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- Posted on Jun 18th 2010 1:08PM by Julian Marszalek
A 30-year solo career has seen Osbourne go beyond his core constituency to reach out to a wider mainstream audience thanks in part to the planet-straddling success of MTV's 'The Osbournes' but his first love has always been his music.
On the eve of the release of 'Scream' -- his 10th solo album of original material -- the self-styled "Prince of Darkness" hooked up with Spinner to discuss his latest collection of music and whole lot more. Watch the video after the jump.
So, the new album comes pretty quickly after 'Black Rain.'
Well, not really. It was three years.
Well, compared to others; I mean you've had gaps of say, six years.
But don't forget we weren't as down to earth before that. We had the Osbournes series, which meant we were on the television, which I f---ing hated. I mean, I didn't like doing that at all.
Was there a fear you were becoming a figure of fun?
It wasn't the intention for it to get so big. Once you've put your head in the noose you have to wait for them to pull the trap you know, it's like you can't get away from it. It's just, be careful what you wish for -- sometimes it happens. I go to please people around me; I just go OK and then every minute I'm getting p----- off.
It's good to have you back musically. You've got a new line-up for the album -- you and Zac have gone your separate ways after three years.
He was just holding up my fort for two, three years. He's got his own thing, Black Label, he's doing very well on his own, a great player, but I knew I had to move on eventually but I kept making excuses because when you go to auditions you don't say, "oh you're one, let's go" you've got to go to 500 guitar players, most of them nuts, then you get a short list and shorter list and there ain't that many people around anymore.
The new album, thematically, picks up where 'Black Rain' left off. Are you getting more pessimistic as you get older?
No, I'm not pessimistic, it's just I like something with bit of a twang to it, not some bulls--- about boy meets girl and they all live happily ever after, that's bulls--- you know. It's a question of something, in other words, how bad has it f---ing got to be here before, they say "He's going to return, how bad has it got to be before He returns? If He returns -- if He's true."
I was going to say are you questioning your own faith at all?
No, when my house is on fire I get religious; when it's cool I don't want to know and that's the truth.
Has your house been on fire often then?
Oh f---ing hell! My name's Ozzy Osbourne! Every day for about 40 years!
It's been forty years since your first album came out. It occurred to me that you're sort of part of that generation that didn't do art school, did you?
Oh, no --- f---ing art school? I didn't go to regular f---ing school, always played truant all the time nicking gear.
How important do you think that was to what you did? You've got people like Pete Townshend, Keith Richards -- all those guys did art school.
When we were starting Black Sabbath it was all, "If you go to San Francisco be sure to wear a flower ..." and we were like what the f--- does that all mean? We wanted a few pints, a few chicks and a laugh you know? And Tony [Iommi] said one day, I think it was Tony, he said, "If these people pay money to watch horror movies let's start writing horror music," and it was just from that. We never practised f---ing black magic, the only black magic we had was chocolates.
Now, you're doing Ozzfest again.
Don't ask me about Ozzfest, it's my wife's baby. People ask me all the -- I don't know what the f--- -- if they say go on, I go on.
What made you decide to come back?
Well, you know what, it's like when I was 21, I used to say I'll be dead before I'm 50. That was fine until I was 39-and-a-half you know, and then it was like, make it 60.
The other thing is you've signed up for this year's iTunes festival at the Roundhouse in London.
How do you feel about that? You're not someone known for playing intimate gigs are you?
I always .. .for instance on the Black Sabbath reunion tour we played in Oxford or somewhere like that, tiny venue, and it was great. I loved the closeness, the proximity, it's what metal is all about for me. The kids and you can touch them and get one on the stage. I love that. I mean the bigger the gig, it's good for your ego but ... I can play a gig, small, big, whatever but I do like doing a small gig.
Would you ever fancy doing a small, back to basics tour?
Absolutely, I'd love it.
Have you ever considered the idea of an on-the-quiet side project, not under the Ozzy name?
What would it be?
I have but being me I can't diversify. "Oh well you can't do that, time won't wait, you're Ozzy." I mean I don't want to do 'Iron Man' for the rest of my f---ing life. I mean, not that it's bad. It's like, I've tried to stop doing 'Paranoid' but people go, "Oh why didn't you do 'Paranoid'?" That's my anthem." It's like the Kinks and 'You Really Got Me;' they play that all the time but yeah I'd like to do something like that thing [Paul] McCartney did -- 'Fireman,' it's a great, great album. I loved it, loved that album. It's a really, really good album.
Its 40 years since Sabbath's first album, 30 years since your first solo album. What more do you want to achieve?
I just want to carry on -- it's what I do. It's not I'm trying to achieve anything anymore. I hope the records continue to sell but if they don't, they don't. I can't complain. I had a great run. It's been wonderful.
Ozzy Osbourne's 'Scream' is out in the UK on June 21 and in the US on June 22.