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Metal Hammer lance votes for Golden Gods Awards 2013, and Black Sabbath has great chances in the category Best UK band! Vote now!


From “Presented by Orange Amplification, the Metal Hammer Golden Gods 2013 are officially go, and we [Metal Hammer] are delighted to announce that this year’s awards will be headlined by none other than Motörhead! Lemmy and the boys will be closing the most metal awards show on the planet, which takes place on Monday June 17 at London’s Indigo2, with plenty more juggernaut-sized names yet to be announced and, of course, the Golden Gods awards themselves!

Taking place at London’s esteemed Indigo2 venue on Monday June 17, this year’s Golden Gods are guaranteed to be packing a host of incredible live performances, legendary special guests and, most importantly, you guys.

Register on this page to get voting and be entered into a competition to win tickets to this year’s show, and get ready to get crazy with us. Don’t forget to stay tuned to for more info on bands and guests over the coming weeks, but until then, get voting!”

Black Sabbath has great chances to win (we have no doubts) in a category “Best UK band”.
All you need is check out the link: , register and vote!
For Black Sabbath obviously!

Photo Phil Wallis



Tony Iommi: "A song for Eurovision? I've plenty more where that came from"


Black Sabbath legend says he has a shelf full of unused songs which he has no plans to use.

Black Sabbath guitar legend Tony Iommi – whose song was selected as Armenia’s Eurovision Song Contest entry – has admitted: “I’ve plenty more where that one came from.”

The 65-year-old godfather of heavy metal has a treasure trove of tracks he has written over the years, but which he has no intention of recording himself, either with Sabbath or on a solo album. He said he was gobsmacked when the Armenians chose Lonely Planet – a song he wrote more than five years ago – as their Eurovision contender but now has high hopes for the track.

“I was as shocked as anybody when they came knocking,” he said, “they got in touch with me because of the charity work we’ve been doing out there, building a new music school to replace one wrecked by an earthquake. They asked if I’d got any spare songs. Well, I write loads of songs and they just get put away. They lie on a shelf because either they’re not suitable for Sabbath or for another project, and never see the light of day. I searched out Lonely Planet – it’s a bit of a power ballad – and sent it off. I was surprised when it made the shortlist and gobsmacked when the people of Armenia voted for it. With a little luck, who knows, it might win.”

The track will be sung by self-confessed Sabbath fan Gor Sujyan at Eurovision’s second semi-final in Sweden on May 16, aiming to land a place in the big final in Malmo on May 18.

Tony, back in Britain after recording the new Sabbath album in LA, faces long-term treatment in his battle against cancer but said recording sessions went well and he was excited by the results.

“The tracks sound good and I’m looking forward to getting the album out there,” he said. “At the moment I’m doing promotional work in London. Then we have gigs in Australia and Japan.”

The album, titled 13, is set for release in June and is guaranteed to top the charts, such is interest in the reunion.

 Paul Cole for Birmingham Mail, 10 March 2013

Tony Iommi: Guitar hero Alvin Lee was a true friend


Midland Ten Years After guitar hero gave me my big break, says Black Sabbath star.

Birmingham rock legend Tony Iommi last night revealed how Midland guitar hero Alvin Lee, who died last week, gave him an early break.

It was the Ten Years After guitar star who saw something in Tony’s band Earth – who went on to find fame after changing their name to Black Sabbath – and helped them to get some of their early gigs. Lee, from Nottingham, shockingly died last week at the age of 68 after undergoing what was supposed to be a routine surgical procedure. Medics say he suffered “unforeseen complications”.

His career had included 18 albums with Ten Years After, another 14 solo sets, countless tours and a show-stealing appearance at Woodstock, where his lightning-fast licks wowed the world.

But to Iommi, himself beset by health problems after being diagnosed with lymphoma, Lee was first and foremost a friend – and a good one to boot.

“I was extremely saddened to hear of Alvin’s death,” the Sabbath star said. “It was a great shock. I had not known that he was ill.
Alvin was a really great guitar player but, more importantly, has been a good friend of Black Sabbath over the years. In the early days, when we were still going by the name of Earth, it was Alvin who helped us get some gigs. He’d been out there a bit before us, and knew the ropes. We’d sit and talk the night away at a flat in London. I remember telling him that we were thinking of changing our name to Black Sabbath. He was horrified! He told me we’d never do any good with a name like that.”

