Chattin’ about booze and hockey

By Mike Tofin

Boozed, bruised and broken, grizzled and gnarly as ever, Black Label Society and bassist John “JD” DeServio are ready to set fire to a tour that is sure to destroy every venue they come in contact with.

Amidst Black Label Society’s upcoming release of their new album Skullage, and the implementation of his new project Cycle of Pain, DeServio explains what kind of beef he has on his plate and what vegetables he prefers on the side.

“Everything is up and for me everything is fucking insane,” he says. “It’s pretty amazing and a dream come true man. We have the greatest fans in the world. Everybody knows that, so I’m totally excited about the tour. I have my own record coming out April 21 on Reform Records. My band is called Cycle of Pain and April 21 is the first day that we start opening up for Black Label, which is insane. I’ll be doing the double duty.”

With a busy schedule DeServio is still quick to note everything he is thankful for.

“My band opening up for Black Label, it’s a gift from heaven man!” says DeServio. “[Black Label Society founder] Zakk [Wylde] has given me so much opportunity in my life and he is the greatest. Me and Zakk Wylde grew up together, so before Ozzy and before any of that shit, we were friends just because we were both burning musicians and loved music.”

Being a hockey fan, DeServio has absolutely no quips about touring through Canada.

“I got to tour through Canada doing [bass] clinics,” he says. “I am a big hockey fan, so I was fucking talkin’ hockey with everybody. I am a huge Rangers fan. We got Sean Avery back so we were psyched about that. All the fuckin’ Rangers fans love him. If he is on your team, you love him ’cause he is a pest and a fuckin’ instigator. I can’t believe that Dallas actually suspended him and waved him just for saying, ‘I guess that guy doesn’t mind taking my sloppy seconds.’ ”

On tour DeServio finds time for a little puck and stick of his own.

“You kids grew up skating when you were three,” he says. “Everybody was playing hockey when they were four-years-old. That’s insane, skating around pushing a shopping cart or something. Hockey is my love. I got my rollerblades with me and my sticks and shit. I rollerblade around wherever we are playing and in the day time I’ll go and skate in the theatre because its open and empty. I take 50-foot fuckin’ slap shots.”

If there’s one thing DeServio prides in more than hockey, it’s his facial hair. DeServio refutes that he and Zakk Wylde’s beards hold mythical powers or possessions of masculinity. He explains the reasoning behind the beards that seem to be so prevalent in his band.

“It’s just a lot easier,” DeServio, laughs. “I think it’s just laziness. I think that’s what it is, brother. I think when you get older, you don’t care anymore and you’re like, ‘Fuck it.’ We aren’t trying to get any chicks. We are trying to scare them away, which we have been doing a good job of. My chick likes it though. She likes petting it and it’s like a dog we don’t own. It’s the look.”