Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Ozbourne talked with BBC Radio 1 recently about 13, the first studio album from Sabbath in 35 years to feature bassist Geezer Butler, guitarist Tony Iommi and Ozzy. About the album’s first single, “God Is Dead?”, Ozzy said: “How I got that title, I was at somebody’s office and there was a magazine on the table and it just said the words ‘God Is Dead.’ And I suddenly thought, with 9/11 and all these terrorist things in the name of religion and how many people have died [because of] religion, when you think about the tragedy that’s happened throughout time, it just came in me head. You would think by now their God would stop people [from] dying in the name of. So I just thought, people must think there ain’t no God, God is dead.
And it just hit me. And I just started singing ‘God is dead’ [when I was laying down] rough vocals [in the studio] and Geezer gave me the lyrics about it. Geezer is the lyricist in Black Sabbath; I wrote a few sets of lyrics, but he’s the main lyricist. I come up with the ideas and he fills the blanks in. At the end of the [song], there’s still a bit of hope, because at the end, I sing, ‘I don’t believe that God is dead.’ It’s just a question of when you see something dreadful like people killing each other with bombs and blowing tube trains or the World Trade Center, you think people must go, ‘There is no God.’ [But] it’s a load of B.S., you know.”
More Black Sabbath news (can you ever get enough?). This week, NME reported that not only do House of Hair listeners love Sabbath…so do plants. A gardening expert claims that playing Black Sabbath in a greenhouse helps plants grow and ward off disease. On a funny note, playing easy listening singers like British popster Cliff Richard killed ‘em off.
“We set up four glasshouses with different sorts of music in to see what happened to the plants,” said the researcher. “We had one that was silent – that was a control house – and we had one that was played classical music, we had one that was played Cliff Richard and we had one that was played Black Sabbath. It was alstroemerias we were growing and we bombarded these glasshouses with sound for the life of the plant. The one that was grown with classical music — a soft, almost a caressing of the plant when it is hit with that sort of soundwave — those grew slightly shorter because of the soundwaves bombarding them and were slightly more floriferous and there was slightly less pest and disease.
And the ones with Black Sabbath — great big, thumping noise, rowdy music — they were the shortest, but they had the best flowers and the best resistance to pest and disease…the alstroemerias in the Cliff Richard house all died. Sabotage was suspected but we couldn’t prove it.”
While we’re on the subject…Sharon Osbourne, wife/manager of Ozzy, joined her husband in denying recent reports that the couple of 31 years is divorcing. Said Sharon on CBS’s daytime talk show, The Talk, “There’s always a little seed of truth to everything that gets reported, but then it gets very distorted. The only thing that’s true is the Facebook posting that my husband did on his Facebook where he said he’s been using alcohol and prescription drugs for the last year and a half, and that he’s been an asshole, and he’s been in a very dark place. That’s true — it’s very true.
Everybody knows he’s been struggling with this his entire life, and I never knew that he was using prescription drugs. I knew he was drinking occasionally, but I didn’t realize, you know, to the extent. It’s our business, we’re dealing with it. We’re not getting divorced, however. Am I happy? No. Am I upset? Yes, I am. I’m devastated right now. It’s a disease that not only hurts the person that has the disease, but it hurts the family. It hurts people who love you. We’re dealing with it. We’ve dealt with worse, and we will deal with it, and this, too, shall pass…Otherwise, my husband will be taken to hospital to get my foot removed from his ass.”
You may not recognize Nim Galuu…but you’ll know his (its?) voice! Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler lent his voice to the animated character for the upcoming film, Epic, hitting theaters on May 24.
“My whole life, I’ve wanted to be in one of these animated movies. I got my wish,” says Steven. View him talking about his role (and get a sneak peek at some of the film).
Cinderella frontman Tom Keifer is getting ready for the release of his new solo effort, The Way LIfe Goes, on April 30th. You can check out audio samples of the entire album at Tom’s site.
The first “Heavy Metal And Popular Culture” international conference took place earlier this month at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH. What was the scholarly conference of “metallectuals” about? Metal music and culture, of course! Attendees from Norway, Germany, Switzerland, the U.K., France, Canada, New Zealand, Finland, Brazil and more got together to discuss theories, network, and talk about the upcoming peer-reviewed journal that will be published by The International Society For Metal Music Studies.
In covering the event, the Wall Street Journal wrote, “At the conference, musicologists delved into the deep growling of so-called death metal singers, demonstrating the differences between inhaled and exhaled screams, and revealed how some ‘speed’ metal bands secretly use computers to fake their superfast drumming — despite most metal fans’ distaste for artifice. Experts cataloged the widespread use of masks and face paint by bands, and chronicled the history of the heavy-metal concert T-shirt.” Dr. Dave Snell, a 33-year-old researcher who received an $80,000 grant from the New Zealand government a few years ago to study “Bogans,” New Zealand’s hard-partying, metal-loving underclass, told the WSJ, “For the first time, I’m talking with my peers. Usually at conferences, it’s a room full of suits, and I’m in my Iron Maiden T-shirt.”
The Motorhead episode of VH1’s Behind The Music series has been updated with new material. “Behind The Music Remastered: Motörhead” can be viewed here and features recent interviews with Ozzy Osbourne, Dave Grohl, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo, as well as interviews with the current and classic lineup of Motorhead. Just as a side note…Motorhead is putting the finishing touches on a new album, expected out this summer.
Also beginning work on a new album: Metallica. Explained drummer Lars Ulrich to a New Zealand radio station, “We’re just moving along, going through the riffs, trying to put some bits together, shape them into songs, kind of at an easy pace. We’re trying to not get too stressed out about it. We’ve gotta do some dates this year, we’ve got a movie we’ve gotta finish, and so hopefully, I’d say later on this year, we should be ready to go into the studio and hopefully the record will see the light of day at some point in 2014.”
Metal queen Lita Ford has just announced an-as-yet-unnamed new live album due out on September 23rd.
Christian Tarantino was sentenced to three concurrent life terms on murder and conspiracy charges in the deaths of three men, including Vincent Gargiulo, brother-in-law of Dee Snider. Vinnie was the brother of Dee’s wife, Suzette. Read the details here.
Guitar maestro Joe Satriani is about to release his 14th studio album, Unstoppable Momentum, on May 7th.
Check out the video for the first single, “A Door Into Summer”.