BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi recently spoke to Classic Rock Revisited about his recently released collaborative CD with singer Glenn Hughes (ex-DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH),entitled "The 1996 DEP Sessions", and the possibility of a new SABBATH studio album, among other topics. Several excerpts from the interview follow:
Classic Rock Revisited: Now, I have to ask about your "other band" [BLACK SABBATH]. Are there any plans on getting together and recording?
Tony Iommi: "Oh, the 'other band' [laughs]. There are no plans. We talk about it as we always do. I think everyone in SABBATH is into making another album. We are certainly into doing another tour, for sure, if we could. I would like to make another album but, as has been the case for a long time, it is hard to get everyone together to do it. Ozzy has had a lot of commitments over the past few years that have made it difficult."
Classic Rock Revisited: I talked with Bill Ward about a year ago and he told me that there is an album of new BLACK SABBATH songs on tape at his house that just need mixed.
Tony Iommi: "We've got quite a few tracks that we did. We had a writing period where we wrote about seven tracks that are very good. Do you think they are going to end up on bootleg as well? [laughs]. We better do something before anybody else does!"
Classic Rock Revisited: Legend has it that Ronnie [James Dio] left the band because you turned his vocals down during the mixing of the "Live Evil" album. Is that true?
Tony Iommi: "No, that all got out of hand, honestly. We were going in and mixing the album. Over a period of weeks, I was seeing the engineer beginning to look worse and worse. He was getting more drunk all the time. I wondered what was going on. I asked him one day if he was alright. He said, 'I can't stand it anymore. I've got to tell you what is going on.' I told him, 'Go on.' He said, 'You guys are going home after doing a mix and then Ronnie is wanting to come in and do his own mix. I don't know what to do.' Basically, that is what happened — that is the crunch of it. We tried to ban him from the studio. It got pretty bad."
Classic Rock Revisited: Do you have any regrets about having Ozzy leave the original line up? Do you think that by asking him to leave you actually helped him?
Tony Iommi: "I don't think we could have helped him at all, at that time. It had come to an end. He was totally out of control. We weren't that much better but at least we were still in control. We were all coked out and were doing this and that. It just kept going on and it got longer and longer between writing sessions; nothing was happening. We went to Los Angeles and we were all living in a house together. I was the only one who used to go to the record company. They were saying, 'We have not heard any tracks yet. When can we hear them?' I told them, 'They are not quite ready yet.' The truth was that we didn't have anything. I was giving them a load of crap. It was very difficult as I was the only one who would even face the record company. I finally told them, 'We have been here for months and nothing is happening. We are spending money and we are not doing anything.' It would have gotten to a stage where we would have broken up and we would have all went our separate ways if we had not told Ozzy at that time."
Read Tony Iommi's entire interview with Classic Rock Revisited at this location.