OZZY OSBOURNE/BLACK SABBATH Touring Drummer TOMMY CLUFETOS: Why I Moved To Nashville From Los Angeles

May 29, 2024

During an appearance on the latest episode of the "X5" podcast, drummer Tommy Clufetos (BLACK SABBATH, OZZY OSBOURNE, ALICE COOPER, ROB ZOMBIE) discussed his decision to move to Nashville in 2022 with his wife and daughter after living in Los Angeles for a number of years. Referencing the fact that an estimate released in December by the U.S. Census Bureau said California's population fell by 75,000 residents in 2023 to about 38,965,000 people, Tommy said: "I've recently — semi recently — moved to Tennessee from Los Angeles, just like 80 other million people. And when I moved there, I had California plates on my car and I would get the 'look at that jerkoff. Look at him. I see you.' And I would roll down my window, 'I see you looking at my plates.' And I got my own plates now. But now when I see a California plate, I'm, like, 'Look at that asshole.'"

The Rochester, Michigan native, who began drumming at age 6, went on to say that life is "beautiful" at his new home in Tennessee. "I have a beautiful family and I'm a blessed guy," he added. "And I just live my life and try to pay my bills and keep the roof above my head and food on the table."

Asked if he likes living in Nashville, Tommy said: "I love where I live, which is 15, 20 minutes south of Nashville. And I don't like to leave the house, and when I do, I like the area that I leave the house around. I like when I go into a nice grocery store. I like when I go to get gas and I'm not gonna get mugged. It's a great convenience. L.A. was kind of getting like — even in the nice places, you may have to… I went back and forth [to Los Angeles] doing some work and stuff, and it's like the apocalypse out there, man. It's, like, what the hell is going on?"

He continued: "So it's beautiful [in Tennessee]. I'm happy. And then I took a nice two-and-a-half hour drive down here [to Alabama where the 'X5' podcast is taped], and I'm, like, it's even more country. And I go, 'I like this. Maybe I'll get a little house in Alabama. And I could have a little place to rehearse.' But I don't think it's gonna happen. My wife would kill me. If you've gotta go for bread and it takes you 45 minutes, the wife is gonna kill you."

When one of the podcast hosts opined that "there's nothing like Southern hospitality," Tommy concurred. "People are so much nicer," he said. "People take time to actually have a conversation down there. They wave, 'Hello.' It was getting in L.A. — I would take my daughter for a walk. They don't even look at… You at least give the nod. They don't even — they just walk right past you and [think] I'm gonna murder 'em, which they're probably right. But it's so awesome down here. You take your daughter to a restaurant, they know your daughter's name. 'You want the lemonade and the cheeseburger and the fries, right, June?' 'Yes.' And it's so awesome, man. You can't buy that."

Asked if it was tough to get his family to move out to Tennessee, Clufetos said: "Well, I have the best, coolest wife. I came home one day… I did a gig down in the Tennessee area, and my buddy took me to his house. And I just got this thing that came over me. My whole body went, 'Yeah, this feels good. I like this.' And then I came home. I go, 'Honey, we are moving.' And my wife is from California. Her parents, grandma and stuff, live five minutes away. And I go, 'We're moving to Tennessee.' And she's, like, 'What?' But she goes, 'Okay. I trust you. If that's what we've gotta do…' And it did, and she loves it. She loves it. So I'm very lucky that my wife will listen to my crazy… It's not that crazy, but, to me, it's like I saw the writing on the wall. It's time. And she loves it, and my daughter loves it, and I love it, and here we are."

Tommy added: "L.A. was cool, but I never felt it there — I never felt like I fit in. I never felt a part of it because it's not really my scene. And Nashville's cool, man. Everybody gets along and people can play a little better in there."

Last month, the state Department Of Finance estimated that California gained just over 67,000 people last year, the first increase since 2019.

The U.S. Census Bureau's estimate was for July 1, 2023, while the California Department Of Finance's estimate was for January 1, 2024.

A state with close to 40 million people, California remains by far the most populous state. One in eight Americans lives in California, which is the fifth-largest economy on earth, behind only four national economies: United States, China, Germany and Japan.

Even though California has lost some residents, others have stepped in to take their place.

About 437,275 people from other states and countries moved to California in 2020, according to The Orange County Register.

Clufetos worked with such rock icons as Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie before joining Ozzy Osbourne in 2010. That led to a spot as the drummer on BLACK SABBATH's last two world tours.

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