Scott Kara of The New Zealand Herald recently conducted an interview with the legendary BLACK SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
On how BLACK SABBATH came to be such a respected band:
Osbourne: "It's a really weird thing, because what we did, we just did. We didn't go, 'Oh, we're going to write this way, and we're going to record that way, and it's going to come out like this'. And 45 years up the road who would have thought it's still going to be current and people were going to look upon it as the foundations of heavy metal? I mean, you don't realise that sort of thing, you just do it."
On not being completely confortable with BLACK SABBATH being considered originators of the "heavy metal" genre:
Osbourne: "Not everything BLACK SABBATH did was about the devil, or about heavy metal because 'Changes' was a beautiful song. But all they ever remember is that I sing about the devil and 'Iron Man', you know."
On how the members of BLACK SABBATH — with the exception of drummer Bill Ward, who is sitting out the band's reunion due to a contractual dispute — are getting along nowadays:
Osbourne: "What's different now is that none of us get drunk or stoned or any of that stuff. We're all clean, and all in control of ourselves, we're not intimidated by each other, there are no arguments, and it's the way it should be. But when we were kids we had egos. When you're 21 and you get some success it takes a while to get your head around. You have an ego, you have the spoils of success, the cars, the houses, the money, the alcohol, the drugs, the groupies, and all the rest of it, and if you go through all of that and you are lucky enough to survive you get married, you get divorced, you get married again, and it's a journey. But we've done it all so what it boils down to now is the music - and that's what got us where we are in the first place. We have come through the other side, we're still able to work together, and that's where the enjoyment comes from. It's been a lot of fun making this record."
On the recording sessions for the new BLACK SABBATH album, which were interrupted by guitarist Tony Iommi's diagnosis with lymphona at the beginning of this year:
Osbourne: "[The treatment] has been a bit rough on him but he still manages to come up with those great riffs. It's been more than 30 years since I really seriously worked with the guys. We had a try a few years back but nothing came of it. But for some reason the timing is right and we've done about 15 songs. BLACK SABBATH is very unique in the respect that nothing is formulated. It's very unpredictable. I just hope the people who have waited all these years aren't disappointed."