Later, Iommi recalls, when Sabbath were a worldwide success, they gave Lee’s band support slots at some of their gigs.

“It was good to be able to return the favour,” he said. “It was great to meet up again and chat, too. Alvin broke new ground with the way he played. After he played Goin’ Home at Woodstock, he became known as the fastest guitar player in the world. But it wasn’t just about speed. He could rock, he could play the blues, and he was a fine jazz guitarist, too. He will be greatly missed by everyone in the rock and roll community.”

Iommi’s thoughts were echoed by original Sabbath bandmates Geezer Butler and Bill Ward, who both took to twitter to express their regret.

“Shocked and saddened,” said Butler. “One of the true greats and a major influence on Sabbath. The fastest guitar in the west. He was one of the few people that believed in Sabbath when we started out, and he got us our first major London gig, at the Marquee. A true gentleman and lovely bloke.”

Ward, who has opted not to take part in the current Black Sabbath reunion, added: “Thank you, Alvin, for all that you were. For all that you gave. You were one of a kind. Your music rocked with passion, force, excitement; brave in risk, bringing this listener to the point of ‘wowism’. In short, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Our condolences go to Alvin’s family.”

Lee died in Spain, where he had been living for some time. He is survived by his wife Evi and daughter Jasmine.


Paul Cole for Birmingham Mail, 10 March 2013

Photo Kevin Winter, Getty Images



Black Sabbath In The Studio: Tony Iommi 'Wouldn't Let His Illness Interfere With This Album'

Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler said in a new interview with Guitar World magazine that “13”, the band's new album — the first in 35 years to feature Butler, guitarist Tony Iommi and singer Ozzy Osbourne — is also the first that the original members of the band have made while completely sober. Butler explained, “This was a million times better than that last album, where everyone was coked out of their brains!” Added singer Ozzy Osbourne, “[1978's] 'Never Say Die!” should have been called, “We Should Be F…g Dead!”

Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi was diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma at the end of 2011. Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphocytes, a type of cell that forms part of the immune system. Production on “13” stopped while Iommi began chemotherapy, but it wasn't long before he requested the band move operations from producer Rick Rubin's Shangri-La studio in Malibu, California to England so he could work on material between treatment sessions.

“Tony's the kind of bloke that doesn't want to let us down,” Butler told Guitar World. “He wouldn't let his illness interfere with this album. He wanted to get it done.”

Iommi's illness was not the only setback to befall Black Sabbath during the creation of “13”. Despite spending a year writing with the band, drummer Bill Ward opted out of the reunion in early 2012 over some well-publicized contractual disagreements. After much fan speculation regarding Ward's replacement, it was finally revealed this January that Brad Wilk — best known for his work with Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave — had been brought in by Rubin to handle the album's drum duties.

“We'd have loved to have Bill on the album,” Butler said. “But suddenly something came up. I went to Hawaii when Tony started his treatment, and when l came back, Bill wasn't in the band anymore.”

“The only sad thing is that Bill couldn't keep it together,” Osbourne told Revolver magazine. “It would have been great to have Bill with us. I've never understood the business side of this. I don't choose to go there. My wife does that for me, and Geezer's wife is his manager, and Tony's got his manager. So, I keep my nose out of it. But they couldn't come to an agreement with him. I mean, I still love him, and I wish him well, but…”

Although the band was sceptical at first about enlisting Wilk to lay down the drum tracks on “13”, he proved up to the task.

“I was really surprised,” Butler told Guitar World. “He had that Bill Ward kind of jazzy swing feel, rather than heavy metal bashing.”

The new Black Sabbath album — the band's 19th overall — is due out in June. Song titles set to appear on the CD include three seven-plus-minute behemoths “End Of The Beginning”, “God Is Dead” and “Epic”, as well as a track about killing pedophile priests (“Dear Father”) and another about the scourge of methamphetamine addiction (“Methademic”).

Black Sabbath last month released a behind-the-scenes video online that takes viewers into the studio for a glimpse of the making of “13”. All three original members seem enthusiastic about finally working together again after 35 years, with Iommi saying about the album, “You can't always repeat what you've done, you've just got to go on. It'll be today's version of how it was 40 years ago, I suppose.”

Elsewhere in the video, Ozzy said, “This Black Sabbath album is quite possibly the most important album of my career,” while Butler added, “We'll probably all be dead soon, so while we still can play and sing, then we've got to do it.” 11 March 2013

Photo Scott Gries, Getty Images



Former Black Sabbath bassist Neil Murray talks about Tony Iommi!

