BLACK SABBATH members Ozzy Osbourne (vocals) and Bill Ward (drums) were interviewed by U.K.'s The Times to mark the anniversary of the band's classic self-ttiled debut album. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
On the band's early days:
Ozzy: "To be honest with you, the only reason we ever played music was to get out of our shit day jobs. We had no idea what we were doing. When we made that first album, for example, we had a manager up in Birmingham, Jim Simpson, and all he said was, 'When you're on your way to your next gig in Switzerland, why don't you stop off at this studio in Soho and put some of your songs on tape?'
"It was a tiny, poky little place, I remember, and it was the first time we'd ever been recorded. We got the whole thing done in 12 hours. If you ask me what I think 40 years later, all I can say is, I wish I could make a record that quickly now."
On the origins of BLACK SABBATH's signature dance move — a frenzied bobbing of the head, the drama enhanced by having long, unkempt hair:
Ozzy: "I used to head-bang on stage, but I honestly don't know if it was me who started it, or whether it was just the thing to do.
"It got out of control, to the point where people would be headbanging with their heads inside the speaker cabinets. I mean, people were getting fucking brain haemorrhages. One bloke died, I think."
On one turning point when a 1963 Boris Karloff film called "Black Sabbath" played at the cinema opposite their rehearsal room:
Bill Ward: "It's true that we were influenced by watching horror movies. [Although it started out as a gimmick] it matured into something that was almost waiting to arrive. Although a lot of established bands were playing loud rock then, what SABBATH did made it very different."
On how it wasn't until the mid-1970s that the term heavy metal emerged for the music that BLACK SABBATH, although the band had no affection for it.
Bill Ward: "We said, 'This ain't heavy metal, we're a hard rock band.' To some extent we still consider ourselves a hard-rock band. But that first album, when our lyrics changed, that is heavy metal. Was it the first heavy metal album, in every sense of the word? Yes, it was. It was the beginning of a new era."
Read more from The Times.