“WE ALL FEEL THE TIME IS RIGHT TO FINISH WHILE WE ARE ALL AT THE TOP OF OUR GAME. TONY’S CANCER DIAGNOSIS MADE US REALISE WE WON’T BE AROUND FOREVER, AND WE’VE HAD MORE THAN A GOOD RUN. AFTER ALL, WE THOUGHT WE’D LAST FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS WHEN WE FIRST STARTED. WE NEVER DREAMED WE’D BE AROUND NEARLY 50 YEARS LATER.”
From Release: It’s the Beginning of THE END. It started nearly five decades ago with a crack of thunder, a distant bell ringing and then that monstrous riff that shook the earth. The heaviest rock sound ever heard. In that moment Heavy Metal was born, created by a young band from Birmingham, England barely out of their teens. Now it ENDS, the final tour by the greatest Metal Band of all time, BLACK SABBATH. Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler close the final chapter in the final volume of the incredible BLACK SABBATH story.
We got the man who loves caps lock, Geezer Butler of the legendary Black Sabbath to answer some questions for us ahead of their final Australian tour and in the midst of their tour aptly named ‘The End’… Over to you, Geezer…
Thanks for your time, Geezer, and welcome to May the Rock be with You.
It feels kind of weird thinking about a FINAL tour for Black Sabbath and that’s from a fan point of view, but how does it feel actually being part of the band that’s actually doing it?
WE ALL FEEL THE TIME IS RIGHT TO FINISH WHILE WE ARE ALL AT THE TOP OF OUR GAME. TONY’S CANCER DIAGNOSIS MADE US REALISE WE WON’T BE AROUND FOREVER, AND WE’VE HAD MORE THAN A GOOD RUN. AFTER ALL, WE THOUGHT WE’D LAST FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS WHEN WE FIRST STARTED. WE NEVER DREAMED WE’D BE AROUND NEARLY 50 YEARS LATER.
So when you have to put on a final tour, for this leg of it what can Australia expect from the shows?
WE ARE CONCENTRATING ON THE PARANOID ALBUM, AND EARLY SABBATH ALBUMS. WE DID 3 OR 4 NEW TRACKS FROM THE LAST ALBUM ON THE 13 TOUR, BUT PEOPLE SEEMED TO PREFER THE CLASSIC SABBATH SONGS, SO WE HAVE REPLACED THE NEWER SONGS WITH SOME OLDER STUFF.
Surely, after almost fifty years and with nineteen albums it must be near impossible to make a set list that will please everyone, how much thought is put into the set when doing shows like this?
THERE ARE CERTAIN SONGS THAT WE ALWAYS HAVE TO DO, OTHERWISE PEOPLE FEEL CHEATED IF WE DON’T DO THEM. SONGS LIKE WAR PIGS, IRON MAN, PARANOID, BLACK SABBATH, N.I.B. PICK THEMSELVES. THE REST OF THE SHOW IS DOWN TO WHICH SONGS SOUND BEST LIVE.
If there was one song from your entire catalogue that you get the most satisfaction from playing, if so what would it be and why does that one in particular stand out?
THERE’S NO PARTICULAR FAVOURITE SONG, BUT I DO LIKE PLAYING HAND OF DOOM BECAUSE WE HADN’T PLAYED IT LIVE SINCE THE EARLY 70’S.
There was talk some time back of a new album, but I believe Ozzy has said that is not the case, but do you think we could expect anything new in the way of music from Black Sabbath in the future?
I DON’T THINK THERE WILL BE ANOTHER NEW SABBATH ALBUM. OZZY WILL BE CONCENTRATING ON HIS SOLO CAREER, AND WE LIVE IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES, WHICH MAKES IT A BIT OF A PROBLEM FOR US ALL TO GET TOGETHER LONG ENOUGH TO WRITE NEW MATERIAL.
Looking back over your career with the band, has there been one moment that you’ll look back on that stands out above all the rest that will stay with you forever?
THERE HAS BEEN LOTS OF HIGHLIGHTS THAT WILL ALWAYS STAY WITH ME. I SUPPOSE FINALLY GETTING A RECORD DEAL WAS THE MOST MEMORABLE, BECAUSE IT WAS SOMETHING TANGIBLE WE COULD SHOW OUR PARENTS, WHO WEREN’T EXACTLY OVERJOYED WITH US BEING IN A BAND.
Music and the industry is a much different place than it was when you started, what for you has been the most notable or scary change you’ve witnessed in music and the industry over the years?
I THINK THE INTERNET HAS CHANGED EVERYTHING. RECORD SALES ARE MINIMAL COMPARED TO THE OLD DAYS, WHEN YOU HAD TO BUY A VINYL, CASSETTE OR C.D. IN ORDER TO HEAR AN ALBUM, PLUS EVERYONE HAS CELL PHONES NOW, AND THEY UPLOAD LIVE GIGS TO YOUTUBE OR WHATEVER WHICH SPOILS THE SURPRISE OF AN ACTUAL LIVE SHOW.
Are there any bands out there today that you feel are still flying the flag for Heavy Metal?
METALLICA , MASTODON, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, SLIPKNOT, MAIDEN, PRIEST, ETC………
In terms of a Legacy, how do you want Black Sabbath to be remembered?
HOPEFULLY WE’LL BE REMEMBERED FOR OUR MUSIC. WE STUCK TO OUR PRINCIPLES AS FAR AS THE MUSIC WAS CONCERNED, AND WE WERE ORIGINAL AND UNCOMPROMISING.
Lastly, let’s look ahead to the future even though the end is in sight, finish this sentence for me, the one thing that Black Sabbath want to do in 2016 is…
COMPLETE THE END TOUR.
Catch BLACK SABBATH at one of their Australian ‘THE END’ tour dates
PERTH ARENA FRIDAY APRIL 15
ADELAIDE ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE SUNDAY APRIL 17
ROD LAVER ARENA, MELBOURNE TUESDAY APRIL 19
ALLPHONES ARENA, SYDNEY SATURDAY APRIL 23
BRISBANE ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE MONDAY APRIL 25
Presented by Live Nation
From: Birmingham, England
Band Members: Ozzy Osbourne – Vocals, Tony Iommi – Guitar, Geezer Butler – Bass
Latest Release: 13 (Out Now)