Heavy metal legends BLACK SABBATH will begin work on a new studio album in 2015, to be followed by one final tour.
BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi, who has battled cancer since 2012, recently hinted that the group's July 4 gig at London's Hyde Park could have been the band's last because the touring can be tough on him. But frontman Ozzy Osbourne now says that the group will record another CD next year.
"The whole SABBATH experience this time around was great," Ozzy tells Metal Hammer magazine. "We all made friends, we didn't fuck around, we all knew that we had a job to do, and we did it. It was a lot of fun. So we're going to do one more album, and a final tour.
"Once the dust settled after the last tour, we started discussing the idea, because we were getting asked about it all the time. I said to [wife/manager] Sharon, 'What's going on? Because if there's no more SABBATH, I want to get on with my own thing again,' and she came back and said, 'Let me look into it.' Three weeks later, I asked her about it again, and she said, 'Oh, I still have to talk to so and so...' and I said 'Sharon, I ain't fucking 21 anymore. If we're going to do it, I want to do it before I'm 70!' Time isn't on our side! So she made the call and came back and said, 'Yeah, the record company wants another album.' I believe [producer] Rick Rubin is going to do it with us again."
No new material has yet been written for what will be SABBATH's nineteenth studio album, but Osbourne says that sessions will begin early next year.
"It'll be sooner rather than later," the singer says. "Obviously a lot of it is coming down to Tony's health, he's obviously got his cancer treatment, but we'll get onto it next year. I don't know if we'll be writing in England or L.A., but I'll fly to the fucking moon for it if I have to!"
"13", the first SABBATH album since 1978 to feature Ozzy, Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler, was No. 1 in the U.S., the U.K. and nearly a dozen other countries.
Butler recently said that that the threesome already have a head start on a new record, explaining, "We've still got four tracks left over from ['13']. So maybe we'll fill in the other four or five tracks and put out another album — if it's right. We wouldn't do it just for the sake of it, or the money or whatever. But yeah, maybe."
Original BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward was on board for the reunion when it was first announced in November 2011, but backed out soon after due to contractual issues.
SABBATH has used Ozzy's regular touring drummer Tommy Clufetos since then for live work. RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE's Brad Wilk laid down the drum tracks on "13", which came out in June 2013.
Iommi revealed in January of 2012 that he had been diagnosed with lymphoma, which is described by the Mayo Clinic as "a cancer of the lymphatic system, the body's disease-fighting network." He had to go back to England every six weeks for treatment, forcing him and SABBATH to work around both the treatments and the recovery time needed afterward.