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“I’m f*cking unsinkable!”

OZZY
OSBOURNE
is refusing to go quietly

Issue 318

EDiTor’s lETTEr

Future PLC The Emerson Building, 4th Floor,
4-8 Emerson Street, London SE1 9DU
Web: www.metalhammer.com
Letters: metalhammer@futurenet.com

Editorial
Editor Merlin Alderslade
merlin.alderslade@futurenet.com
Deputy Editor Eleanor Goodman
eleanor.goodman@futurenet.com
Production Editor Vanessa Thorpe
vanessa.thorpe@futurenet.com
Reviews Editor Jonathan Selzer
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Editor in Chief Scott Rowley

It WaS In early 2017 that

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Joel McIver, Mörat, Tom O’Boyle, Dayal Patterson, Adam Rees,
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Photography
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YOU HAVE
TO SEE IT TO
BELIEVE IT

I had my first face-toface encounter with the
Prince Of Fucking Darkness. I was waiting on the set
of our super-hush-hush photoshoot backstage at the
Glasgow Hydro, standing next to an eager but slightly
nervous M Shadows as we prepared to create our mega
Avenged vs Sabbath cover. After what seemed like an
eternity of waiting, a burst of fanfare saw the man
himself, flanked by security guards and personnel,
shuffle his way straight in front of the camera.
Ozzy looked fragile. He looked a little shaky. He looked
like you’d expect a 68-year-old, legendary heavy metal
hellraiser to look. A few nervous glances were exchanged
around the Hammer camp: is he going to be up for this?
And then, the camera started clicking. In 10 breathless
minutes we got a better shoot out of that 68-year-old
than most young bands can manage in an hour. He was
a burst of electric energy – gurning, screaming and
laughing his way through enough poses to fill a summer
catalogue. And that’s what makes Ozzy, Ozzy. No matter
where he is and how he’s feeling, he knows how to turn
it on and how to make sure he’s the most entertaining
man in the room. It’s just who he is.
To say we’ll miss him as he winds down his career just
doesn’t do it justice – but as you’ll see from Dom
Lawson’s excellent interview
on page 38, he doesn’t feel
like he’s totally done just yet.
Fine by us, Ozzy. Stay as long
as you like.
MErliN AlDErslADE
Horns up!
@MErl_HAMMEr

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(symbol: FUTR)
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Chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne
Non-executive chairman Richard Huntingford
Chief inancial oficer Penny Ladkin-Brand
Tel +44 (0)1225 442 244

METAlHAMMEr.coM

/METAlHAMMEr

@METAlHAMMEr

@METAlHAMMErUK

Editor

ISSN 0955-1190

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FOLLOW
US

METAlHAMMErTV

MEET THE BAND

VANEssA THorPE

JAKE owENs

PRODUCTION EDITOR
With 11 years of service,
Vanessa is the blood coursing
through Metal Hammer’s veins.
“I first saw ozzy and Sabbath
at ozzfest in ’98 and have seen
him countless times since,”
she says. “I can’t imagine him
slowing down… we’ll see how
long it lasts this time!”

PHOTOGRAPHER
rarely seen without his
camera and a grin, this month
Jake could be seen snapping
Bring me the horizon for us.
“Shooting massive shows with
production is always fun,” he
says. “So is hearing mySpace
deathcore, live in 2018. Gotta
love a throwback.”

Ali cooPEr
WRITER
Hammer’s resident Goth
Kweeeeeeen, this month ali
pitched your questions to
Behemoth mainman Nergal.
“Firing crazy fan questions
at Behemoth’s professional
roaster Nergal? this really
is a dream job,” adds the
woman herself.

metalhammer.com 3

February 2019

10 behemOth

16 PaRkway DRive

CONT
38 Ozzy OsbOuRne

54 Rammstein
4 metalhammer.com

FRONT ROW

FEATUREs

10 NERGAL reveals his fave Katy Perry
song and talks phobias and emo
kids as he answers your questions.
14 Why did bENji WEbbE sell his toy
soldiers to buy bondage trousers?
16 WiNsTON mccALL delivers his
Life Lessons. Note: we should all be
more like animals.
20 Why OF micE & mEN are rushing
out another record – and why it’s
likely to be heavy.
22 The story behind mOTÖRhEAd’s
stupidly iconic, er, Motörhead.
30 For i Am kiNG, metal is a matter
of life and death.

