OZZY OSBOURNE Says He Has 'Never Felt Comfortable' With 'Metal' Tag

December 12, 2023

In a new interview with SPIN magazine, Ozzy Osbourne was asked how he the rock and metal worlds have changed over the decades since he first launched his music career. He responded: "Well, I've never felt comfortable about that title that they put on me – 'metal.' Because Ozzy Osbourne plays heavy, but the bands that are [considered metal] are really heavy, and we're all put in the same category. When you get pigeonholed with a certain [genre], it can be very difficult to do something a bit lighter or an acoustic track or whatever you want to do. Back in the day, it was always just rock music. It's still just rock music."

Ozzy previously discussed his dislike for the term "heavy metal" this past June in an interview with CNN. At the time, the legendary BLACK SABBATH singer said: "I have never, ever, ever been able to attach myself to the word 'heavy metal' — it has no musical connotations. If it was heavy rock, I could get that," he explained, saying that the hard rock and heavy metal genres have gone through a lot of changes over the years.

"The '70s was kind of like a bluesy thing, the '80s was kind of bubblegum-frosted hair, multicolored clothes and the '90s was kind of grungy," Osbourne noted. "People come up to me and say, 'Your SABBATH work was a big influence on me.' I could go, 'Oh, yeah, I can see that.' But other bands ... what part of that is inspired by us? Some of it is just angry people screaming down a microphone."

Ozzy's SABBATH bandmate Tony Iommi has expressed a different viewpoint about being considered a "heavy metal" band, telling BBC in a 2011 interview: "I wasn't familiar with [the term 'heavy metal'] for quite a few years. I mean, I always looked at what we did as heavy rock. And when that term was first mentioned to me Somebody said, 'Oh, you play heavy metal.' And I said, 'What? What's that?' And this was a journalist from a well-known magazine. He said, 'Well, that's what you play it's heavy metal.' And I'd been in America for quite awhile, so when I came back and I heard this term, I'd never heard it. And, of course, ever since that, that's been non-stop. I still think we're heavy rock, but you are put into a bag, and I'm quite proud of it now."

Earlier this year, BLACK SABBATH bassist Geezer Butler was asked by SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" how he feels about being considered one of the originators of the heavy metal genre. He replied: "I got used to it. It's just a term, like any other. People try and classify all kinds of music — try to put it in a bag or whatever and they come up with all these different things to call it.

"I think they called us heavy metal because we were a lot heavier than most hard rock bands that were around at the time," he explained. "We'd gone one step heavier than anybody else, so they couldn't call it 'heavy rock'; they called it heavy metal."

The 75-year-old Ozzy announced in February that his touring career was over as he is no longer "physically capable" of hitting the road after suffering several health setbacks. In July, he withdrew from an appearance at the Power Trip festival in Indio, California.

Osbourne damaged his spine in a major accident nearly five years ago and has since undergone multiple surgeries. He also revealed his Parkinson's diagnosis in January 2020.

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