Zakk Wylde has a handle on what made Dimebag Darell so great while stepping into the guitarist role for the Pantera tribute lineup. The Black Label Society guitarist tells Full Metal Jackie that his appreciation for Dime's legacy is even "greater" now that he's been revisiting the music over the past year plus.

While appearing on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show, Wylde told the host, "What made Dime so great aside of his technique, like with all the artists and all the guys that we love, it's what they wrote." Wylde compared Dimebag to Tony Iommi, explaining how what they wrote set them apart and made both musicians a "benchmark" for other acts to follow.

Elsewhere in the interview, Wylde speaks about why he got in the festival game, launching the inaugural Berzerkus this year. And he gives us some insight into why Black Sabbath's songs have connected so well and what's made him dive into their catalog with Zakk Sabbath. Plus, he shares his thoughts on his frequent cohort Blasko returning to Rob Zombie's lineup this year.

Check out more in the chat below.

It's Full Metal Jackie and back on the show with us this week, the one and only Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society, Zakk Sabbath, and of course, the Pantera celebration. And we can now add this festival to the list of things. 2024 is bringing us the inaugural Berzerkus. Zakk, what led you down this path to do your own festival?

We had to. Well, because I'm not allowed on any other festivals. Just because I said, can I come hang out at this festival? They said, no, we don't like you and you can leave now. So I said, well, I guess we'll have to start our own. So then that's the reason why we have the Berzerkus.

And, like, what in particular were you looking for in the acts that you booked?

Well, what we actually do look for in the bands are dancing abilities. I mean, the thing is, if you notice, every band that's on there has all studied with Paula Abdul. So that's the prerequisite. Whether they can play or sing or anything like that, I really couldn't care less.

But if you can dance, that's all that matters. Let's be real. At the end of the day, that's all that matters in life.

Zakk, we know it's a typical bro down when Zakk Wylde is involved, but putting together your own event, what have you learned over the years in playing live that you want to bring, especially when it comes to making it a good day for all the acts joining you at this festival?

Well obviously the main priority is seeing who can get the best hangover possible. Obviously that's a prerequisite going into this thing, but doing the festivals, talking and everything like that. We were just saying, we ought to put something together here that we could do. Whether it was back in the day, whether we were doing Ozzfest or when we do all the summer festivals or anything like that or we're going over to Europe and we're doing Download, any festival I've ever done, it's always a good time.

So with this thing, it's just a matter of adding more stuff to it. Cause I could just turn it into one giant swap meet. And then you have all these other events going on, whether it's the food trucks, the barbecues, the beer tasting and the whole nine yards.

So then it's just between that and then it's like, 'Oh, wow, there's a gig as well.' So that's the whole point of doing it. And once again, because no one else wants us on any of the other festivals, so it's out of necessity as well.

That is a lie. We want you on every festival, Zakk.

Okay, thank you very much, Jackie. I'll give you the $20 when we're done here.

Zakk Wylde, Berzerkus Festival
Berzerkus Festival

Zakk, now that you've spent a year with the music and been embraced by the Pantera fanbase, and even worked closely with Dimebag, Darrell's guitar tech, even though you were longtime friends with Dime, it's another thing to be in it. How has your appreciation grown for Dime through the Pantera celebration? And have you picked up anything that maybe you didn't know about your old friend in the process?

Well, I always knew my buddy was great. And now, after going through the catalog and learning, then you realize that Dimebag, he's not only great, he's even greater than I even ever thought he was.


That's pretty much it. Yes, exactly. It's his writing. I mean, I always tell everybody, what made Dime so great aside of his technique, like with all the artists and all the guys that we love, it's what they wrote. you know what I mean? That's the legacy. To me, I always say with Dime's legacy, it's almost kind of like with Lord Iommi - how with Tony's writing how Sabbath just changed. It's almost like you have jazz, country, blues, and then you have Sabbath.That's it's own category of music.