38 Our lord and saviour OZZY
OsbOURNE is saying farewell.
But is this really The End?
54 RAmmsTEiN kick of our
massive 2019 preview, featuring
mEGAdETh, cOdE ORANGE,
GAmE OF ThRONEs, sLiPkNOT,
jiNjER, kiLLsWiTch ENGAGE,
TOm G. WARRiOR, TOOL, PUPPY,
AvENGERs, vENOm PRisON and
more. And… breathe. How good are
the next 12 months gonna be?
74 We go AAA with WARdRUNA, the
Norse warriors bringing primal
sounds into the present.

94 LOvebites

February 2019

60 sLiPknOt

• tOOL • Rammstein
• sLiPknOt
• waRDRuna
• tOm G waRRiOR
• behemOth
• PaRkway
DRive • meGaDeth
• kiLLswitCh
enGaGe • maChine
heaD • mOtöRheaD
• LOvebites

94 Japanese power metallers
LOvEbiTEs raise their game.
96 Rammstein’s Richard Z. Kruspe calls
on Till Lindemann and Tobias Forge
for his third EmiGRATE album.
98 Can kiNG 810 make a comeback
with this self-released third album?

Ozzy OsbOuRne

ALbUm REviEWs

100 PAPA ROAch do what
Papa Roach do.
102 sOiLWORk mine classic
metal for the impossibleto-pronounce Verkligheten.

2019

82 NOLA natives and nu metal
revivalists cANE hiLL take us on
a tour of their city.
86 Meet the LATiN AmERicAN
bANds making sense of their
lives through heavy metal in new
documentary Songs Of Injustice.

318 febRuaRy

eNTS

58 Game Of thROnes

SubSCrIbe
NOW & SaVe
head to p.36
for details

LivE REviEWs
112 The current line-up of mAchiNE
hEAd play their inal show.
We shed tears and raise beers.
114 NiGhTWish storm the gates of
Wembley Arena.
116 bRiNG mE ThE hORiZON go back
to the old school at Ally Pally.
121 A PERFEcT ciRcLE take Eat The
Elephant to arenas.

82 Cane hiLL

74 waRDRuna
metalhammer.com 5

6 metalhammer.com

THe BIG PICTUre

UNholy
MatriMoNy
Zeal & Ardor bring their Satanic hymns to church

PIctUre: SaBrINa ramdoyal

ZeAl & Ardor gigs are always
an unnervingly spiritual affair, but
there was something extra-sinister
in the air as Manuel Gagneux and his
crew rolled into a converted church
in Leeds to play a haunting set of
blackened chain gang hymns. The
large, stained-glass visage behind
the band took on a whole new slant
as the extreme metal innovators filled
the aptly named Church venue with
a stunning set, plucking tracks from
both their much-lauded debut and
last year’s stellar Stranger Fruit opus,
which landed in the top five of our
albums of the year.
“Funnily enough, we’ve played in
a couple of churches,” says Manuel.
“None of them have had such
a stunning stained-glass window as
a backdrop. There is an animatronic
clown in a glass box between the two
dressing rooms there, and I made an
off-hand comment about it having
moved without it being plugged in.
I came to regret saying that, because
every time I passed it after that I could
feel it flipping me the bird behind me.
10/10, would play there again.”

metalhammer.com 7

THE HOT TOPIC

FESTIVAL
MANIA!
From the UK to Europe and beyond, 2019’s festival
season looks set to be the busiest ever.
Here’s everything you need to know
WORDS: MeRlin AlDeRSlADe

In yEars gOnE by, ‘festival
season’ for UK metalheads simply
meant everyone converging onto
Castle Donington once a year for
Monsters Of Rock. Fast forward to
the late 90s and early 00s, and with
Donington taking an extended hiatus
from the festival scene, it was Reading
(and later Leeds) that metal fans
would flock to every summer to catch
glimpses of their favourite bands in
a muddy field.
Not any more. Since Download
emerged 16 years ago, fans of heavy
music have become increasingly
spoiled for options when it comes to
where to spend their money each
summer. This year, there will be more
festivals than ever boasting line-ups
full of kickass metal bands – and
that’s before you even look beyond
our own shores.
sTIll THE DaDDy of British rock
festivals, Download has come out
swinging in the face of increased
competition this year, showcasing
three colossal headliners in Def
Leppard (performing classic album

