Newly reunited, Ozzy Osbourne and BLACK SABBATH are back to making the kind of music that only they can.
In the early 2000s, Ozzy Osbourne was a running punch line: a bumbling relic of a rocker who dragged himself around his house, yelling desperately for assistance from his wife, Sharon, and broadcasted his absurd antics on his family’s MTV reality show, The Osbournes. But the 64-year-old has always been a singer at heart. So this month, the Prince of Darkness reunites with his legendary band, Black Sabbath — minus drummer Bill Ward, who’s been replaced by Rage Against the Machine’s Brad Wilk — for 13 (Vertigo/Republic, $17), their first album together in 35 years. Osbourne rang up American Way to talk about the long-awaited reunion.
AMERICAN WAY: What was it like to get back in the studio with guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler after so many years?
OZZY OSBOURNE: It was no problem at all. When we get together, magic happens that only Black Sabbath has. When you do something naturally, it doesn’t seem like a hard thing to do. It just comes.
AW: Tony was battling cancer throughout the recording sessions. That must have proved trying.
OO: Listen, you don’t get chemotherapy and want to go to a dance. My wife went through cancer a few years ago. It knocked the crap out of her. He must have been very uncomfortable, to say the least. But he’s one of those guys — he’ll never lie down. I admire him beyond belief. There’s no one on the face of the Earth like him.
AW: The album is heavy — especially hard-rock opuses like “End of the Beginning.” What was your reaction when listening to the final product?
OO: I must confess, I’ve never been so happy with a finished album. It just blew me away.
AW: This album is something Sabbath fans have been pining for for decades.
OO: Kids would come up to me and say, “Sabbath are my biggest influence. When are you putting out a new album?” And I couldn’t accept that for so long. But this time it worked. I don’t want to question it. I’m just glad it happened.