Black Sabbath hit PNC Bank Arts Center on Aug. 4. I recently had the chance to take part in a conference call with metal legend Ozzy Osbourne about the band’s new album, 13, their tour and much more, in which I asked the singer about how it felt to play new Sabbath material live for the first time since he left the band in 1978. Here’s how it went down:
I just wanted to ask you about the reception to the new material live. Obviously, there’s Sabbath’s catalog of classics, but in terms of mixing new songs in and the shows you’ve already done…
So we recently went to New Zealand, Australia, and Japan, and we did a couple of the new songs. We said they’re all new. God, you’d think it had been released as a single or a first track off album, and so that – I remember when we played two shows in Auckland, New Zealand.
The first night they didn’t really respond much to it. The second night they’re all singing the lyrics with me. I’m going, I can’t even remember them that good. I mean, it’s good for us as well to do new stuff, because you know, we’re all tuned into “Iron Man,” “War Pigs,” “Paranoid,” and all of the old classics, but instead, it gives us as a band something refreshing to put into the show, and so I’m just glad that people have bought into the new songs.
You mentioned earlier the songs being in a middle range you could bring live. How much of a consideration, when you guys were writing the album, was doing the songs live?
Well, after keeping the people waiting for as long as we did, I certainly — I can still get the range, but I can’t do it onstage. Maybe one gig I can do it onstage, but then it’d be every other night, I mean, my voice gets tired you know? And so I personally specifically went in the studio and kept it a little comfortable range that I could do onstage, you know.