there are more
festivals than
ever this year!
8 metalhammer.com

Hysteria in full), Slipknot and
a returning Tool. There’s also the
small matter of Slayer’s final ever
UK show, plus more announced
heavyweights in Smashing Pumpkins,
Slash, Whitesnake, Trivium, Lamb
Of God and Rob Zombie. Look further
down the bill and you already have
a ton of metal mainstays on the line-up
– Dream Theater, Carcass, Opeth,
Skindred, The Amity Affliction and
Whitechapel to name just a few of
them. Oh, and just to spice things
up, Die Antwoord are playing too.
Ridiculous. And potentially brilliant.
Bloodstock, too, have put together
an impressive bill, headlined by
Sabaton and the mighty Scorpions
(third headliner TBA at time of going
to print), plus the likes of Cradle Of
Filth, Anthrax, Code Orange, Tesseract,
Children Of Bodom and Dimmu Borgir,
proving that the UK metal Mecca is not
messing around.
If you’re looking for options beyond
most metalheads’ two first choices,
how about UK Tech-Fest? Taking
place every mid-summer, it’s become
the de facto home for metal’s more
progressive and genre-expanding
bands – though its 2019 line-up is
yet to be announced. There’s also
ArcTanGent in August, which has
flexed its metal credentials by booking
Meshuggah for the Swedes’ only UK
show of 2019. Bullet For My Valentine

You have no excuse not to catch
Slipknot somewhere this summer.
Unless you don’t like them.

at Slam Dunk is one of this summer’s
surprise bookings. While there’s some
decent punk and hardcore at the May
Bank Holiday, multi-location fest –
Gallows, Knocked Loose and Turnstile
included – you’ll have to wade through
a lot of dredge for it. Reading and
Leeds have moved further and further
away from heavy bands in recent
years, but they do normally have
a pretty decent line-up on The Pit
stage, so if you fancy catching some
of the good stuff in between Post
Malone and The 1975 this August,
keep ’em peeled. And then there’s
All Points East in May – a relative
newcomer, but giving Bring Me The
Horizon their first ever outdoor UK
festival headline slot. The supporting
cast is a diverse bag so far – hip hop
heavyweights Run The Jewels, pop
starlets Yonaka and trap-metal leader

10 THINGS
WE LEARNED
THIS MONTH
What’s been blowing
our tiny brains
2019 IS GOING TO RULE
massive albums. colossal tours.
Blockbuster movies. everything about
the year ahead feels, quite frankly, big.

AND WE CAN PROVE IT
Just look at all the stuff we’re excited
about in this issue!

WE’RE BORED OF THE
‘ROCK IS DEAD’ DEBATE
even richard from rammstein is
weighing in now. can we just not?

PHIL DEMMEL LANDED ON HIS FEET
From machine head to fuckin’ Slayer?
Good work, mate.

Ditching the orange and green
lycra was a good move, aquaman

JASON MOMOA IS METAL
Scarlxrd amongst the names – but it
does suggest that there could be yet
another festival muscling in on big rock
acts every summer.

Many MEtalHEaDs HavE
found that looking a bit further afield
for their festival kicks is a realistic
and refreshing option in the modern
climate. Germany’s Wacken and
France’s Hellfest tend to sell out well
in advance – no surprise given their
almighty line-ups – but there’s plenty
more to be found around Europe
this year. June’s Rock Am Ring/Rock
Im Park remains a crown jewel in
mainland Europe’s festival scene,
this year boasting a line-up including
Slipknot, Slayer, Tool, Bring Me The
Horizon and Tenacious D. You could
give Roskilde a go – essentially
a Danish Glastonbury with added
metal, this year alone seeing Power
Trip, Converge and Testament rubbing
shoulders with The Cure, Christine
And The Queens and Brockhampton.
If you fancy a trip to Austria, you could
do worse than hitting up Nova Rock
in June, where you can catch Slayer,

Slipknot, Smashing Pumpkins, Sabaton
and In Flames among others. Belgium’s
Rock Werchter is another mixed
line-up – where else will you see Tool
and BMTH alongside Muse, Pink and
Kylie?! Want a proper holiday feel to
your fest? Try Slovenia’s Metaldays,
complete with a lush lake and beach
plus a killer line-up including
Architects, Dimmu Borgir, Akercocke,
Kvelertak, While She Sleeps and more.
Of course, if you’re feeling really
adventurous, you could head even
further afield. North America’s festival
scene has exploded in the last few
years, and already the likes of Epicenter
(North Carolina), Sonic Temple Art
(Ohio), Welcome To Rockville
(Jacksonville) and Chicago Open Air
(Chicago… duh) have announced
absolutely stacked line-ups. And those
are all in May alone.
Put short: it’s going to be a hell of
a summer. Ours is a pint.

