Black Label Society

Black Label Society

Infobox musical artist
Name = Black Label Society

Img_capt =
Img_size = 250
Landscape = Yes
Background = group_or_band
Origin = Los Angeles, California, USA
Genre = Heavy metal, Southern metal
Years_active = 1998–present
Label = Spitfire, Artemis, Roadrunner
Associated_acts = Ozzy Osbourne, Pride & Glory, Metallica, Megadeth
URL = []
Current_members = Zakk Wylde
John DeServio
Nick Catanese
Craig Nunenmacher
Past_members = Phil Ondich
Steve Gibb
Robert Trujillo
Mike Inez
James LoMenzo

Black Label Society is a heavy metal band formed by Zakk Wylde, with seven studio albums released to date.

Band's Formation

In the early 1990s, Wylde had formed his own solo band Pride & Glory, playing a mixture of bluesy southern rock with heavy metal. However, after one album, they disbanded in December 1994. 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-lasting band. It was known from the get-go 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.

"Sonic Brew" was released in Japan on 28 October 1998. Due to delays in signing with a record label (Spitfire Records), the album was not released in the rest of the world until 4 May 1999.

Line-up Changes

The band'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" in 2002. Steve Gibb was temporarily replaced by Mike Inez during the Ozzfest 2001 tour, and then Robert Trujillo took over bass duties for the band the next year.

In 2003, Trujillo joined Metallica, leaving the bass position in BLS open, which left room for Inez to rejoin the band for a short 2 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.

In 2005, after the band signed with Artemis Records, the album "Mafia" was released. In October, LoMenzo left the band and was replaced by the band's original bassist, John DeServio. In 2006, the band left Artemis Records and signed to Roadrunner Records, releasing the album "Shot To Hell".

In June 2007, Black Label Society parted ways with Roadrunner Records.

Changes within the band

On the first four studio albums, Wylde played every instrument except for the drums, including vocals, guitars, piano, and bass guitar. However, starting with 2004's "Hangover Music Vol. VI", Wylde decided to let the band's bassist perform on the album (though uniquely, three bassists - Mike Inez, John DeServio, and James LoMenzo perform on this album, as the band had no permanent bassist at the time, though LoMenzo became a member of the band soon after), preferring a bassist's interaction and feel to the sound of himself, a guitarist playing bass. Nick Catanese has not, to date, played on any of the studio albums, but, as of 2006, Wylde allows him to perform some of the songs' guitar solos live while he is playing piano.

DeServio & Catanese form new bands in 2007

As of July 2007, members of Black Label Society J.D. DeServio and Nick Catanese both signaled the start of new bands as Zakk Wylde toured with Ozzy Osbourne. DeServio's band, Cycle of Pain (or C.O.P), has been shopping to major labels and is believed to have inked a deal. Catanese's band, Speed X, includes Mike Stone from Queensrÿche and is currently recording. However, according to DeServio at a guitar clinic/autograph signing in Huntington, NY, Black Label Society is set to begin recording a new album in the fall of 2008.


Current members

*Zakk Wylde - vocals, lead & rhythm guitars, piano (1998–present)
*Nick Catanese - rhythm guitars (1998–present)
*Craig Nunenmacher - drums (2000–present)
*John DeServio - bass (1999, 2005–present)

Previous members

*Phil Ondich - drums (1998–2000)
*Steve Gibb - bass (2000–2001)
*Mike Inez - bass (1999, 2001, 2003)
*Robert Trujillo - bass (2002)
*James LoMenzo - bass (2004–2005)
*Trent Greystokes - Guitar (2004–2005)

Guest members

*Christian Werr - drums on several tracks on "1919 Eternal"
*Frey Theiler - bass on several Ozzfest 2001 concert dates, filling in for Mike Inez
*Ozzy Osbourne - vocals on "Stillborn"


tudio albums

*"Sonic Brew" - (1999) - Spitfire Records
*"Stronger Than Death" - (2000) - Spitfire Records
*"1919 Eternal" - (2002) - Spitfire Records
*"The Blessed Hellride" - (2003) - Spitfire Records
*"Hangover Music Vol. VI" - (2004) - Spitfire Records
*"Mafia" - (2005) - Artemis Records
*"Shot to Hell" - (2006) - Roadrunner Records
*"Untitled next studio album" - (2009)

Live albums / Compilations

*"Alcohol Fueled Brewtality" - (2001) - Spitfire Records
*"Kings of Damnation 98-04" - (2005) - Spitfire Records


Source: Allmusic


*Boozed, Broozed, and Broken-Boned (Live DVD) (2003)
*The European Invasion - Doom Troopin' Live (Live DVD) (2006)


*Actor Mark Wahlberg appears in the band's video for "Counterfeit God," as their bass player, because they did not have a bassist at the time. Coincidentally, Steve Gibb, who was hired as their bass player after the video was filmed, also appears in the video with skull face makeup and holding chains. They asked Mark to appear in the video because Zakk and Nick were his fellow cast members for the movie Rock Star which was filming at the same time.
*On June 29, 2006, "Concrete Jungle", the first single from "Shot to Hell" was released online via, which is owned by the band's then record label Roadrunner Records. The single's video, directed by [ Aggressive] , was released in early September 2006.
*The band's name was originally supposed to be "Hell's Kitchen," but the band were unable to secure the trademark, and the name Black Label Society was chosen, due to Zakk's fondness of Black Label whiskey. The artwork inside of Sonic Brew's CD booklet is laid out like a kitchen menu, and any instance of the word "kitchen" was changed to Society.
*Harpo's in Detroit MI was left completely dry during the filming of Boozed Broozed & Broken Boned. It was the first time in the concert hall's history that all of the alcohol had been consumed.
*The song "Low Down" was used in the Playstation Game "Cool Boarders 2001"
*The original title for 1919 Eternal was "Warmachine Deathcore Eternal." Zakk decided to change it because of the events on September 11th.
*The song "Fire It Up", from the 2005 album "Mafia", featured as a bonus song in the PlayStation 2 game "Guitar Hero".
*In the studio version of Stronger Than Death, during the second solo (the last one) Mike Piazza says "bitch" and laughs.

*In 2006, Black Label Society played live on the first ever episode of Wrestling Society X

*There is an entire Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode with Zakk in it. Shake and Zakk wrote a brand new song to replace the traditional Happy Birthday song. Zakk arrives to their house on a chariot with stallions painted white.


External links / Sources

* [] - Official Band-Site
* [] - Official Site of Band-leader Zakk Wylde
* [] - Official Merchandise
* [] - Encyclopaedia Metallum

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