On Monday, August 25, 2003, Epiphone representative Will Jones had the opportunity to do a phone interview with the one-and-only Zakk Wylde. Here’s what Zakk had to say…(well at least the part we can print!)

Epiphone: Hey, Zakk, what’s happening?

Zakk: “Hey Will, just sittin’ here at the f***ing hotel bar in Atlanta drinking a Stella, you know, just havin’ a f***ing beer.”

Epiphone: So, Zakk, I know you get asked this in every guitar magazine, but who are your biggest influences?

Zakk: “My guitar teacher, his name is Leroy Wright, all the legends: Randy Rhodes, Eddie Van Halen, Hendrix, Robin Trower, Al Di Miola…there’s a f***ing Les Paul player….”

Epiphone: How long have you been a Les Paul player and why?

Zakk: “F***ing forever, how much more perfect can you make a Les Paul?? They are beyond perfect. The Les Paul embodied all the greats, everybody who was ever worth a shit played Les Pauls…Randy Rhodes, hell, Les Paul him self. He is the best! Everyone who ever picked up a guitar, every guitar player in the universe owes him a debt. What he created is out of F***ING CONTROL! He is a mad scientist! He is also the sickest guitar player who ever lived! I know, ‘cause I’ve played with him. First time I met him he told me I have heard your name before, I said yeah, I’ve got a Les Paul named after me! He said well damn, I do too! When I played with him I got down on my knees and kissed his hand and told him he is the greatest.

Epiphone: What do you say to folks who claim you don’t endorse the Epiphone Zakk Wylde LP?

Zakk: “F*** them. They don’t know what-the-f*** they are talkin’ about. I don’t put my name on a piece of shit. I can walk out on stage any night and jam with the thing. The necks are a bit thinner than the Gibson, which I think is cool for younger players especially, ‘cause it’s easier on their hands. The Epiphone is an ASS KICKIN’ guitar. Every time someone hands me one to sign I jam on the thing and they all are sick! When I was young I wanted the Randy Rhodes model and I didn’t have enough money, and I remember how that was. I wanted to have a f***ing guitar people could get for under a thousand bucks. The Epiphone Zakk Wylde is some quality shit. This is a way of giving something back. If they step-up to a Gibson Custom someday that’s cool too. I just want people to be able to get one of my guitars if they want one and it not be a piece of shit.”

Epiphone: If you could have the opportunity to kick anyone-in-the-world’s ass, who would it be?

Zakk: My own ass! Hell everyone else is trying to kick my ass.

Epiphone: What have you not done yet that you wanna do?

Zakk: “Start my own beer company. There is more money in that than the music business. It’s supply and demand. More people want f***ing beer than music.”

Epiphone: Have you considered running for Governor of California?

Zakk: “I’m voting for Arnold! Maybe later, after this guitar thing, we’ll see what the f*** is going on.”

Epiphone: I understand that your new Black Label Society single “Blessed Hellride”, which you cut here in Nashville and is the title track from your latest CD, is now out to radio. What are your plans to support the record?

Zakk: “Well, we have two more live shows then we go back to California. I got Rob Zombie to make our new video – Me and Dimebag Darrell are gonna ride through Death Valley in a ’32 outlaw coupe with a bunch of f***ing Hell’s Angels ridin’ with us, it’ll be sick.

Epiphone: What advice do you have for the young folks just getting started on guitar?

Zakk: “Play the music that you love. Find someone to help you get started, show you scales…like your dad helps you to learn to ride a bike, follows along side and then turns you loose. You learn from other people. I never stop learning. Surround your self with people you can learn from. Practice every mother f***ing day. I still practice two hours a day and then get up and play with Ozzy for an hour and a half. Keep focus. Don’t lose focus.”

Epiphone: How about equipment advice?

Zakk: “Get the f***ing best and stick with it. Gibson, Epiphone, Marshall, Boss Pedals, Dunlop, GHS. If I wasn’t endorsed by these brands I would still use the shit. They are the f***ing best.”