BLACK SABBATH's BUTLER: 'I Don't Think We've Got That Many Years Left To Do An OZZY Album'

All four members of HEAVEN AND HELL (Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Vinny Appice) recently spoke to Goldmine contributor Bryan Reesman (web site) for an extensive, 5,000-word cover story about their entire history, including touring, their various reunions, and recording a new album together. Also quoted are JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford, VIRGIN STEELE frontman David DeFeis, former EXCITER drummer Dan Beehler, and rock journalists Malcolm Dome and Bradley Torreano.

A couple of excerpts from the story follow:

On the chemistry between Tony and Geezer:

Dio: "What Geezer and Tony do together, what they created together, is playing the same things together that nobody was really doing, with a bass that was really out front and just as important as the guitar. You can't in any way, shape or form diminish Geezer's contribution to it all, especially for the fact that he was writing all of the lyrics in most of the early things anyway. It's a two-way street with Tony and Geezer. I think at the end of the day and I'm not trying to make any comparisons, because I don't think it's important but Tony has always been BLACK SABBATH. It's always really been his band. Geez will tell you that, too. The leader was Tony, and everyone did what Tony felt was right, and luckily for everyone concerned it was right."

On the possibility of recording a new BLACK SABBATH album with Ozzy Osbourne on vocals:

Butler: "I don't think we've got that many years left to do an Ozzy album. Maybe we'll do it in Hell. We could do quite well down in Hell."

On how HEAVEN AND HELL members are getting along today after their previous two break-ups:

Appice: "This is the smoothest it's ever been between everybody, especially the three of them. Everybody's getting along great. I think everybody respects the careers that each person has had and their playing and musicianship."

Dio: "You walk a little bit more on eggshells when you get back together the second time, and the third time was really easy. I just can't do things with people I don't like. I've always been really lucky to like them all. They're such down-to-earth, great people, so talented and determined. That's my kind of band."

Iommi: "You get to understand more and mellow out more and go along with it. Things that used to drive me up a wall, or [I would] get annoyed with things, I really don't get that so much now. Of course, everybody gets annoyed, but I can understand the other side more now."

Butler: "I think we are all more up front with each other. We can all be cranky from time to time, so instead of taking offense and bearing grudges, we give each other space. Before, if we argued or disagreed about something, we'd go off in a huff and bottle things up. Now, I just realize this is the real world. Life isn't a fairy tale. We also have other things to do outside of this. We are doing this for the love of it, rather than necessity. If I ever feel uncomfortable doing this, I'll simply walk away from it, no hard feelings."

Read the entire article at


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