The original lineup of the legendary heavy metal band BLACK SABBATH announced earlier today (Friday, November 11) that it was reuniting for its first new album in 33 years and a 2012 world tour.
Singer Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward revealed during a press conference at legendary Sunset Strip club Whisky a Go Go they were working on new material for the album which will be made available Vertigo/Universal Republic in the U.S. and Vertigo in all other territories. There is no title as yet but it will be produced by Rick Rubin, who has previously worked with METALLICA, SLIPKNOT, SLAYER and SYSTEM OF A DOWN, among many others. The band hopes to begin recording the CD in January for a fall 2012 release. A world tour will follow, including an appearance at the U.K.’s Download festival on June 10, 2012.
“It’s now or never. We are getting along great. Everything’s really good,” Iommi said.
“It’s like putting on an old glove. It’s fantastic,” he added.
The band credited Rubin‘s persistence for helping get them back in the studio. “He phoned us every five minutes,” Iommi joked.
“It was the obvious choice,” explained Osbourne of Rubin as producer. “I’ve known Rick for many years.”
“It was time,” said Osbourne of the reunion. “The timing was right.”
Osbourne went on to reveal that they’ve written “seven or eight” new songs for the album, which they plan to release at the end of next year.
Butler added that the new songs are “back to the old SABBATH style and sound. The stuff that Tony‘s been playing is absolutely brilliant.”
Rubin, who was also present at the event, said: “We’ve been working on developing material and we’re halfway into the writing process. It’s inspiring hearing what’s coming out.”
The first video footage of the press conference, which was hosted by former BLACK FLAG frontman Henry Rollins, can be seen below.
The Ozzy-fronted lineup of SABBATH hasn’t toured since 2005 and last appeared together when they were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2006. They attempted to cut a new album — their first since 1978’s “Never Say Die!” — with Rick Rubin in 1999, but the sessions fell apart after just a couple of songs and Osbourne turned his attention to his solo career. The Ronnie James Dio lineup reunited under the moniker HEAVEN & HELL in 2006 but split four years later, after Dio passed away.
Video of entire 30-minute press conference (courtesy of Stephanie Cabral):