The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the biggest honors of its kind, with the European Broadcasting Community countries annually battling it out to determine which country has composed the most popular song. This year Black Sabbath‘s Tony Iommi decided to back Armenia by lending his skills to writing and producing a song.
Iommi teamed up with the band Dorians, who performed the track ‘Lonely Planet’ that will enter the battle on May 16. Each year member countries submit songs to be performed live on television and radio and then votes are cast to determine the most popular track in the competition. This year’s Eurovision event takes place in Malmo, Sweden.
The guitar great wrote the music and produced ‘Lonely Planet,’ while Vardan Zadoyan was responsible for the lyrics. Dorians will perform the song during the actual competition. The end result was an upbeat piece of music with some inspirational guitar work. The video for ‘Lonely Planet’ can be seen below. Tony Iommi tweeted, “I’m really pleased how it’s turned out! Fingers crossed for May 16!”
The Eurovision competition is just one thing of major interest for Tony Iommi, as the guitarist and his Black Sabbath bandmates will be offering their new ’13′ album on June 11.
Chad Childers for Loudwire, 20 March 2013
Black Sabbath will launch it’s world tour with a series of dates beginning next month in New Zealand, Australia and Japan. Later this summer, the band will kick off its North American tour which will keep the band on the road from late July through September and includes one Canadian stop, on August 14 at Toronto's Air Canada Centre. Tickets for the Toronto concert go on sale on April 13.
The three original members are joined on the album by Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk, who may or may not tour with them as well. Founding drummer Bill Ward is sitting out the reunion over a contractual dispute.
Blabbermouth.net, 14 March 2013
Black Sabbath‘s upcoming album ‘13’ has finally been given a solid release date! The highly anticipated record will be unleashed on June 11. Sabbath have also launched a pre-order campaign for ‘13’, offering everything from a simple CD to a ‘Super Deluxe Box Set.’
‘13’ was originally meant to feature the classic line up of Black Sabbath (Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward), but due to a contract squabble involving Ward, the iconic drummer dropped out of the Sabbath reunion. In his place, Rage Against the Machine stickman Brad Wilk manned the skins on the forthcoming album.
Guitarist Tony Iommi’s cancer diagnosis also threw a wrench in the works for Black Sabbath’s 2012 world tour plans, but the master of the riff heroically pressed on, constantly writing and recording new material throughout his ongoing recovery process. Thankfully, any doubts harbored by Sabbath fans have been squashed now that ‘13’ has an official release date of June 11.
As a Black Sabbath fanatic down to your bones, you may have trouble deciding which pre-order offer to dedicate your money towards, but fear not, here’s a breakdown of the goodies Sabbath have made available. If just pre-ordering a CD isn’t enough for your Sabbath fix, the band is also offering a double CD in a deluxe soft pack, which contains an extra album of exclusive bonus audio. ’13′ will also be printed on 12″ heavyweight (180g) vinyl in a gatefold sleeve.
Finally, for the hardcore fans, there’s the Super Deluxe Box Set containing the double CD and vinyl pressings of ’13,’ along with an exclusive DVD of the documentary ‘Black Sabbath – The Re-union,’ plus five behind-the-scenes videos, a download card containing exclusive track-by-track interviews with the band, 13 exclusive photographic prints and hand-written album lyrics by members of the band.
Black Sabbath have also unveiled a new three-minute video of producer Rick Rubin in the studio with Sabbath. In the clip, Rubin directs Black Sabbath through recording their new material, which is showcased in bits and pieces throughout the video. Although we only get a few seconds to peek into what has become ‘13’, the sound presented is quintessentially Black Sabbath.
Check out Black Sabbath’s new studio footage in the player below, and to pre-order ‘13’, head on over to Sabbath’s official website: www.blacksabbath.com
In addition, anyone who pre-orders any of these formats via BlackSabbath.com will be entered into a drawing to win a pair of VIP tickets to an official "13" album launch event in London, including a meet-and-greet with the band, flights and accommodation. Additional details and full terms and conditions on the contest can be found at www.blacksabbath.com
Video: Rick Rubin on Producing Black Sabbath's New Album, '13'
Graham ‘Gruhamed’ Hartmann, 13 March 2013
Photo Tim Whitby, Getty Images
From goldengods.metalhammer.co.uk: “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 www.metalhammer.co.uk 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: goldengods.metalhammer.co.uk , register and vote!
For Black Sabbath obviously!
Photo Phil Wallis
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
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 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.”
Blabbermouth.net 11 March 2013
Photo Scott Gries, Getty Images
(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.
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
According to Panarmenian.net 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