black sab­bath

BLACK SAB­BATH

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Contents - WORDS: MER­LIN ALDERSLADE

Geezer But­ler re­mem­bers The Ten Year War, and the me­dia an­i­mos­ity to­wards the band in the 70s. But will Sab­bath ever play an­other show?

As Sab­bath re­lease new box set The Ten Year War, Geezer re­flects on life af­ter the end HOW DID IT FEEL BOWING OFFSTAGE WITH SAB­BATH FOR THE LAST TIME THIS YEAR?

“It felt like the right thing to do. Tony de­cided he didn’t want to tour any­more, and af­ter what he’d been through with his lym­phoma treat­ment, I fully re­spected his de­ci­sion. It was good that we went out at the top of our game, and with our friend­ship in­tact. It was sad, for me, to say good­bye to tour­ing, as I re­ally en­joy trav­el­ling and play­ing all over the world. It didn’t re­ally hit me that it was all over un­til I got home. I felt quite lost for a few weeks af­ter the fi­nal show.”

WHAT WAS THE AT­MOS­PHERE LIKE AT THE LAST BIRM­ING­HAM SHOW?

“Back­stage it was like fam­ily time; it seemed like each of us were en­ter­tain­ing our fam­i­lies and friends. There wasn’t much quiet time, like there usu­ally is before we play. The ac­tual show­time at­mos­phere was elec­tric, to use a cliché. It re­ally had a spe­cial feel­ing, a mix­ture of ex­cite­ment, ner­vous­ness, adren­a­line and hope. The crowd were well up for it. It seemed that the love they had for us was tan­gi­ble, like an in­vis­i­ble wave wash­ing over us.”

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE PART ABOUT THE LAST TREK TO­GETHER?

“That we played our socks off at ev­ery show. I re­alised that it’d be the last time any­one would see this line-up and I think we gave some of our best per­for­mances.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE METAL SCENE IN 2017?

“I don’t lis­ten to much metal any­more. In fact, I was never re­ally into that many metal bands. The only metal I’ve bought re­cently has been Go­jira, Mastodon and Me­tal­lica, but I re­ally like Soundgar­den and Royal Blood al­bums. It’s hard th­ese days for metal bands to re­ally make a break­through. It seems like fes­ti­vals are the way to go for most bands now, un­less they can catch a sup­port slot on a more es­tab­lished band’s tour. I’m sure there’ll be a break­through band some­time soon.”

WHAT’S THE BIG­GEST DIF­FER­ENCE FOR YOU NOW, COM­PARED TO 30 YEARS AGO?

“The big­gest one is that I’m 30 years older. I don’t feel im­mor­tal any­more, I’ve slowed down, I don’t booze or do drugs any­more – I’m quite bor­ing now. I’m more con­cerned with where I’ll be buried than what gigs I’ll go to. But I’m en­joy­ing life, what’s left of it.”

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?

“I’m al­ways ex­per­i­ment­ing in my stu­dio and writ­ing music, so there might be an­other Geezer al­bum next year. I’m still de­bat­ing whether to fin­ish my mem­oirs. I’m a private per­son, and not sure I’d be com­fort­able shar­ing my life – what I can re­mem­ber of it – pub­licly. I want to fin­ish writ­ing about my life so my grand­kids can read it when they are old enough. I al­ways wished I’d have asked my par­ents more about their lives; I still have so many ques­tions I’d loved to have asked them.”

WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SAB­BATH’S NEW BOX SET, THE TEN YEAR WAR?

“It’s based on a pub­li­ca­tion [we put out] in the 70s called The Ten Year War, which deals with the an­i­mos­ity of the me­dia to­wards Sab­bath, even though we’d sold mil­lions of records and sold out thou­sands of shows. It’s a box set of all the al­bums from that era, with fac­sim­ile mem­o­ra­bilia and quotes from var­i­ous peo­ple.”

UN­DER WHAT CIR­CUM­STANCES WOULD YOU BE IN­TER­ESTED IN DO­ING ONE FI­NAL SAB­BATH SHOW?

“I’d love to do a show at Villa Park, ac­tu­ally in As­ton where Sab­bath was born. Also, we never did do shows in In­dia or Africa, so I’d be up for that, and we didn’t do Japan on our farewell tour, so that’d get me off the couch. But I’m con­tent to leave it as it is, the end of the end.”

THE TEN YEAR WAR, SAB­BATH’S LIMITED-EDI­TION BOX SET, IS RE­LEASED ON SEPTEM­BER 29 VIA BMG. IT BRINGS TO­GETHER THEIR EIGHT, OZZY-FRONTED AL­BUMS ON VINYL AND A CRUCIFIX USB STICK, PLUS THE TEN YEAR WAR BROCHURE AND OTHER RARITIES

“WE WENT OUT AT THE TOP OF OUR GAME”

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