Co-author of Zakk Wylde’s ‘Bringing Metal to the Children’ chat’s about book’s genesis
Eric Hendrikx first met guitar mastermind Zakk Wylde in the mid-‘90s at a club in the San Francisco Bay area. “His band Pride & Glory was playing a show at a club called The Edge,” Hendrikx recalled. “It was an awesome show. The experience ended with us playing the Mortal Kombat video game on his bus after the show. Our friendship grew from my attending many of his shows back then to photograph his performances. I’ve got a catalog of shots that cover the entire span of Black Label Society… “
The two hit it off right away. But, even with that instant chemistry, chances are Hendrikx had no idea he would be penning Wylde’s handbook to all things heavy metal years later.
“Bringing Metal to the Children” features tips and tricks to survive in the real metal world, all from the guys who knows metal more than anyone: Wylde. The book, co-authored by Hendrikx, arrives today (April 10) via William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
In this exclusive interview with Audio Ink Radio, Hendrikx chats about his experience working on “Bringing Metal” and share some fun stories of his days with the Black Label Society frontman and former Ozzy axeman. You can read more about Eric Hendrikx and his photography and writing via his official site, or follow him on Twitter.
What was your initial vision with “Bringing Metal to the Children?”
Exactly what it became, except with me as the star of the book and Zakk as my writing assistant. Only I realized that I’d probably sell about five copies of that version (all to my mom). So I had to make a few adjustments to the vision.
Ultimately, our goal for “Bringing Metal to the Children” was to entertain all readers. To make people laugh- maybe even vomit. Zakk and I selected stories from throughout his career that we felt represented hilarious moments that readers will enjoy. We also focused on many of the decision-making moments in his career, both good and bad, where young musicians today will find useful in making a career for themselves in music. We actually wrote an entire section dedicated to how not to make it in the music industry.
What was the making of “Bringing Metal” like?
It was like a two-year-long enema. Ha! Honestly, it was awesome. Zakk and I spent a lot of time together in his studio writing the manuscript. There were countless nights when we were up until the sun came up, still laughing hysterically at some of the shit stories found in “Chapter 3: No Shitting on the Bus”. We tried to get the publisher to print a “scratch and sniff” version of the book but they flat out refused. Zakk is an amazing storyteller. He is so animated. I swear he could be a comedian if he wanted. Those writing sessions were some of my best moments as a writer, and favorite moments of our friendship.
Would you say anything you learned while getting a Master’s Degree in Anthropology has assisted your writing and photography career?
Definitely. Most of my studies in Anthropology involved writing and having my writing critiqued by my peers. The subject also helped me develop more of an open-minded approach. Want proof? I just wrote a book with a modern day Berzerker Viking who celebrates his ability to go without a shower for seventy-seven days straight. I should be awarded with an honorary PhD in Anthropology after what I experienced, under duress, over the past two years with Zakk. Haha!
Did you provide a lot of the art in “Bringing Metal?”
I provided nearly all of the photography in the book. I went out on tour with Zakk and captured some of the Black Label Society shows on the east and west coasts. On a side note, I highly recommend a Black Label tour bus ride-along for anyone looking to truly capture the authentic experience of smelling someone else’s feet for an extended period of time.
What’s your favorite anecdote from “Bringing Metal?”
There’s an ongoing theme throughout the book where we make fun of, diminish, and outright terrorize one John “JD” DeServio (Lifelong friend of Zakk and bass player for BLS). We actually had to go back through the book and pull a lot of the ridiculing out because it became too prevalent. But every time we came to a crossroads in the book that called for a punch line, Zakk had his boxing gloves on and was ready to give JD a shot to the ribs, maybe even one below the belt. We all love JD and it definitely was all done out of love.
(Photos courtesy of Eric Hendrikx.)
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