Black Sabbath have written 15 new songs since reuniting last year, frontman Ozzy Osbourne has confirmed. Speaking to NME in a video interview, the band discussed the direction of the new material, the influence of producer Rick Rubin and their recent Download warm-up gig in Birmingham. Commenting on the progress of the sessions, Osbourne said, “We’ve written about 15 songs so far, whether they’ll get on an album [I don’t know]… You just keep on writing. I was trying to [work out]: where would we be now musically if we’d have stayed together?” He added: “Next year – 2013 – is a good clue of what we’ll call the album.”
Meanwhile, bassist Geezer Butler revealed how Rubin had approached the writing sessions with the band, explaining: “He sat us down, put the first album on and said ‘listen to this’, imagine it’s 1969, you’ve just done that, what would you do next?”
Guitarist Tony Iommi also discussed his battle with cancer and how playing with the band at their comeback show at O2 Academy Birmingham last month (May 19) gave him a “boost”. He said: “It was great. Going through what I’ve gone through over the past year has been like living in a different world – being onstage and to get that [reaction from the fans] is just fantastic, it really boosts you up.”
The band are due close Download festival next Sunday (June 10), the only remaining gig of their world tour to feature Iommi as he continues to receive treatment for lymphoma. The rest of the jaunt is billed as an Ozzy And Friends tour, which will see the likes of ex-Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash and Zakk Wylde guest.