Paul Lester of The Guardian recently conducted an inter view withBLACK SABBATH members Tony Iommi (guitar), Ozzy Osbourne (vocals) and Terry “Geezer” Butler (bass). A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
On whether they believe in God:
Butler: “I do when I’m on a plane — the first thing I do is say my prayers.”
Ozzy: “I’ve done a good job of trying to kill myself for 64 years. But something’s kept me alive. I don’t know if it’s God, fate or whatever. I’m open-minded. But I don’t believe in organized religion at all.”
On the few myths surrounding BLACK SABBATH, including the one aboutOzzy biting off the head of a live bat, which he had presumed was rubber, in 1982:
Ozzy: “We were never really into the occult. It was a hobby, until we started getting invites to black-magic rites in cemeteries. Then I got accused of doing this and biting that and there would be people picketing the arena with banners. But if you listen to the lyrics, there’s nothing that’s pro-black magic or pro-satanic worship. It’s like God Is Dead? — at the end it says: ‘I don’t believe that God is dead,’ but they only hear the words ‘God is dead.'”
On Ozzy not being focused in the studio during the band’s early years:
Butler: “You can’t write or play songs if you’re out of your brains . But because [Osbourne] didn’t have to play an instrument, while we were writing he’d be in the bar getting legless or doing all kinds of things.” The latter included relentless pleasure-seeking, leading to blackouts.”
Ozzy: “I didn’t believe it when they said I had blackouts. I’d look at my watch and it would say four o’clock. Then I’d look again and it would say 9:30. I’d totally forget where I’d been or what I’d done. But then you don’t think about that before you start drinking. You don’t think: ‘I wonder what jail I’ll wake up in tomorrow?’ Because that’s not your intention.”
On BLACK SABBATH‘s “13” being the most important record of Ozzy‘s career:
Ozzy: “Yes, we’ve had our disagreements. We all said bad things and did our different trips, but it’s great to be with the guys. The last time  it didn’t gel. But this time it worked out better than our wildest expectations. For Tony to come up with riffs like these is unbelievable. He deserves a medal because if I’d been diagnosed with lymphoma I’d have gone ‘Fuck this,’ and gone back to bed with a bottle of morphine. But we kept on going because we knew this was probably our last hurrah.”
Read the entire interview from The Guardian.