Zakk Wylde was asked on the MetalSucks Podcast whether all the recent rockstar retirements got him to think about calling it a day, to which he replied (transcribed by UG):
“No. I think it’s kind of like with Motörhead. Just sort of Keith Richards… You do it until somebody drops.
“I don’t know, I wouldn’t know what am I retiring to. I’m doing exactly what I love doing, I couldn’t ask for anything more. I mean, everything - between the band, the guitar company, and then having the coffee, and then doing these things outside the music and everything like that… Me and you would still have the paper out, now we’re mowing lawns, then we’re cleaning people’s pools… I’m just saying, when we were kids – to do things.
“I just always laugh when any of our friends are just like, ‘I don’t wanna tour.’ I go, ‘Yeah, but what’s the plan? That’s the reason why you have posters of Jimmy Page up on the wall.’
“You know, the running joke is, ‘How you’re doing today?’ Like ‘Ah, living the dream!’ Actually, yeah, I am! [Laughs] It’s real.
“And obviously going on the road and playing again with the boss [Ozzy], and then doing the Zakk Sabbath thing… I mean, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I really wouldn’t change my situation for anything.”
“I remember my father when he retired. That’s when his drinking got really bad. He didn’t have anything to go to. He mowed the lawn and then it was like, ‘Oh, I’ve got 23 hours left in the day. What the fuck am I gonna do?’ So I remember when he got the job up at the gas station, he was working the graveyard shift – loved it! It just gave him the reason to exist.
“Everybody’s asking, ‘When are you guys gonna retire?’ Retire from what? [Laughs] When you look at Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath – they created that form of music. So what I’m saying is when they were doing that in their mid-late 20s, everyone figuring there is no parameter to how long you’re supposed to do this for.
“If B.B. King – God bless his soul – lived to 115, his wife would be calling us going, ‘Guys, can you put him back out on the road? He doesn’t know what to do with himself.’ It’s like, ‘Alright, no problem! Book another tour, have him do another record.’
“Buddy Guy, he does his run over at B.B. King’s Blues Bar in Chicago. And it packs! A line around the building for the whole week or whatever. And everybody goes in and has a great time. He’s telling jokes, he’s doing everything, the band sounds great, Buddy’s still playing and drinking. And it’s like, ‘What am I gonna retire to?’ This is the reason why you worked so hard for all those years – to build what you have.
“Some of the guys, my peers and my buddies that I started with Ozz back in ’88, they’ll be like, ‘I wanna spend time with my family, I’m missing out.’ And I’m like, ‘I’ve got four kids too.’ It doesn’t register to me. I’m like, ‘What else would you do? If we were truck drivers what would we do?’ It’s what you do for a living. You’re blessed that you get a chance to do what you love doing – to play music.”