“I build my characters off metal songs,”
the actor revealed to us. “aquaman was
built out of tool.” Sweet!

SLAYER DO BILLS PROPERLY
they’re taking lamb of God, amon
amarth and cannibal corpse across the
States. Not bad.

GEEZER BUTLER HAS A NEW BAND
It’s a supergroup called Deadland ritual,
featuring Guns N’ roses, Billy Idol and
apocalyptica alumni.

THERE’S ANOTHER METAL HAMMER
TV PILOT
and you can check it out now on
www.metalhammer.com

WE DIDN’T SURVIVE
#WHAMAGEDDON
Damn you, staff Xmas party. Damn you
to hell.

THERE ARE ANGUS YOUNG POP!
VINYLS NOW
and we want one. So bad.

Keep an eye on our Live eviL
pages every month to see
the Latest additions
to festivaL biLLs

We need one so we can duckwalk
him across our desks…

metalhammer.com 9

WHEN ARE YOU
GONNA STOP
BEING AN EMO?
And 11 other questions you guys posed to Behemoth
frontman and extreme metal big mouth, Nergal
WORDS: ALI COOPER • PICTURES: JEREMY SAFFER

From uNleAshiNg
grANdiose latest album I Loved

my barber shop, Barberian, which is
more of a men’s bar than a regular
barber shop. I love working and
keeping myself busy – there’s a lot that
occupies my brain and keeps it excited,
but I really need my leisure time, like
going to the movies. When I’m in
action mode, though, I’m fucking
fearless and I kill it!”

You At Your Darkest to propping up the
final ever Slayer world tour, 2018 was
a standout year for Behemoth. As the
next phase of their global domination
continues apace, we grilled frontman
Nergal using the most savage weaponry
in our arsenal: you lot.
if you were throwing a dinner party,
which celebrities (dead or alive) would
you invite and why?

Would Behemoth ever do a Kiss and
drop the makeup?

Ben Coles (email)

“We don’t really need to do that because
bands like Ghost, Kiss and Slipknot
have all unmasked themselves, and it
was too late for me to unmask myself
because I exposed myself ages ago.
There’s no need for me to hide from the
public because that’s not in my nature;

Russell McClarken (email)

“The model Irina Shayk would be
more than welcome because she’s one
of the most gorgeous human creatures
walking this earth. I don’t know her
so I hope she’d be a great talker, too.
She needs some male company so
I would love to have my metal hero
Rob Halford there. Rob would be the
one to watch to make sure he’s not
hitting on Irina too much…”

“I Kissed A Girl, of course! I definitely
stand behind the lyrics…”
i know that you loved me at my
darkest, but why did my wife decide
to leave me at that point in my life?
Raven O Mara (Facebook)

Nelis Van Wieren (Facebook)

10 metalhammer.com

What’s your favourite Katy Perry song?
Midhun Nair (Facebook)

Besides making some of the most
badass albums around, what else do
you do in your spare time?
“I read a lot and I’m devoted to
watching series on Netflix. I do a lot
of sports like kite-surfing – I’m going
to Maui after this tour to hopefully
catch some good surfing winds and
have some cool sessions. I’m pretty
busy opening up the fifth location of

I’m very outgoing to show people I have
an onstage and offstage persona and
both are very genuine. These days, with
social networks, you can’t keep the
mystique going for long. It’s a sign of
the times but a lot of bands unmask
themselves thinking they’re mature
and grown up now but I don’t see it
that way; we’ll go with whatever suits
the concept and higher vision. Maybe
one day the higher vision will be
determined by the record we’re going
to make, maybe it will force us to
change or find an equivalent to the
masks, but I love how it is now. We’re
always experimenting with our masks
and costume changes, so we’re still
really varied.”

Behemoth: available
for kids’ parties

“People are people, they’re predictable.
As much as I like to submit myself to
somebody, I always like to keep hold
of my independence. There’s a saying
that you should always rely on yourself,
don’t ever totally give yourself away
to a person, a political party or
a religion or whatever. There’s

BEHEMOTH

metalhammer.com 11

BEHEMOTH
nothing wrong with saving some for
yourself so if something falls apart, you
keep your integrity and you’re still the
same person.”

