Doom Crew Inc.
The title of Black Label Society’s 11th album is a tribute to their tireless road crew and the dedicated fan base that has been following the band for more than two decades. “When nobody else can get it done, send in the beloved Doom Crew Incorporated,” Black Label mastermind and former Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde tells Apple Music. “And as far as our Black Label family, the fans, they’re all over the world and we couldn’t do this without them.” While Doom Crew Inc. boasts beefy riff-rockers, swampy blues jams, and even a piano ballad or two, just don’t ask Wylde what the lyrics are about. “All my lyric writing is basically like one big Seinfeld episode,” he says with a laugh. “It’s about nothing.” Below, he comments on each track—often with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek. “Set You Free” “I wrote this one at the end—we’d basically finished recording and the guys had gone home. I also came up with ‘Forever and a Day’ around the same time, so I had the guys come back out to work on them with me. Lyrically, it could be about me or something that happened to somebody I know, or it could be something I made up. It’s like when Black Label says they’ve sold more albums than The Rolling Stones and The Beatles combined. It’s not true, but we dream about it. It’s like George Costanza says: ‘It’s not a lie if you believe it.’” “Destroy & Conquer” “This is the whole Black Label mindset. It’s like when you’ve got a large pie with garlic and mushroom from Joe & Pat’s on Staten Island. You destroy and you conquer. When you’re finished doing the dishes, you’ve destroyed. Then you can make your bed and conquer. That’s basically it.” “You Made Me Want to Live” “I was reading all these comments that people were making about a guy who had recently passed away. Someone said, ‘You made me want to live.’ And I just thought that’d be a cool title for a song. This person put a bright spot in your life and was a positive influence. And the lyrics are basically from all the comments. I just started piecing together all these cool things people were saying about the guy. Who was he? I’m not giving it away.” “Forever and a Day” “There’s always some Beatles floating around in there somewhere. We talk about that all the time. To me, they’re like Goliath casting his shadow upon everything. I had been listening to some singer-songwriter type stuff on the radio, and I was just pedaling on this note on the piano. When I had enough for a song, we had the guys come back out to record some more.” “End of Days” “People are like, ‘The video has nothing to do with the song,’ and I always say, ‘Exactly.’ I’m not sure what it’s about, but it’s awesome. Whenever my wife says to me, ‘What are you doing to me down there?’ I always go, ‘Don’t worry. It’s awesome.’ But I don’t really wanna spell out the lyrics. They’re about whatever connection you have to the song. It could be about going to the proctologist. It’s the end of days for my rectum.” “Ruins” “As far as the riffs on this song, for me it’s all about the Mount Riffmore of hard rock, which is Cream, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple. So, if you’re writing riffs and you come up with anything remotely close to the zip code of any of those guys, we’re in business. Whether it’s ‘Sunshine of Your Love,’ ‘Into the Void,’ ‘Whole Lotta Love,’ or ‘Smoke on the Water,’ that kind of stuff can be the spark that lights up the whole song. Because once you’ve got a riff, you’re already there.” “Forsaken” “This is kinda the same as the last one—once I had the riff, it was on. I just came up with a midtempo thing and then went into a Jimmy Page type thing with a Danelectro on the clean guitars. But the lyrics are about nothing. Like, the last song could be about cleaning your room—it’s in ‘Ruins.’ So, you clean your room and make your bed—you ‘Destroy and Conquer’—but while you’re doing it, you might be ‘Forsaken.’ And the whole thing takes ‘Forever and a Day.’” “Love Reign Down” “I wrote this song when my mother passed away when I was doing the No More Tears album with Ozzy. I was just sitting around at the piano at A&M Studios in Los Angeles and came up with it. So, it’s been sitting around since, like, ’90 or ’91. We did a heavy version of it on Stronger Than Death with the same lyrics but a different melody. We were gonna put this one on the box set because we recorded it then, but we decided to save it and put it on the album.” “Gospel of Lies” “When my wife says, ‘I’m pretty sure that’s not 12 inches you’re installing inside my body,’ I go, ‘Trust me—it is.’ But she’s never seen it and I’ve never unveiled it. So, then she says, ‘This rhetoric of yours is nothing but a gospel of lies.’ So, that’s where it came from.” “Shelter Me” “I tried to keep that descending riff as simple as possible because that’s how all the iconic riffs are. It’s like if you have a box of 64 crayons and I take 60 away—you’ve got to make something with just four. Or those cooking shows where they give everybody a basket with just a couple of ingredients. Everyone pretty much comes up with their own thing. It’s just a matter of where your imagination can take you, which is the beauty of it.” “Gather All My Sins” “Obviously, this has the Lord Iommi influence with the flat 5. With Black Label, there’s always some kind of Sabbath floating around in the soup. I was just writing riffs one morning and came up with this one. But the song is basically just two parts—the riff and the chorus section. ‘Paranoid’ is pretty much the same way—just two parts. Just make it as simple as you can.” “Farewell Ballad” “This one’s been sitting around since 2009 or so. I originally recorded the intro for Guitar Techniques magazine in the UK—they asked me to write something people could solo over. So, I did this thing that’s D minor to C to B-flat to A major, just something people could improvise over. And then I was getting tagged on Instagram for years with people playing their version of that piece of music. So, I decided to take that original piece and write a song around it, and that’s how we closed the record.”