BLACK SABBATH was honored with a Grammy in the "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance" category in the pre-telecast ceremony at the 56th annual Grammy Awards, which was held last night (January 26) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. BLACK SABBATH was nominated for the track "God Is Dead?", from the band's 2013 comeback album "13".
Speaking to the press backstage at last night's event, BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi said (see Artisan News video report below): "It's been a fantastic year for us. You couldn't wish for any better. It's been marvelous. We had a great time. We enjoyed doing everything — the tour, the album… and getting one of these [pointing to his Grammy award]."
BLACK SABBATH's "God Is Dead?" also picked up a nomination in the "Best Rock Song" category. In addition, "13" earned a nod for "Best Rock Album", alongside LED ZEPPELIN's "Celebration Day" and QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE's "…Like Clockwork", among others.
BLACK SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne came up with the title for "God Is Dead?", but bassist Geezer Butler wanted to call it something else. Ozzy told Shortlist, "I was in a doctor's office and there was a magazine in there with that line on the cover. I thought, 'Yeah — people flew planes into the World Trade Center because of God, there's all this fucking shit going on in the world in the name of God.'" Geezer added, "Ozzy gave me that line, and I wrote the lyrics. I wanted to call the song 'American Jihad'."
Ozzy continued, "Fuck that. I'm the guy at the front singing it; I would have had a fucking army after me . . . In the early days [of BLACK SABBATH], there was a lot of backlash from religious groups . . . I was sent letters written in blood. In my house I must have 25 fucking Bibles, each with a marked-up passage that [the sender] wanted me to read."
Butler told The Pulse Of Radio what the song was about. "It's about this guy that sets out to prove that God is still alive, and he has this voice in his head saying that God's dead, and he can't get rid of the voice telling him, so he goes out and kills everybody," he said.
"13" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart in June 2013, the first SABBATH album to ever top the U.S. chart.
The disc features Ozzy, Butler and Iommi playing together for the first time in 35 years. Their last effort together was 1978's "Never Say Die!"