FFS Nergs, it’s Dress
Down thursday! What
are you doing, son?

Who’d win in a fight between
Behemoth and Cradle of Filth?
Jack Wallgrove (Email)

“You know the answer, Jack! Obviously
we’re just messing around: we’re all
friends and Dani Filth has always been
a good person to me. I remember when
we were doing a photoshoot back in the
day when we were a growing band but
Cradle were really established. Dani
was very cool, down to earth and really
nice to me and I’ve thought of him like
that ever since.”
When are you gonna stop being an
edgy emo kid that still thinks
trashing religion is cool?
Justin Griffin (Facebook)

“Justin, keep in mind that I never
attack people. I always attack doctrines
and ideals that I think are dangerous
to someone’s freedom. I cannot agree
with North Korean policy and I say
it’s bullshit, don’t go there and get
imprisoned, and if you live there, get
the fuck out of there – is it weird when
I say that? I hope not. The same goes
for religion, especially monotheistic
religions because to me, they’re like
modern slavery. Most people don’t
see it but you think you’re free, yet
you’re bound to these numerous rules
you must obey. To me, any religion is
like North Korea. If you can think for
yourself, confront that and get the
fuck away from that because I don’t
see how people can find happiness in
being slaves. That’s just me, you can’t
ask me not to be myself. What you can
do is stop following me, reading my
interviews and listening to my music,
then you won’t have that problem
anymore because that’s your own free
will. You are you and I am me, focus
on your own garden and keep it clean
instead of spitting on someone else’s.”
Why are you on instagram all the time?

minute they heard it. I Loved You At Your
Darkest is a grower and I’m happy to see
people are so confused by it. I think
that may be a guarantee that the album
will survive longer. One of my biggest
artistic goals is to make records that
will remain after I’m gone. I’d love
people to remember as ‘this guy from
Poland who’s in charge of this band
Behemoth and they made music that
was timeless to us.’”

Dannii Morlam (Email)

“I’m not. Dannii, here’s one thing: I’m
not on Instagram, I am Instagram.”
is there a particular album of yours
that was received in a different way
than you expected?
Gregor Barr (Facebook)

“I was very proud of The Satanist and
I wasn’t expecting it to be that huge;
it hit people and they loved it from the

“I HAD A PANIC
ATTACK IN A LIFT”
12 metalhammer.com

Then our guitarist Havoc left the band
while we were working on the record,
he just wasn’t present. Then Orion
came in as the new guy, he’s a bassist
as you know but we didn’t need much
bass back then, so people don’t know
that he was handling guitarist duties
for a short period of time. I felt I needed
to prove something and outdo myself
and you can hear it in the intensity of
the record, it’s very punchy and totally
relentless. It’s a raging force.”
Would you and the band ever consider
doing a greatest hits tour?

do you have any phobias?

Jason Carter (Facebook)

Ed Copeson (Email)

“I don’t know, we’re not the kind of
band that you can say have ‘hits’ and
when we tour, we play the same songs
as Behemoth ever brings. The word
‘hit’ sounds super-pretentious; we play
stuff that we think is worth playing.
There’s always a good balance of what
makes Behemoth so unique.”

“It’s not big but I do have some
claustrophobia issues. I confronted
them when I was in a lift while skiing
two years ago – I had a panic attack
which was pretty dangerous and
super-uncomfortable for me.”
What was the writing process
behind Demigod?
Ian Baer (Facebook)

“That record came out of a very difficult
period in my life. I was going through
a breakup that struck me very hard.

I LOVED YOU AT YOU DARKEST IS
OUT NOW VIA NUCLEAR BLAST.
BEHEMOTH TOUR THE UK
NEXT MONTH – SEE PAGE 109
FOR DETAILS

Benji Webbe: look. at. that. hat.

