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Zakk Wylde's sober, but Black Label Society still rocks

of the Oakland Press

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Much has been made of Zakk Wylde’s new sobriety, which came in August 2009, after he was hospitalized with blood clots and diagnosed with embolism. But the former Ozzy Osbourne sidekick — who had been asked by Osbourne’s wife and manager, Sharon, to undergo rehab earlier — says it’s “no big deal.”

“Y’know, it was just like, ‘You can’t drink anymore, Zakk. Blood clots. Pump’s closed, bro,’ ” says Wylde, 43, who’s currently leading his band Black Label Society on its first-ever Berzerkus tour to promote its new album, “Order of the Black.” “I don’t need anyone to hammer that home. I don’t need Dr. Drew or any of that stuff. I not going to pay 30 grand for someone to tell me, ‘You can’t do heroin and booze.’

“It’s pretty simple, y’know? It’s enough. It’s a decision, not a disease. Choice and disease are two different things. So it’s like, grow ... up, dude!”

Nevertheless, Wylde does want to dispel any notion of connection between any substance abuses and his creativity.

“We were drinking,” Wylde acknowledges, “but it was never like, ‘Oh, I gotta be hammered to write a riff.’ It was more like hanging out, having a couple of beers, writing songs, chillin’ at the studio. It’s not like I don’t remember making those records ’cause I was so hammered. It was never like that.

“So for me now it’s not like, ‘What am I gonna do now that I’m not drinking? How am I gonna write any songs? I still do what I always did, no better and no worse.”

The Black Label Berzerkus Tour with Black Label Society, Clutch and Children of Bodom plays Sunday, Nov. 7, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $62.95 and $51 with a $149 four-pack. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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