Zakk WyldeNow that he's had some time to let it sink in, Black Label Society mastermind Zakk Wylde says the fact that he won't be Ozzy Osbourne's main guitar man anymore is "no big deal." It's been a few months, and Wylde has been recovering from blood clots and the news that he'd been traded in for a younger, sleeker, and faster model: Firewind's Gus G. Wylde seems to be taking it well. We think.

"Ever since we did 'No More Tears,' with the boss, our relationship is different, it's bigger than music anyway," he says. "So even after we did 'No More Tears,' he was like, 'Guys, I'm pretty much going to be going back with [Black Sabbath]. We're going to just do a reunion thing and like do another record and then a whole other tour, so guys, if anything comes up, you've gotta do something.' He's always been super-cool with everything, so it doesn't ... he'll be the first one to tell you, 'Zakk, I don't feel like touring for a while,' or 'I don't want to do this,' you know? It's just like, 'Well, I hope you guys got something else you can fall back on and do. Don't be calling me up asking for dough, 'cause you don't have money for rent!' You know what I mean?"

But wait, there's more. Wylde explains that, between Ozzy albums and tours, he's done guitar clinics and supported himself for an entire year doing so. "'Cause we weren't touring, we weren't working on a record and then after that, that's when Geffen offered me a deal to do a record, and that's when we did 'Pride & Glory.' Then we did 'Book of Shadows,' and then Ozz would call me up and say, 'Zakk, I want to do another record or something, do you want to do something?' And I was like, 'Yeah, of course.' It's always been that way, anyway, I've always been busy doing things. The way I always looked at it was if Ozz ever said, 'Zakk, I really don't want to tour anymore, I just want to do select dates and maybe pump out a record once in a while,' you know what I mean? 'Cause Ozz has a million things going on too, between the TV show he was doing and all."

Basically, Wylde says this is just business as usual for Ozzy, and basically, same goes in Black Label Society. When he was busy with Osbourne, "all the guys in the band" had other projects to work on, including Speed X and Cycle of Pain. "Black Label is the foundation of the house but everybody can go off and do different things." So, does that mean Wylde thinks he's still part of the house, built upon the foundation that is Ozzy?

"Well, put it this way - Gus is a great guitar player and Gus is going to be awesome with Ozz, so it's just like... He'll have a blast because Ozzy's the coolest and everybody in the camp -- [bassist] Blasko and [drummer] Mikey Bordin -- everybody's super-cool, man. It'll be the same thing with Gus; he's got his own band and everything like that and I'm sure after he pumps out the record and tours with Ozz, Gus will be jamming with his buddies again. Everything's super-cool, man. Let me put it this way -- if Gus, you know, hurt his hand in a bizarre porn accident in the back of the bus or something, I'd fill in for 'em for like two weeks or whatever the hell it was 'till Gus is better or whatever. 'Cause we're a family, so it doesn't matter, man."

Yes, that doesn't really answer the question. But Wylde does say that he'd written material with Ozzy for the latter's forthcoming LP. Then, he went out with Black Label, and got the call from Ozzy, who "was like, 'Zakk, I think I'm going to jam with some other guy,' 'cause I was just so busy with the band and everything like that, so I was like, 'Alright, Ozz. No problem, buddy.' So that's about it, man, how that all went down. I was like, 'Alright, cool brother. Have a great gig with the rest of the guys,' and I think I had a gig the next day, or that day, 'cause I was going to fly down the next day to see Ozzy for rehearsals and then come back and then go back down, do the gig, then go back out on the road with Black Label."

Final verdict: Zakk Wylde lost his dream gig, and he's not thrilled, but there's also nothing he can really do about it.