|ZAKK WYLDE has been writing and jamming with multi-Platinum LA megastars Guns N' Roses!
The Pride & Glory/Ozzy Oshourne axeman made the announcement exclusively to Kerrang! during an interview this week. And Zakk's astonishing revelations mark the most promising Guns news in years!
Zakk jammed with GN'R after an invitation from controversial band frontman Axl Rose, and becomes another confirmed coconspirator alongside Paul Huge. Incredibly, Kerrang! heard this week that, contrary to rumour, Paul Huge is probably not a fullyfledged member of Guns N' Roses, and is mainly only a writing partner for Axl. This, of course, leaves the vacant guitar post wide open!
How much Guns axeman Slash knows about the situation remains open to conjecture: the six-stringer was unavailable for comment as Mayhem went to press this week.
Zakk's involvement with Guns N' Roses was initiated by Axl, who is reportedly taken with all aspects of Wylde as a musician and performer. He was insistent about getting him to hook up with GN'R and contribute on the next Guns LP, and is understood to be impatient to start work immediately.
Axl went through a particularly rough 1994, capped by two of his former lovers suing him for a variety of things and everspiralling rumours of Guns N' Roses' demise. This latest move, however, not only suggests that Axl has no intention of throwing in the GN'R towel but also - as you'll read-that no one should bet on the Axl/Slash partnership breaking up just yet!
Indeed, according to Wylde, who was tracked down in New York during pre-production for Ozzy Osbourne's next LP, Slash is not only highly aware of his work with the band but has also been a participant!
"The bottom line is this," says Zakk. "I've jammed with the guys. When I was asked about jammin' with the guys, I thought it'd be way cool because I love the band, I think they're great. And I love Slash as a guitarist, I really love listening to his guitarplaying - him and (Alice In Chains star) Jerry Cantrell are my peers that I dig listening to.
"We did that thing in Wembley, me and Slash, that Night Of 100 Guitars, and just recently Pride & Glory played the Troubadour in LA and Slash came and jammed there. So then the guys asked me if I wanted to come down and jam with them, get some tunes together, and I said, `Yeah, cool, man'!"
So Axl invited you down and asked you to write some songs and play?
"Yeah - he said, `Dude, why don't you come and write some songs and we'll see what happens. If it works out, great, it'd be a blast'. He just said, `Hey, maybe we'll be in a band together!'. So we jammed together for just over a week, we jammed over a whole bunch of shit and came out with three pretty cool ideas. That was with the whole band: Axl, Slash, Dizzy, Duff, Matt and me. We were all just jammin' together and havin' a blast.
"That's where it pretty much stands right now-things are up in the air. I mean, I have crazy shit happening with my stuff. I'm also doing my work with Oz and there's no telling what will happen in the future. I think the guys in Guns are f**kin' awesome, and hangin' with Axl when I have, we've had a f**kin' great time talkin' and jammin'."
Paul Huge's name did not come up as being part of this jam: does this mean he isn't a member of GN'R after all?
"When I talked with Axl I said it'd be way cool that Slash and I could do harmonies together, crazy shit that'd be fun to play, and the whole band ended up jammin'."
In your meetings with Axl, where does it all seem to have clicked?
"Basically because we both wanna play. He wasn't all, 'Financially, this would be a great move if the band does this and that...'. He just said 'I wanna play some f**kin' tunes and I like the shit you did with Ozzy. It'd be great to get together and jam with the guys'. And it was great."
Were you surprised you got on so well with someone that half the world assumes to be crazy as a coot?
"Bottom line, he's just a normal dude to me. Shit maybe happened in the past because things haven't been going great. He has downs, he wants to kick ass and gets pissed if something isn't right.
"It wasn't like he's this 'weirdo', and the bottom line is that if someone gave me a weirdo head-case trip - and I wouldn't care if it was Robert Plant! - I'd tell 'em to go f**k themselves. I need that like a hole in the head.
"Axl isn't like that. He just wants to jam and he told me he's bored as f**k and wants to jam."
You and Slash.
"That's right. He said it sounded f**kin' killer. He's got a batch of good ideas, piano things that sound really cool. I have a bunch and I look forward to jammin' some more, seeing if they work out.
"But it's all up in the air right now, I ain't a member of Guns N' Roses. Who knows what'll happen, but if the guys say after a record that it would be great if I'd do the tour then that'd be great, but who knows?"
Has the stuff you've got together with Guns been Metal or more Southern sounding?
"A mixture of both, really. The stuff we've been dicking around with is just heavy hardcore stuff with the whole band jamming it. But I'm having a good time, and I'll tell ya, the only thing that'd stop me from doin' the Oz record, my own thing and jammin' with Guns is if I was a lazy asshole who watched TV and drunk beer all f**kin' day!"