Interview With Tony Iommi of Heaven & Hell: Knowing The Devil

Did you have that vision going into this record? Did you know what you wanted beforehand?

I knew I wanted to do an album that we kept it basic and with a lot of riffs, and that’s really the way I write. In fact, talking about a lot of riffs, I was with Brian May a couple weeks ago and he happened to say, ‘How do you come out with so many riffs?’ I don’t know, that’s what I do, and you can never sort of answer it.

You guys just did Wacken and other festivals. How was Europe?

Really good. Very good. They’ve all been good. The only thing that was a bit of a downside was the weather. We hit a couple of ones that it pissed down rain and we done one in England on Saturday and it was 50,000 people and 10 minutes before we went on, it decided to open the skies and really pour down. But the crowd were great. It’s just a shame it gets like that. Certainly in Europe you tend to get hot. But they were good, Wacken was good. There were 85,000 people.

Do you know what you’re doing after this U.S. run?

After this U.S. run, yes, we’re going to have some time off. I’ve got to have an operation on my hand, and that’s sort of a major thing I need to get done and I’ve been putting it off now. So we’re going to have some time off while I get that done. That’ll be a bit of a break, I think. Not for everybody, but it’ll be some time off from touring for me for sure.

What happened to your hand?

The cartilage is gone from the thumb in my fingering hand. It’s been like that now, to be honest, for a year and I’ve been taking anti-inflammatories and all sorts of stuff to try and calm it down, but it’s inevitable I’ve got to have the operation because the bone is rubbing on the bone. Funny enough, I talked to Eddie Van Halen this morning, because he’s had the same sort of problem, so I’m seeing him to have a chat about what happened to him. He thinks it’s very successful, so we’ll see.

The Devil You Know is available now on Rhino Records. Heaven And Hell will be appearing live at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 25 and at the House Of Blues in Atlantic City Aug. 29. For more info, check out