wylde deny it and suppose it to be coincidence. One of Wylde's favorite stage guitars is a GMW RR-V, a model that is famously known as the "Polka-dot V" Created originally by luthier Karl Sandoval of California, used by Randy Rhoads, often mistaken as a custom Flying V.

Wylde's signature Les Pauls include a red flame-maple bulls-eye model, a black and antique-white bulls-eye model, an orange "buzz-saw" model, the pattern on which was inspired by a design on a Zippo lighter,[17] and a "camo" bulls-eye model with mother of pearl neck inlays and a green camouflage paint scheme. His original bulls-eye Les Paul was purchased from one of the owners of Metaltronics Amplification. Metaltronics was building a one-off live rig for Wylde that was designed around one of the owner's guitars, a creamy white Les Paul Custom with EMG pickups, which would later become known as "The Grail". Wylde has a custom Dean Splittail with a mud splatter bulls-eye graphic, as well as a signature Splittail shaped Gibson model called the "ZV". Another Dean in his collection is a Dime series Razorback with custom Bulls-eye graphics ordered for him specially by Dimebag Darrell shortly before his murder; since receiving the guitar, he has only ever used it on stage to play "In This River," Zakk's personal tribute to Dimebag.

In practice, Wylde uses Marshall MG Series practice combos ranging in wattage levels from 10-30W during tour/private use especially in hotels and buses. Wylde has an extensive relationship with Marshall Amplification due to his love for their amplifiers, both solid state and valve powered. Live, Wylde exclusively uses Marshall JCM 800's with twin 4 X 12 Cabinets loaded with EVM12L 300W Black Label Speakers. His usual signal path consists of his guitar > (on stage pedal board) Dunlop Wylde Wah > Dunlop Wylde Rotovibe > MXR ZW Phase 90 > MXR Wylde Overdrive > MXR Carbon Copy Delay Delay > (to a back stage pedal board) > MXR EVH Flanger > MXR Black Label Chorus > split signals, one to each distorted amp into the High Gain input.

A detailed gear diagram of Wylde's 1988 Ozzy Osbourne guitar rig is well-documented.[18]

At the 2015 NAMM Show, Wylde announced his new company called Wylde Audio and provided a preview of his new line of custom guitars and amplifiers.[19] Currently he now is seen playing Wylde Audio equipment almost exclusively.[20]

Media appearances

Guest album appearances

Wylde has made guest appearances on various albums by other artists:

Black Label Society performing at Allen Event Center in Allen, Texas on October 16, 2011

Guest live performances


Other media


With Black Label Society

With Ozzy Osbourne
Pride & Glory


  1. Wawzenek, Bryan. "Zakk Wylde Pays Tribute To Randy Rhoads". Retrieved 2012-03-19.
  3. "What Could Have Been: Zakk Wylde Talks Guns N' Roses". Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  4. "Articles > "I Spent A Week Jammin' With Guns N' Roses". Zakk Wylde to join GN'R?!". Here Today... Gone To Hell!. January 28, 1995. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  5. Archived January 8, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. Saulnier, Jason (September 22, 2010). "Zakk Wylde Interview". Music Legends. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  7. "Zakk Wylde Shows Off New Son Sabbath". July 9, 2012. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  8. "Zakk Wylde: 'Dimebag Was Proof That God Exists'". November 5, 2005. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  9. "Blair's Sauces and Snacks: The Official Home of Blair's Death Sauce and Extreme Food: Hot Sauces: Zakk Wylde". Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  10. "the AU Interview: Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society (Los Angeles, CA)". the AU review. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  11. "ZAKK WYLDE Denies He Spat Booze in JAMES HETFIELD's Face". BlabberMouth.
  12. Joe Bosso (August 26, 2009). "Zakk Wylde hospitalized for blood clots, cancels tour". Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  13. "Zakk Wylde Issues Health Update | Music News @". Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  15. "Where did the Bullseye design come from?". YouTube. June 22, 2012. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  16. Archived December 8, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  17. Cooper, Adam (July 1, 2000). "Zakk Wylde's 1988 Ozzy Osbourne Guitar Rig". GuitarGeek.Com.
  18. NAMM 2015 – WYLDE AUDIO – Zakk Wylde Leaves Gibson and Marshall to Start His Own Company Retrieved on 2015-01-29.
  19. "Rig Rundown: Zakk Wylde". Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  20. "". Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  21. "Pantera's New Found Power Has A Name: Damageplan". October 16, 2003. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  22. Rosenberg, Axl. "Now That Awful Dope/Zakk Wylde Collaboration Has An Awful Video". MetalSucks. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  23. "Fozzy". January 14, 2005. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  24. "DPRP Specials : Derek Sherinian .:. Interview 2004". Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  25. "PRLog". PRLog. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  26. Archived April 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  27. "Porn Star Dancing (Extended Uncensored)". YouTube. June 17, 2010. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  28. "Jamey Jasta: New Song Featuring Zakk Wylde Available For Streaming". May 23, 2011. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  29. "Zakk Wylde Set to Guest on Black Veil Brides EP". Guitar World. November 22, 2011. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  30. "Interview: Russ Freeman and The Rippingtons Are 'Built To Last'". Guitar World. November 14, 2012. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
  31. "Eric Gales: Good For Sumthin' Review". Blues Rock Review. December 4, 2014. Retrieved 2015-01-19.
  32. R. Scott Bolton (August 29, 2005). "Interview with Zakk Wylde". Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  33. "Zakk Wylde Performs National Anthem at Madison Square Garden: Photo Available". October 30, 2005. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  34. hrcadmin. "Hard Rock | Zakk Wylde Brings Sounds of Black Label Society To Hard Rock Cafes". Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  35. "How Zakk Wylde wound up on 'American Idol'". April 14, 2011. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  36. "Zakk Wylde Performs Lenny Kravitz song on Lopez Tonight". June 14, 2011. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
  37. The Examiner. "Rockfest 2011: Zakk Wylde to perform National Anthem -". Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  38. "Guns N' Roses and Zakk Wylde Perform AC/DC's "Whole Lotta Rosie"". December 12, 2011. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  39. "Zakk Wylde Working on New Movie Project?". November 7, 2006. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  40. "Zakk Wylde On Californication; Video Available". Retrieved April 14, 2014.

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