Zakk Wylde Says Tony Iommi Is His Mentor For The Heavy Stuff

Ozzy Osbourne guitarist and Black Label Society frontman Zakk Wylde appeared as a guest on Full Metal Jackie’s weekend radio program and stated that his songwriting has been certainly inspired by Tony Iommi.

In his career spanning over 30 years, Zakk Wylde has been very active in the rock and metal scenes. He has contributed to several Ozzy Osbourne and Black Label Society records and released two solo studio albums. He is currently promoting Black Label Society’s latest album, ‘Doom Crew Inc.,’ released on November 26, 2021, and Wylde’s guitar virtuosity has once again taken the album a step further.

Besides his incredible guitar riffs, Zakk Wylde is also known for his songwriting talents. For instance, he didn’t just contribute to the guitar parts of Ozzy Osbourne’s albums but also was the co-writer of many songs. As Wylde pointed out in the interview, songwriting is undoubtedly a much different process than playing guitar.

In his recent conversation, Wylde was asked about the musicians who have helped him while structuring a song, and Zakk Wylde said that Tony Iommi is his primary mentor when it comes to writing heavy stuff. Wylde stated that Black Sabbath has many great songs and credited Iommi since he’s been the band’s primary songwriter.

He stressed that the real reason people come to listen to Sabbath is their songs’ quality. Zakk Wylde said that he believes the guitar solos contribute to what is already good in the songs, but they are not the central element.

The interviewer asked the following question:

“Playing guitar itself is altogether different from songwriting. Who are your mentors who have taught you the dynamics of structuring a song?”

To which Wylde responded:

“For the heavy stuff, it would have to be Tony Iommi, for sure. Even just doing the Zakk Sabbath cover band, they’re just like the Beatles or the Rolling Stones — they’ve got great songs. It’s not because Keith Richards is blazing up and down the fretboard. That’s when everyone went — he’s king Edward. But there are songs there and the solo was the icing on the cake.

You love Ozzy and you’re going to see Ozzy cause of the songs and then Randy Rhoads put this amazing guitar solo in the song and it’s the icing on the cake. When you went to see Led Zeppelin, not everybody in that crowd was a guitar player and everybody’s just loved the music. It always comes down to the songs — always.

When I was a kid, it was just Elton John and Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, The Allman Brothers, The Eagles, Bad Company, Lynyrd Skynyrd — it’s just great music.”

You can listen to Black Label Society’s latest album ‘Doom Crew Inc.’ through Spotify below.