(A citation from Neil Murray - Snakecharmer - Uber Rock Interview Exclusive written by Matt Phelps, Saturday, 09 March 2013)

--- What's it like to work with Tony Iommi?

--- Well people think that Tony is probably a very scary guy. Kind of doomy, evil. Steer well clear of him! Probably practicing black magic all day but he's actually a really funny guy, a really nice bloke. Quite into his practical jokes actually. I mean I wouldn't wanna get on the wrong side of him.

Occasionally when people do it's mostly because they don't see that he's getting a bit narked with them and they just keep on talking rubbish or whatever it is they're doing. Then suddenly they might find themselves grabbed by the collar and being told to shut up, you know? I'm not saying anything more that that (laughs). But he's an incredibly creative musician, I really envy him. He can go to his studio and just churn out endless new riffs all of the time. He just has that kind of creative personality where he can come up with things that I wouldn't even think of. He's just coming from a different direction and he will do something that other people haven't done before, you know? He's not concerned with trying to fit in with anything, he just plays Tony Iommi if it were. He's very concerned about his guitar sound and he's always trying to improve it. trying out all sorts of different amps and effects and pick ups and all sorts. He's definitely a perfectionist from that point of view.

 I very much enjoyed my time in the band though I know the majority of fans want the original line up, or as much of it as they can get. The only thing I can say is that in the eighties for example, late eighties, Tony wasn't wanting to do the same music, or the same exact style of thing that he'd done in the seventies with Ozzy. In certain countries that was welcomed but sometimes the hardcore Sabbath fans just wanted them to stay exactly as they were originally. It was as if at times they would almost prefer there was no Sabbath than there be a version with, for example, myself and Cozy Powell which I think is a bit wrong but there you go. Sometimes heavy metal fans, and particularly teenage heavy metal fans are the most hardcore kind. They won't deviate from their point of view. It's all very black and white. Some things either amazing or it's crap. So if I'm not amazing then I must be crap (laughs). There's no grey areas. As you get older you can begin to appreciate things that aren't just one particular thing. You can broaden your taste a bit.



Black Sabbath Live Footage From 1975 Unveiled

Currently in the studio recording their highly-anticipated reunion album, heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath have released a 25-minute video clip of the group’s 1975 performance on ‘Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert’ that reminds fans of just how great classic Sabbath really were.

Posted to Sabbath’s official YouTube channel, the clip featured above offers the group’s original lineup of Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward performing the songs ‘Killing Yourself to Live’, ‘Hole in the Sky’, ‘Snowblind,’ ‘War Pigs’ and ‘Paranoid.’

The group were promoting their sixth studio album, ‘Sabotage,’ which featured ‘Hole in the Sky’ as its lead track. ‘Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert’ ran in syndication from 1973 until 1981, featuring many of the top rock acts of that era performing live in concert — a rarity in those days when most “live” music performances on television were lip-synched. Sabbath’s original line up would last for just two more albums before Osbourne’s forced departure, after which he became one of the unlikeliest solo superstars ever.

Black Sabbath (minus Bill Ward) are currently in the recording studio with producer Rick Rubin working on ’13′ — the group’s first studio record to feature Osbourne on vocals since 1978′s ‘Never Say Die.’ Sitting in the drummer’s chair is Brad Wilk from Rage Against The Machine. The album is due for release in June.


Ken Kelley for Ultimate Classic Rock, 6 March 2013

Photo Vertigo Records



Tony Iommi pens Armenia’s entry into Eurovision


According to a song written by Tony Iommi has been chosen as Armenian entry into the Eurovision contest.

Eurovision is a long-running song contest dating back to the 1950s in which each participating country selects a song for the annual competition. This year’s entry from Armenia just so happens to be co-written by Iommi.

What’s Iommi’s connection with Armenia? Going back to 1988, he helped raise money and awareness after a devastating earthquake. Recently, he and Ian Gillan from Deep Purple teamed up to raise money for a music school there. They also recruited Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain, the late Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord and ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted for the WhoCares project, recording a two track benefit single.