And I'm with Pantera. As far as extreme metal goes, they're the benchmark and the catalyst. All the other bands are compared to them. So I think that's Dime's legacy. It's not just because you could play fast solos and things like that. It's just he had great technique. It's more than that. And I think with all the players that Dime loved, with Eddie [Van Halen] and Randy [Rhoads] and Tony Iommi and Jimmy Page and everything like that, it's what he wrote. That's his legacy.

READ MORE: Zakk Wylde Says Purpose of Pantera Is 'Not to Record New Music'

Pantera, "Floods" (Live 2024)

Zakk, while you've been saluting the legacy of Pantera, you've also got a longstanding tradition of celebrating Black Sabbath through your band. Zakk Sabbath. We've got the new Doomed Forever, Forever Doomed double album from Zakk Sabbath that digs into the Paranoid and Master of Reality eras of the band. What to you, stands out as the greatest strengths of these two records. And do you have any critique of those albums?

I think every time when we get done doing one of these Zakk Sabbath's, it's just a testament to how great the songs are and the simplicity of them. It's just great riffs and then great melodies that Oz put on there, and then the lyrics. Just the whole thing, that's the whole Sabbath soup. That's the reason why it's so great.

Even though they have tempo changes and everything like that, as far as it being intricate in that regard, I mean, it's just the simplicity of the songs. They're just great songs. It's not because, oh it's so heavy or this and that. That has nothing to do with anything, whether it's heavy or not. Is it a good song? Or is it not a good song?

I think with all bands that we love, the reason why you love a band is just because you enjoy the music is because of the song. So with Sabbath, that's all it is. We would say you can't put your thumb on it in regards to where the big choruses are or anything like that. It's just a great song. Whereas, let's say you take it song like "I Want To Hold Your Hand" by the Beatles. After the song's done on the radio, you would figure, I gotta get that single. The name of the song's "I Want to Hold Your Hand" because they're singing, that's the chorus.

Whereas, like, with a lot of Sabbath songs, you could hear "Paranoid" and go, well, what's the name of the song? Cause there's no real chorus in it. And he's not saying "Paranoid" 20 times throughout the song and the chorus, which I always think is amazing.

That's just a testament to how great the music is when you can't put your finger on it. Why do you enjoy this? I just do, because it's great. That's what I always find fascinating as well.

Zakk Sabbath, "Paranoid"

It's Full Metal Jackie. Zakk Wylde is my guest. Zakk, throughout your time with Ozzy and through other ventures, you've seen players come and go in various band lineups. I know you're a music fan as well as a longtime collaborator with Blasko. I wanted to get your thoughts on his return to Rob Zombie's band and seeing now an almost complete return to Zombie's original solo lineup.

Yeah, when Blasko told me, I was like, that's awesome, man. Blasko never really thought he'd be back. We're buddies with Rob and we were all friends and everything like that, but he never thought he'd be playing again. So, that'll be a blast for Blasko. He's gonna have a great time, man. It's just rolling with your old friend. So I'm excited for him.

Zakk, we've not really touched on Black Label Society. I know, only so many hours in the day, but I just wanted to see if there's an update on Black Label and how things will play out for you for the remainder of the year.

Well, I mean, like you said, you only have 25 hours in a day, so what I usually do is try and take that extra additional hour. What we've been doing with Black Label in between the Pantera celebration, the Berzerkurs, Zakk Sabbath, doing the dishes, doing the laundry, cleaning the dog and giving Barbara Ann her foot massages and her shoulder rubs ....

What a man, what a man!

That's what I have to do, because I don't want to get beaten profusely. So the whole thing is this, what I do is that extra time that we have that we can squeeze in for Black Label, working on the new album, I have to take a private jet and fly out to meet with Taylor Swift and work with her and write to work on the next Black Label album. So it's quite the production. But at the end of the day, you do it for the art.

Thanks to Zakk Wylde for the interview. Tickets for the Berzerkus Festival are on sale now. You can stay up to date with Black Label Society and Zakk Sabbath through the Black Label Society website and find Pantera on tour through their website. Plus Zakk is also on FacebookX and Instagram. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show here.

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