In a brand new interview with The Weeklings, BLACK SABBATH bassist Geezer Butler was asked if he got any backlash over SABBATH singing a message of repentance and God being the only way to love on the "Master Of Reality" album.
"No," he responded. "People always like to find the 'evil' in the music, so they'd quote the 'pope on a rope' part out of context, as usual. People like to find negative in everything. We weren't interested in writing songs about the 'nice' things in the world; everyone else was writing about that. We wanted to inject some reality into music. I think if we'd been called WHITE SUNDAY we'd have had a totally different reaction.
Butler also talked about his thought process behind writing the lyrics to the SABBATH song "After Forever", which some historians have called the first real Christian rock song.
"A lot of it was because of the situation in Northern Ireland at the time," he explained. "There were a lot of religious troubles between the Protestants against the Catholics.
"I was brought up strictly Catholic and I guess I was naïve in thinking that religion shouldn't be fought over. I always felt that God and Jesus wanted us to love each other."
He continued: "It was just a bad time in Northern Ireland, setting bombs off in England and such. We all believed in Jesus — and yet people were killing each other over it. To me, it was just ridiculous. I thought that if God could see us killing each other in his name, he'd be disgusted."
SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne told Shortlist that although he came up with the title for the song "God Is Dead?" from the band's 2013 comeback album "13", Butler wanted to call it something else. Ozzy said, "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."
"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 featured Ozzy, Butler and guitarist Tony Iommi playing together for the first time in 35 years. Their last effort together was 1978's "Never Say Die!"