Thursday, September 20, 2007

2005 - Kiss Expo III Nottingham Interview: Zakk Wylde (Danny James)

I had an interview with Danny Lee James and “Space Ace” about Rock and Roll and all sorts of things.

Danny is playing music since age 4. He is a classical trained pianist and holds grade 8 in pianoforte. He also plays guitar for almost 25 years now.

He started playing guitar when he first heard Ozzy Osbourne’s first guitar player Randy Rhoads.

Danny played in a band called Fahrenheit an released two albums with them as well as performing in front of 84.000 people at the European Harley Davidson Rally in Berlin in 1994.

He also spent 3 years in the longest running KISS tribute band “Dressed to kill”.

Danny is now playing as Zakk Wylde in both an Ozzy Osbourne tribute act as well as in a Black Label Society tribute band.

Zakk:
What I like about rock music is the fact that you have to be able to play an instrument, you have to be able to play it well, you have to present yourself on stage and there is no fallacy of “here today – gone tomorrow”. It is all about hard work, commitment, and dedication. To me that is what represents rock music apart from what you see on TV now, things like “The X factor”.

TJ:
We went to see Alice Cooper in Glasgow last week and Twisted Sister opened up for him and they said they don’t even have a record company. They are currently talking to a record company in Scotland but they want to see how the tour goes.

Space Ace:
The last Twisted Sister album, was what? – All the old songs but on a disc.

Zakk:
Motley Crue were the instigators of this. They’ve gone on to form their own record label Motley Records. Kiss a re gonna do the same, they are running through Sanctuary now. Sanctuary has always been renown for working with rock musicians, Iron Maiden especially. Most rock bands now don’t get anywhere. They don’t get airplay for a start, they don’t get the credit they deserve and they don’t get the time that they deserve and a lot of people, a lot of young kids are coming to rock music now via the “Green Day”, “Blink 182” sort of door. Some of it is good but … at least it is live music but unfortunately a lot of them are coming in through the “Busted” sort of door, which is just fucking ass. And although they do play their own instruments to a point it is not rock music and …

Space Ace:
It is rock music with a twang

Zakk:
Well, there is a difference. There is Kiddie – Rock and than there is rock and roll.

TJ:
The Sweet or the Bay City Rollers were no different …

Zakk:
No. Well, there is a difference between the Sweet and the Bay City Rollers. Although the Bay City Rollers were phenomenally huge there is only one track I can remember of them whereas with Sweet there is a lifetime’s work of material and that’s the difference.

TJ:
You don’t get anybody saying things like: “Oh yeah, Prince was great”, although he really was in the 1980s. He only gets slugged nowadays.

Zakk:
I think the reason why people slug Prince off nowadays is because he is not that prominent anymore and people haven’t moved on from the shows that he put on. They’ve become used to not seeing that sort of show. The same thing could be said with Kiss. People become so used to not seeing the Kiss – Show nowadays in the UK that anything will do. When Crue came over here this year people were just like: “Fuck, wow” but then again the Crue – show was awesome but still nothing compared to what Kiss can do. People need that sort of exposure to live shows and to top artists but unfortunately the UK is so isolated.

TJ:
So is Ireland. We only get to see half the bands you get to see. So many bands came over, like Queen, who did their final show of their 2005 tour in Dublin, saying: “We didn’t know if we can come over, we had to calculate it”. Maiden played in 2003 and they said that they had been warned not to come over to Ireland because there is no market for hard rock and yet they sold out the biggest venue in Dublin.

Space Ace:
We’re just starved of music

Zakk:
Totally starved

TJ:
To me, U2 is not rock music anymore either

Zakk:
Unfortunately for U2 it is more a political statement than anything else from one member of the band. The band themselves are immensely talented, they are phenomenally good and they are by far one of the best live bands in the world. If only Bono took his head from out his ass. He is a fallacy to what he speaks about. He speaks about that we should treat the third world like the first world and we should give them all our money, yet, this guy is probably living in the biggest mansion you’ve ever seen.

Space Ace:
A lot of these rock stars are shouting about helping the world …

(People walk by, wondering what’s going on. We all are saying: Come on, join in, we’re just having a conversation about Bono…)

Space Ace:
… but they are not looking at their back doors.

TJ:
Where they came from …

Space Ace:
Where they came from and a lot of the areas they came from are deprived. So, some of the money that they earn should go back into their local communities.

Zakk:
U2 themselves could have financed at least two countries in Africa’s food thing out of the money they earned from their last tour. It is a very, very conflicting policy that he (Bono) has.

TJ:
There is one thing about all the Kiss things that you hear … I have this Eric Carr DVD …

Zakk:
Yes, the Fox – thing..

TJ:
.. where he (Eric Carr) actually brings in the Slayer tape to Kiss and they actually end up playing with Kiss. That’s commitment to rock and roll

Zakk:
Yes, it is and Eric Singer has just done the “Hurricane Kathrina” relief gig in the States and Bruce (Dickinson) is doing it as well and that’s in between a major Alice Cooper tour. I think music has got a much more wider reach to people these days. And it is not just rock music, it is all sorts of music.

Space Ace:
At the end of the day though, everywhere is suffering, what does it come down to, to support everybody in the world: Live Aid!

TJ:
And then people still get blamed they’re only trying to make money

Zakk:
Yes, Bob Geldof springs to mind there.

Space Ace:
You got to stand up for your rights.

Zakk:
To be quite honest with you, Bob Geldof is just an arrogant twat anyway.
(Everybody is laughing)

Zakk:
I spent six hours with him on a plane. He is just miserable…The funny thing is, where I live, I live in Freemantle in Perth, where Bon Scott grew up. I was saying earlier, there are about three AC/DC tribute bands in the Perth area and they try their hardest not to do any Bon Scott material, especially: “It is a long way to the top” as this is, unofficially, Australia’s national anthem. You try that and you don’t sound as lot like Bon Scott – you’re bottled! No one else in the band, only the singer. I have seen it happening, it is not good, you know.

TJ:
Do you have some admiration then for Brian Johnson?

Zakk:
Oh, Christ, yeah …

TJ:
I remember when Bon Scott died I thought that’s it but when “Back in Black” was released I thought: “Shit, he really pulled it off!”

Zakk:
Yeah, I think it is the greatest rock album ever made and it proofed it by selling, what, roughly 46 million copies to date?!

TJ:
Yeah, it is massive

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