The song, ‘Lonely Planet,’ is performed by the band the Dorians, but features music written by Iommi. In a message on his website, Iommi commented on the contest:

“Well here’s something different, one of my demo ideas has been chosen as the Armenian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest! It went on a short list and Saturday night was voted as the winner. I did the music and the performing band Dorians wrote the lyrics, it’s called ‘Lonely Planet’. They’re a good band, the singer has a really good voice and the lyrics they’ve written are in English. It now goes to the semi-final on May 16th in Malmo, Sweden. Glad to be able to be involved with Armenia again, the school is coming along fine, they’ve got the furniture sorted and it will be opened late summer.”


Loudwire, 4 March 2013

Photo Marek Krajcer



A cool topic from Loudwire: Who Should Play Black Sabbath in a Movie?


Bringing the story of Black Sabbath to the big screen is no easy task. If ever the film gods decide to make a movie about the Godfathers of Heavy Metal, they’d have a tough task ahead of them. Whether it be the band’s iconic singer Ozzy Osbourne or legendary guitarist Tony Iommi, the actors portraying them have to be just right for the role. Loudwire have assembled a list of four actors who they think would do the band proud if ever a Black Sabbath biopic went into production.

As the Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne is one of most notorious figures in heavy metal history. To capture Ozzy’s wild side, you need an actor who has a bad-boy reputation — and who better to take on the role than Colin Farrell? While he may not be a dead ringer for Ozzy, the Irish actor does possess a few of the rock icon’s facial features. However, in this case, the selection of Farrell is more about personality than looks, and we feel he’s got the full package to portray Osbourne in a movie.

Tony Iommi is often credited as the inventor of heavy metal. His guitar riffs revolutionized music and set in motion a whole new genre of music. That said, you need an accomplished actor to portray Iommi, and our pick is the Dark Knight himself, British actor Christian Bale. Again, not a striking resemblance, but Bale has been known to transform into his characters, so we see no problem with him taking on the role of a heavy metal genius.

As the chief lyricist in Black Sabbath, bassist Geezer Butler needs to be played by an intellectual type. We nominate James McAvoy of such films as ‘Atonement,’ ‘Wanted’ and ‘X-Men: First Class.’ Not only does the Scottish thespian seem like a smart dude, he also looks remarkably like the young Geezer Butler. With a few bass lessons and a few books on the occult, McAvoy should be well on his way to taking on the role of Butler.

For heavy-hitting drummer Bill Ward, we need a powerful actor who can pound the skins with authority. While casting the guy who played ‘Dark Knight Rises’ villain Bane might stir up trouble with Christian Bale’s portrayal of Tony Iommi, we think Tom Hardy fits the ‘Bill’ extremely well. The British actor has shown his versatility as a boxer in ‘Warrior’ and a romantic spy in ‘This Means War,’ so he should have no problem rockin’ the role of Bill Ward if a Sabbath movie ever gets made.


Spencer Kaufman for Loudwire, 23 February 2013

Chris Walter, WireImage/Jason Merritt, Getty Images



Queen's Brian May talk about Tony Iommi's idea of a new “riffs” album


Few bands would turn down having Tony Iommi backing them up, and soon more bands will get the chance. The Black Sabbath guitarist has a treasure trove of riffs laying around, unused, in his studio. Queen‘s Brian May has inspired Iommi to put them to good use.

In a recent interview with Kerrang!, May talks about the riffs album the two were working on. “The idea was to put all these riffs out in some form so that people could build their own songs from them,” he says (quote via “You could make your own music with Tony Iommi on guitar!”

It’s not clear how fans and musicians will be able to use these riffs and if Iommi is truly going to throw them into the public domain as it sounds like he might. There is no time frame for this unique project. Iommi has been busy with his Black Sabbath bandmates making ’13,’ their first album with Ozzy Osbourne in 35 years. Osbourne recently said that album could be the most important of his career.


Billy Dukes for Ultimate Classic Rock, 14 February 2013

Paul Kane/Daniele Venturelli, Getty Images



Black Sabbath's Dark, Twisted Resurrection


It's a sunny January day in Los Angeles, but as you'd expect, Black Sabbath's world is looking pretty dark. Guitarist Tony Iommi is back home in England being treated for the lymphoma cancer he was diagnosed with last year. Ozzy Osbourne, padding around Malibu's Shangri-La Studio in a black bowler hat and suit, has his own medical problems to deal with: His arm is in a sling from hand surgery, and four days before, he briefly turned into a human blowtorch. "My wife [Sharon] had left a f...g candle burning downstairs and set the coffee table on fire," Osbourne sputter-mutters, pulling up his hair to reveal a red burn across his forehead. "She threw some water on the wood and suddenly it was like f..g napalm exploded." He shrugs. "Normal day in the Osbourne house."

