blackSabbath Black Sabbath will concentrate on the 1970s era in their upcoming world tour, bassist Geezer Butler has revealed.

He also recalled the band’s early days, when he couldn’t afford a bass, their rise to success, and how technology affected their attitude.

The metal giants will release new album 13 – their first with Ozzy Osbourne since 1978 – on June 11th, and will tour the UK in December.

Butler tells The Metal Forge, “Since all our albums date back to the 1970s, that is the decade we will be dealing with. We always have to play the staples, such as Iron Man, Paranoid, Black Sabbath, War Pigs, Children Of The Grave, but it’s good to include more obscure stuff.”

Thinking back to their first studio experiences, he recalls, “The first and second albums were recorded on two four-track machines, the first album in two days, the second in five days. It was basically like doing a live gig in the studio.

As technology advanced, it was almost a curse to have so many tracks to record on; we lost focus of what the band was supposed to be about. It was great for experimenting, but we wasted a lot of time – and money – just pissing about in the studio on the later albums.”

That followed Butler’s early struggle to buy an instrument, after Cream inspired him to focus on bass. “I’d never seen anyone play bass like Jack Bruce before,” he says. “Everyone would be staring at Clapton while I’d be staring at Jack.

The main obstacle was I couldn’t afford a bass. I had a Fender Telecaster guitar at the time. I was paying it off at 50 pence a week over four years, so I couldn’t sell it until it was paid for. When I got together with Sabbath, I tuned the guitar strings down to simulate a bass.

On our first gig I borrowed a friend’s Hofner bass. It only had three strings – and that gig was the first time I’d ever played a bass. I swapped my Telecaster for a Fender Precision bass, and that was that.”

While Sabbath will mainly live in the past when it comes to setlists, Butler says they’ll also squeeze in a couple of tracks from the new album and he reflects on how recording 13 was a completely different experience from those that took place 40 years ago.

“These days it’s great – you can have the equivalent of a major studio on your laptop, so you can save a lot of time and heartache by recording your ideas at home and then playing them to whoever you are working with, to get instant feedback. There is nothing to replace jamming live together, but it is great to have a reference point, to give direction.”

The bassist admits writing the album was a challenge, “You have to feel extremely comfortable with each other to write and record. We have seen each other almost every day for the last two years – but we persisted, and we have done the almost impossible.”

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additional source: Metal Hammer

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  • bigsled on

    No Bill Ward…..
    Ozzy lip syncing…..
    Pass !!!!!

    • Jimmy Apple (@jimmyapple5) on

      I’d have to agree with this. The whole thing sounded good in theory. But without Bill Ward it simply does not have the same appeal. And particularly with Ozzy’s ghost singer, even less appeal.

  • Tim on

    Aww, come on now! Bill Ward chose not to be part of this reunion. 3/4 of Original Sabbath is better than 0/4 of Original Sabbath. Brad Wilk is an amazing drummer and Rick Rubin is as much of a diehard fan of Sabbath as anyone and ’13’ is gonna rock majorly.

  • henry mossberg on

    Great. Looking forward to the June 11th release date. Have been waiting for this for years.
    Sooooo glad to see they let Bill keep to his decision to stay at home and do the things he likes to do such as, not playing, not touring, and not recording. This, judging by the comments above is the new and welcomed standard for burnt out, aged drummers.

    Count me in for a tour date, or three. And a couple of copies of “13”.

  • bigsled on

    Bill chose to because Tony and Ozzy think they should get paid more . It came down to money over the music and friends period !
    Thats one of the things that happened with Ace & Peter in kiss . Gene & Paul think they should get paid more even though they were filling 1/2 of an arena in alot of markets in the non-makeup years. All the way thru revenge tour ./ Then, Ace & Peter come back and they sell out everywhere.
    This situation is worse because there hasent been touring Sabbath unless you want to call Tony going under the name Sabbath.

  • bigsled on

    Alot of bands seem to forget that the fan is the customer . Put aside your differences within the band and have all the originals period !
    Ronnie Dio said it best ; If a artist thinks they are more imortant than the fan they are a fool………

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