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In Words: Pride & Glory

- Zakk Wylde & James LoMenzo - June 1994 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Pride & Glory promotion photo
Pride & Glory

Zakk Wylde & James Lomenzo - Rock am Ring (D), June 1994

The difference between Ozzy Osbourne and the Allman Brothers seems to by as huge as between White Lion and Lynyrd Skynyrd. But it works.
"We got together. We drank some beers. We played some songs." That is the short form Zakk Wylde told about the foundation of Pride & Glory. The self-titled debut sounds if Black Sabbath and the Allman Brothers jam together on a party. The boys have fun! Zakk Wylde is known by his work with Ozzy Osbourne. Where he started his professional musical career. Not necessary to talk about these day, but the past. Wylde been born in Jersey City, New Jersey. With age 15 he started playing guitar, 'cause he was to small for football. For Zakk playing guitar and have fun is the same. He didn't exercise the whole day just to make it. He jammed with some friends and it didn't change that much until these days. Later he move to Asbury Park and followed the club circuit. With 19 he sent a demo to Sharon Osbourne and everything started.
If Zakk was off road and studio he played with friends some Southern rock classics in the clubs between Hollywood and San Francisco. They named themselves Lynyrd Skynyrd as a tribute to the legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd.
In earlier interviews Zakk never told about the Allman Brothers or Lynyrd Skynyrd as his main influences. On the Pride & Glory album these are the major influences. "At the time I started with Ozzy I been the biggest Black Sabbath fan of the world. Anything else doesn't matter me. I just listen to my music. After starting with Ozzy it changes. It's like if you work for McDonald's, after a short time you will start hate Cheeseburgers and French Fries. With Ozzy I played the songs I loved every night and I started to listen to other stuff. On one of the first tours I heart a Skynyrd song at the radio and it caught my interest. I know this kind of music, but didn't like that much that I would buy myself a rec ord. On that tour I started buying all albums of the Allman Brothers." Little later Zakk founded Lynyrd Skynhyd the predecessor of Pride & Glory. "In that days I didn't thought about it as a full-time job. I was lucky playing with Ozzy. In 1989 we had White Lion as support. James (Lomenzo) and Greg (D'Angelo, drums) became friends. Both like to hang around but the rest of their bunch didn't like it that much. So they joined me and after the show we went to local clubs. We drank some beer and if there a local band played, we jammed with them. That was the start of everything" Zakk remembered. "From time to time we came together to have fun after we started this side-project. We played at clubs, but it just been an execution for drinking some beers." James explained. He continued "We hadn't own songs, just played covers of classicals from the Allmans, Skynyrd, Hendrix, Mountain and the Eagles. We had fun and that's what it all about." For Zakk it became serious when Ozzy announced in 1992 that he will just play one Farewell-tour and quit to reform Black Sabbath. "So I called James and Greg and ask them if they are interested in doing it seriously. White Lion didn't exist any more and James welcome it. Greg was working with someone else. I phoned a long time friend, Brian Tichy, an excellent drummer. He said yes and here we are!"
Zakk and the boys started writing own songs. "The name Lynyrd Skynhyd was a joke. We thought Pride & Glory is more serious." Zakk commanded. James has another point of view: "Lynyrd Skynyrd is politically not correct and we don't want to play in front of skinheads who think we play Lynyrd SkynyrdS hits as Oi-versions." The main difference to other Southern bands is that Pride & Glory are a trio, most other work with two or three guitarists. James jokes about it "Zakks ego is huge..."
Zakk himself commit that it's hard for him to accept another guitar beside his own. Long ago Zakk played in a band with two guitarists, but for him it didn't work. There always been trouble about who's playing the solo part. "I jammed with the Allmans and Skynyrd and it works for a short time, but we are best as a trio." "... And a singer would drink our beer." Zakk confess "Partly it is right what James said. On the other hand I never met a singer I could deal with except Ozzy. Even if I wanted to say something bad about him, I couldn't. That's why I sing, even if the thing about the beer is important, too." The band worked with Rick Parashar, unusual for a Southern act. Parashar produced the Temple Of The Dog album. The boys didn't want someone who is working with everybody, who give the bands a similar sound. "We didn't have to fear that he let us sound like someone other he worked with. Rick hadn't worked with a band like ours before."
The debut includes 14 tracks - typical American, rock with a authentic swamp feeling. Losin' Your Mind, Cry My A River or Harvester Of Pain show the harder edge of the boys. Otherwise there are tracks with more feeling like Lovin' Woman or Fading Away, the song Hate Your Guts shows the sick humour. Also there is a tribute Zakk wrote for his father - The Chosen One. The pridesters use typical instruments for Southern rock which new for heavy rock. The fusion of both is excellent. Pride & Glory had the possibility to entertain the European audience when they played on some festivals and as support on the tours of Aerosmith, ZZ Top and Whitesnake. Often the guys just play their two singles and two cover versions (ZZ Top's Hush, Black Sabbath tunes, etc.) and thru the jamming 45 minutes are gone quickly. It seems that if this band plays headlining club shows, they will jam as long as they allowed or until someone forces them to leave!

Claudia Ehrhardt


           2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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