At least one thing is going Sabbath's way: The band is nearing completion of 13, its first studio album with Osbourne in 35 years. Recorded last fall at the famed L.A. studio with producer Rick Rubin, 13 finds Osbourne, Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and guest drummer Brad Wilk (of Rage Against the Machine) resurrecting the sludgy, ultra-heavy sound of the early Sabbath records. In another nod to their roots, lumbering tracks like "End of the Beginning" and "Age of Reason" stretch out to as long as eight minutes.

Osbourne has toured on and off with Sabbath for the last 15 years, but the road to a studio reunion has been a particularly long and grueling one. They first met with Rubin over a dozen years ago, but according to the producer, "It didn't gel at that time." Iommi says the launch of The Osbournes on MTV soon after complicated matters: "It drew Ozzy off. When he was going to do it, I thought, 'Hmmm, I don't know how this is going to be.' Obviously they did it, and it's too late now."

Even when the project reignited in 2011, it almost derailed. Founding drummer Bill Ward, who had participated in early rehearsals for a new album, announced last February that he wouldn't be participating over what he calls "contractual difficulties." (Ward declined comment for this story.) Iommi says Ward's demands came out of the blue. "I didn't know Bill was having these issues when we got together – he never even mentioned it to us," he says. "It was quite confusing. We wanted him involved, but it was just getting too hard." Adds Osborne: "You can't go, 'Well, I don't like it.' You get off your ass and get your shit together. The life of a bohemian rock star is f..g long over."

Iommi's cancer diagnosis was another setback. "I couldn't believe it," Osbourne says. "After all this time, we're all in the same boat. And bang." The sessions were briefly delayed when Iommi began chemotherapy treatment last year. Then, when the time finally came to cut the album, Rubin threw in a wrench of his own. Sitting the band down in his Los Angeles home, he played them their first album, 1970's brutally primitive Black Sabbath. "I wanted to make an album that stood alongside their first four albums," Rubin says. "The first album wasn't a straightforward heavy metal record. You could hear the jazz influence, so that was the goal, and to capture that live interaction."

For the band, Rubin's challenge to live up to their early sound was initially disorienting. "It was confusing," says Butler. "We had to unlearn everything we'd learned." Sabbath did nix one of Rubin's requests: to fill the drum seat with the ever-volatile Ginger Baker. "I thought, 'Bloody hell?'" Iommi says. "I just couldn't see that." Rubin then suggested Wilk, who visited Osbourne's home and jammed with him, Iommi and Butler on Sabbath classics like "War Pigs." "I'd never heard louder instruments in my life," says the Rage drummer, who ended up playing on the whole album. "And I've played in some pretty loud bands."

After landing the gig, Wilk was subjected to the Sabbath equivalent of hazing. "Tony was constantly fussing with me," Wilk says. "I'd come in and he'd say, 'Did you get the email I sent last night with that new song?' I'm gullible as hell, so I'd say, 'No, I didn't get that,' and then he'd start playing some riff I'd never heard before. And I'd say, 'Uh, no – wow!' He kept doing it until I knew he was just kidding."

When recording began, Iommi could only work for several weeks at a time before taking a week off for additional cancer treatments – a schedule he will be adhering to over the next two years. At press time, the band has only announced a brief spring tour in Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, with U.S. dates to follow after Iommi rests up. "Things are fairly good, dare I say, at the moment," Iommi says with a modest chuckle. "I'm still here and it's okay. We had to do this album now. Christ, if it happened in another 10 years, I don't know if we'd be around."

Although Osbourne describes the new album as "Satanic blues," Iommi's illness isn't the only thing that's changed about Sabbath. Osbourne admits he is no longer the "crazy, raging alcoholic drug addict" he was during the making of his last Sabbath record, 1978's Never Say Die. ("It should've been called I Wish I Was Dead," he grumbles.) And even a new Sabbath song like the provocatively titled "God Is Dead" takes an unexpected turn. "It starts off, God is dead, Osbourne says, before adding a bit wistfully, “but at the end it says, 'I don't believe that God is dead.”


David Browne for Rolling Stones, 10 February 2013

Photo Shane Hirschman


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