BLACK SABBATH have been recording their long-awaited reunion (minus Bill Ward) album at Malibu’s Shangri-La Studio with producer Rick Rubin (SLAYER, METALLICA). Original members Ozzy Osbourne – vocals, Tony Iommi – guitar, and Geezer Butler – bass, along with session drummer drummer Brad Wilk (RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE) are creating the group’s first studio album – tentatively titled 13 – since 1978’s Never Say Die!
In a new interview with David Browne from Rolling Stone, Osbourne describes the new album as “Satanic blues.”
In a nod to their roots, tracks like ‘End Of The Beginning’ and ‘Age Of Reason’ stretch out to as long as eight minutes. “I don’t know what’s going on in the music world,” Osbourne says. “My wife mentions bands to me and I don’t know what the fuck she’s talking about. We just do what we always did.”
“I wanted to make an album that stood alongside their first four albums,” Rubin adds. “The first album wasn’t a straightforward heavy metal record. You could hear the jazz influence, so that was the goal, and to capture that live interaction.”
Another new Sabbath song is the provocatively titled ‘God Is Dead’ takes an unexpected turn. “It starts off, ‘God is dead,’” Osbourne says, before adding a bit wistfully, “but at the end it says, ‘I don’t believe that God is dead.’”
Iommi also comments on the Bill Ward situation, when he announced last February that he wouldn’t be participating over what he calls “contractual difficulties.”
“It was quite confusing,” Iommi says. “We wanted him involved, but it was just getting too hard.”
Adds Osborne: “You can’t go, ‘Well, I don’t like it.’ You get off your ass and get your shit together. The life of a bohemian rock star is fucking long over.”
Read the entire interview at Rolling Stone.
13 is set to be mixed this month. A North American tour is set for July and August, then the band will hit South America in October and Europe in November and December. In advance of the album’s release, Black Sabbath will head to New Zealand, Australia and Japan for a series of live performances. Additional tour plans will be revealed in the coming months.
Current Black Sabbath dates are below:
20 – Vector Arena – Auckland, New Zealand
22 – Vector Arena – Auckland, New Zealand
25 – Brisbane Entertainment Centre – Brisbane, Australia
27 – Allphones Arena – Sydney, Australia
29 – Rod Laver Arena – Melbourne, Australia
1 – Rod Laver Arena – Melbourne, Australia
4 – Perth Arena – Perth, Australia
12 – Ozzfest at Makuhari Messe – Chiba-shi, Chiba, Japan