Black Label Society and Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde talked about his creative process with Full Metal Jackie. And he explained how he created new riffs.
“It’s actually quite the process. What I do is take Lady Gaga records and Justin Bieber albums, I play them backwards, I listen to all the riffs backwards and the Satanic messages, then I convert back to Catholicism, and then we record the records.
“So, like I said, it’s quite the process, but I do it all for the art. I’m willing to take that responsibility. I do this while I’m getting my nails done and I get a blow dry as well, but it’s work. You know, I’m not afraid of work.”
“You have Mount Riffmore, that’s to me the three guys that I left there. You have Lord Iommi, Pope Page, and the Sorcerer Ritchie Blackmore up there.
“So, as far as how to construct a car, those are the guys that basically – everything’s an offshoot off of that, that’s the main template for as far as rock riffs go.
“I just think the riffs always come down between Tony Iommi, Jimmy Page, and Ritchie Blackmore – you’re talking about ‘Smoke on the Water,’ ‘Iron Man,’ or ‘Whole Lotta Love,’ or anything like that – ‘The Ocean,’ or ‘Heartbreaker’ or any of the riffs.
“You’re looking at two strings that you can play these riffs on, one to two strings, it’s simplicity really. Trying to write, when you’re writing riffs, it’s like you might as well just hand me a bass and just give me one string and go and just write some riffs, so it’s not even cords, it’s just a riff.
“I look forward to going in every time we do a record. Like with this ‘Grimmest Hits,’ I get just as excited as I did when we first did ‘No Rest for the Wicked’ with Ozzy back in ’87-’88. Because you’re creating something new, it’s just like going for an excursion where you’re digging. You know there’s a whole bunch of dinosaur bones, but we don’t know which bones we’re going to find, whether it’s gonna be a Tyrannosaurus Rex or it’s gonna be this or that or whatever.
“I think that’s what the whole excitement is to me. And if we played sports or whatever, it’s the beginning of a new season. So, the goal is to win another World Series or whatever. Whether you won or you had the worst season you had, it’s just a new season that’s brand new. So, I would assume that’s how everybody kind of looks at going in and making a new record.”
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