Zakk Wylde: “I Love All My Gibson Guitars”
Zakk Wylde is known for his blazing Les Paul Bullseyes, Explorers and Flying Vs, but there’s a new Wylde model on the block: The limited edition Zakk Wylde Moderne of Doom.
The Moderne of Doom is modeled after the legendary, yet never released, third member of the Modernist Series of the late 1950s: the Gibson Moderne. A few highlights include a Zakk Wylde design with a maple top and mahogany back, a maple neck with a Richlite fingerboard, EMG 81 and 85 active humbucking pickups and a Floyd Rose tremolo.
We checked in with the Black Label Society frontman and former Ozzy Osbourne lead guitarist to get the details on the Moderne of Doom and why Gibson is his guitar of choice.
Black Label Society will release a new album on April 8, Catacombs of the Black Vatican. Check back in the coming weeks for our chat with Wylde regarding the new tunes.
Tell me about the genesis of your Moderne of Doom.
Well, the design is from 1958. The Moderne came out about the time the Flying V and Explorer came out. All three of them were not big sellers at all. In 1958, when they came out, they were way ahead of their time with those guitar shapes. When you think about it, Gibson was 30 years ahead of its time. Billy Gibbons is known for being a Moderne player. I’m obviously a Les Paul guy. I love my Les Paul customs. I love all my Gibson guitars. With every Gibson guitar, you can find something super cool about it.
What kind of adjustments did you make to the Moderne of Doom model?
With the Moderne, it’s oddly shaped, and I really like those guitars. I definitely wanted to modify it for the 21st century. It’s as thick as a Les Paul now. It has the Custom-style block inlays, the Floyd Rose, the mahogany body. They did an amazing job with that guitar. All the guitars made by Gibson are beyond stellar.
What stands out to you about the Moderne?
The shape is unique. Its quirkiness is what makes it so cool to me. I love it. I used it some on my new record, I used it on the Gigantour last year, and I’ll use it when we’re on the road this year.
What makes Gibson stand above other brands?
The guitar speaks for itself. It’s an awesome instrument. I tell everybody that it’s an investment, because you’ll have it the rest of your life. It’s not like you need to step up. Once you have a Gibson, you’ll have the thing forever.
What playing advice do you have for young guitarists?
Learn your scales and your fretboard. Have someone teach you. To me, it’s no different than learning how to read and write and add and subtract. You can get through life with that. If you want to be a chemical engineer, then you have to learn trigonometry and take those facets of education to a whole other level. If you want to be a jazz player or classically trained, you’re going to have to go further. But, you have to have the basic knowledge.
Do you think someone is ever too old to learn guitar?
Not at all. If you have passion for something, go for it. It’s a tool for music. I’d say that if you have a passion for anything to go for it. If you want to learn how to fly, go for it. You’re never too old for anything, especially not music or guitar or piano.