Zakk Wylde Shares Honest Opinion on Tony Iommi’s Black Sabbath Tone, Reveals How He Started Using Chorus

In a recently published interview with Ultimate Guitar, guitar master Zakk Wylde discussed various topics, including his use of the chorus effect. In particular, the Ozzy Osbourne and current Pantera guitarist was asked how he manages to make things sound “tight” with the effect while playing through high-gain settings. He replied:

“I’ve never been in the studio before ‘No Rest for the Wicked.’ I was in the studio, but I didn’t how it works. It’s like you don’t know until you’re there. It’s like the Wizard of Oz. And then you see how the process of layering and putting things together, like how Jimmy Page would make these amazing records. With all the different tones and different guitar tracks coming in and out.”

“It’s architecture, it’s like building a house, you know? There’s really no secret to it, just play. I mean, as far as that stuff goes, you play it to yourself until you’re happy with it. As far as doubling it goes, and, you know, like the way Dimebag would double all his stuff. You just make sure it’s tight.”

Zakk Wylde rips amazing guitar solo over Andy James track, EMGtv

Speaking of tone, Zakk was also asked about Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi and what he considers to be the band’s best album in terms of guitar tone. He replied:

“I love them all. I love his guitar tone on ‘Vol. 4.’ I actually, you know, I love them all. They’re all really, really special. I mean, all of them. Even the latest records, you know, ‘Never Say Die’ and ‘Technical Ecstasy.'”

“I love the guitar tone on ‘Sabotage,’ too. The metal breakdown on ‘Snowblind,’ just this guitar tone, it’s just so filthy and nasty, but still clean. You can hear everything, even as filthy as it is.”

Snowblind (2009 - Remaster)

Another thing that Zakk touched upon was his brief tenure with The Allman Brothers band. To those not familiar with this, Zakk Wylde was invited to do one show back in 1993. The story goes that he just wasn’t what the band was looking for in terms of stage performance. Nonetheless, his playing and interpretations were pretty great.

When recalling this involvement with The Allman Brothers, he said:

“It was amazing. I mean, the guys were all super cool. I couldn’t have been treated any nicer. I remember I came in on like a Saturday night.”

“And at Sunday, at soundcheck, Gregg goes, ‘Hey, Zakk, brother, you know how to play ‘Dreams?’ I go, ‘Yeah, that Molly Hatchet song, right?’ [laughs] He goes, ‘Man, don’t make me have to send you home, man.’ [laughs]

“It was hilarious, man. I mean, everybody, actually, even Gregg laughed, too. So yeah, they were all cracking up. But I had a great time. The guys treated me great. And I was beyond honored, being up there, playing with the guys.”

You can check out the show in question in the embedded player below.

Allman Brothers Band -- 08-01-93, Mansfield, MA, w/ Zakk Wylde on guitar

As of this moment, Zakk is still playing live shows for Pantera. Along with Phil Anselmo and Zakk, we have Charlie Benante on drums, and Derek Engemann replacing Rex Brown until the end of the 2022 tour. Rex had to sit out and go back home due to contracting COVID. The bassist shared an official statement recently:

“I caught a very mild strain of Covid, but because of our own protocols, I simply do not wanna risk getting my brothers or the crew sick!! I’m feeling better & am on my way to a speedy recovery. Merry Fckn Christmas & see you all next year!”

Photos: MorganaPhotolive (Black Label Society (26643606944)), Guy Evans (Tony Iommi HomeofMetal Fox 0659)

David Slavkovic

David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.

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