Ozzy Osbourne has revealed in a recent interview with Classic Rock Magazine that he has, for the time being, parted ways with guitarist Zakk Wylde in order to pursue a new guitarist and a new sound.
"Well, I’m getting a new guitar player as we speak and everyone has been saying to me for a long time, ‘Get Johnny 5 (the guitarist best known for his work with Marylyn Manson and Rob Zombie)’," says Osbourne. "I tried him at one time and I didn’t really give him a chance. We’ll see, I don’t know. 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?"
"I’ve got a guy from Greece coming in – not the musical, the country of Greece – but I’m not going to say too much about it, cos I don’t know myself at this point," he adds. "I’ve got a new album, I’m working on it as we speak. I’ve got a studio at my house and I’ve got a guy called Kevin Churko, the guy that [produced] the last album – he’s great to work with."
Whether this marks the end of Wylde’s career with Osbourne is still up in the air. After all, this isn’t the first time the singer has worked with other guitarists since hiring Wylde in 1987. Ozzy has also made it very clear in the interview that there were no hard feelings between the two and that he just wants to try something different. But what about the material Zakk has already recorded for Ozzy’s upcoming album?
"Oh yeah. Zakk came down and did a bunch of stuff and I don’t know if I want to use it but I’ve got it there if I do," Osbourne says. "And this Kevin Churko is a bit of an all-rounder so I’m getting back to basics in some respects. One thing about a guy who can’t do all the finger-tapping stuff is that he plays better on the riffs cos it’s not all [hums riff for Iron Man followed by over-the-top widdling]."
Even though his work with Ozzy Osbourne may have been cut short, Wylde will still remain busy as his band Black Label Society is about to embark on their "Pedal To The Metal Tour 2009" which will hit cities all across the United States later this month and into September. The full list of dates can be seen at the band’s website. The band is also said to be working on a follow-up to 2006’s "Shot To Hell."
Report by David Lowe-Bianco.