Co-founder and guitarist of Black Sabbath, Tony Iommi, has opened up about his relationship with his one-time bandmate, Ozzy Osbourne, revealing why the pair are currently incommunicado. Both Osbourne and Iommi are in the midst of promoting new material; Osbourne with his new album, the currently untitled follow up to 2020’s Ordinary Man; and Iommi with his new song and accompanying perfume, both of which are called ‘Scent Of Dark’. Yes, you did hear that right.
Speaking about Ozzy’s new album, Iommi said: “As you’ve probably read, I worked with Ozzy for his album. I wrote the whole track and played on it and played the solo on it. It’s horrible, really. No. I’m joking. No, it’s good. It’s really good. And I like what Ozzy sang on it.” The upcoming record is also set to feature the fretwork of Zakk Wyld, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck. “I think he did a really good job,” Iommi said of Osbourne, “And I think they had Chad [Smith] play drums on it. I’ve left it in their hands now.”
Iommi went on to explain his aversion to going back on tour. “I really want to record some more stuff,” he added. “There’s a lot of stuff I haven’t even played back yet to listen to. I just want to get the stuff I’ve already got down out the way. And yeah, I’m sort of open for various stuff at the moment. I enjoy playing.” The guitarist did concede, however, that he misses being on stage. “I’m enjoying life at the moment and if something comes up and I’m interested, I’ll have a go,” he concluded.
Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne formed Black Sabbath in 1968 and toured together until the group disbanded in 2017. But, as Iommi revealed, they’ve since found it difficult to keep in touch with one another. “We don’t really speak because we are useless on the phone, the pair of us,” he began. “I think we stopped that when he used to phone me at two o’clock in the morning and I’d go, ‘Oz, it’s two o’clock in the morning.’ ‘Oh, oh, sorry. Alright. Bye.'”
Iommi continued to express his chagrin at Osbourne’s inability to acknowledge the time difference between the UK and US. “He forgets about what time it is in England, and of course when the phone goes at that time of the morning you think, ‘Oh, Christ. What’s that? Somebody’s died or something has happened.'”
Death has understandably been on Iommi’s mind recently. The guitarist was diagnosed with Lymphoma in 2012 but went into remission in 2016. “It’s been OK, ” he said, “I go for a regular test. I’m going for another one in a couple of weeks. I did have a bit of a setback a few weeks ago: I broke a tendon in my arm. It snapped. Funnily enough, it hasn’t affected me playing, which I can’t believe.”