Black Label Society Biography
Black Label Society is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California formed in 1998 by Zakk Wylde. To date, the band has released nine studio albums, two live albums, two compilation albums, one EP, and three video albums.
In the early 1990s, Wylde had formed his own solo band Pride & Glory, playing a mixture of bluesy southern rock with heavy metal. However, they disbanded in December 1994 after having released only one album. Wylde subsequently recorded an acoustic solo album, Book of Shadows (released 1996). In May 1998, after limited commercial success with Book of Shadows, Wylde and drummer Phil Ondich recorded what became Black Label Society’s debut album Sonic Brew. It was decided, rather than the album being another solo album for Wylde, that they would form a long term band. It was known from the start that Nick Catanese would be retained as the second guitarist in the band (Catanese previously toured as rhythm guitarist for the Book Of Shadows tour). John DeServio, who previously worked with Wylde as a temporary replacement in Pride & Glory, joined as the band’s bassist for the album’s tour.
Black Label Society’s second album Stronger Than Death followed in 2000, with DeServio being replaced by Steve Gibb. Craig Nunenmacher replaced Ondich in July 2000, with his debut recording with the band being the live album Alcohol Fueled Brewtality Live +5. This was followed by 1919 Eternal,which was dedicated to Wylde’s father and was released in 2002. Steve Gibb was temporarily replaced by Mike Inez (Alice In Chains) during the Ozzfest 2001 tour, and then Robert Trujillo (Metallica) took over bass duties for the band the next year.
In 2003, Trujillo joined Metallica, leaving the bass position in Black Label Society open, which left room for Inez to rejoin the band for a short two-week tour, supporting the band’s album The Blessed Hellride. James LoMenzo joined the band in 2004 after the release of Hangover Music Vol. VI, which was the band’s last release for Spitfire Records.
On the first four Black Label Society studio albums, Wylde played every instrument, except for the drums, including vocals, guitars, piano, and bass guitar.
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