THE SLAYLIST

BENJI
WEBBE
Skindred’s mainman might be
a diehard maggot, but he also gets
drunk to Nat King Cole
Words: ElEanor Goodman • PICTUrE: mICK HUTson

WHEN I WAS a little boy, I was sitting in my house
watching TV, and a BBC documentary about THE SPECIALS
came on. I loved the fact they had black guys and white guys
in the band together. They were making music from Jamaica,
but they were doing it in a very British, punk rock style.
I started dressing like them. The Specials made me into
a little Rude Boy! I also watched a movie called Purple Rain,
and there’s a band in it called MORRIS DAY AND THE TIME.
They play at the club with Prince, they’re a rival band, and
they’re taking the piss out of him. The clever thing was,
Prince made up the band. The way Morris Day moves and the
way he combs his hair onstage… incredible. I saw the SEX
PISTOLS and wanted to be them. But I’m black, I can’t be
them, you know what I mean? Ohhhhh, it’s not fair! I sold my
soldiers and toys to buy bondage trousers. I sold my bike to go
and buy [1980 rockumentary] The Great Rock ’n’ Roll Swindle.
I’m a maggot for SLIPKNOT. I love ’em, and I love ’em, and
I love ’em. And to tell you the truth, I love ’em. Corey Taylor
is a genius. Shawn the Clown is a fucking cool dude. When we
played in America, Shawn came backstage and talked to me.
You know those fucking glasses I wear? He gave me a hug and
I stabbed him in the face! He said I was an inspiration, which
is a beautiful thing from a band like that. THE JACKSON 5
also made me stand up and pay attention from the first time
I heard them. My whole household was in love with them
– a black kid with the spirit and voice of a soul well past his
years dragged me in big time! But it was when little Michael
became MJ that his style and look really gripped me, and
I was fortunate to see him in concert twice on his Bad and
Dangerous tours. Michael, you’ll always rest in power for me.
ELVIS was the first rock’n’roll god. I’ve been to Graceland
four times. In all the years I’ve been playing shows with
Skindred, there’s a time during the set that I think, ‘What

LISTEN
NOW
head to
tinyurl.com/
BenjiSlaylist to
listen to Benji’s
mixtape now!.

“I sold my toys to buy
bondage trousers”
14 metalhammer.com

would Elvis do?’ His hits are never very far from my record
player. That Southern kid will always be a motherfucking
cool cat to me, even in his bloated Vegas years. My next
choice is NAT KING COLE. His voice to me is like silk, and
I listen to him every day. And when I’m pissed it’s even worse,
ha ha ha! After a Skindred show, you would definitely hear
Nat King Cole.
Then there’s PUBLIC ENEMY. Oh my god, I love Public
Enemy! The first time I saw them, they were supporting
Run DMC. They came onstage and they had fake Uzis and
they were dressed in black and they were militant and they
looked like fucking Black Panthers. And their message was
incredible. Every time I see Chuck D, I feel like a fangirl.
I also love LIMP BIZKIT dearly. It’s not everybody’s choice,
but I’m not everybody, you know what I’m saying? They got
massive and then they lost that buzz, but every time I see
Wes Borland, DJ Lethal, Fred Durst, I’m such a big fan. My
favourite song is Pollution, off their first album [1997’s Three
Dollar Bill, Y’all$].
I’ve seen Limp Bizkit supporting KORN. Everywhere I was
going, I was seeing these fucking Korn t-shirts. I was
thinking, ‘What the fuck is Korn?’ It’s not even spelt right,
you know? So anyway, I was a fan of Helmet, and they were
playing in Newport where I live, in south Wales. I watched
them, and Limp Bizkit, and then there was Korn. They came
onstage and I was like, ‘I wanna be in a band like thaaaaaaat!’
I’ve even had the privilege of singing with Korn. When
Jonathan Davis was sick at Download in 2006, I sang
A.D.I.D.A.S. They said, ‘Do you wanna do two songs?’ And
I said no, just in case I sucked. Imagine if everyone was
chucking piss at me and all that. I would have loved to do
Twist as well [sings Twist to Metal Hammer]. But I did it for
you, I did it for you, baby.

Skindred’S Big Tings iS out now via napalm.
they play wrexham’S william aSton hall on
may 16 and download in June

WhO kNEW that some snotty punk
rock kid from Byron Bay, Australia was going
to grow up to be one of the most inspirational
figures in the world of heavy metal? But that’s
where we are with Winston McCall in 2019; as
frontman of metalcore pioneers Parkway
Drive, Winston has inspired devotion from
a whole new generation of heavy music fans
thanks to his band’s ever-evolving musical
journey and his relentless positivity. We picked
his brains to find out what makes one of
metal’s modern superstars tick.

metal people and vice versa. This is
something we’ve always tried to kick back
against. Metal always felt like escapism,
and punk somehow felt ‘realer’. But there
is definitely a place for both of those ideas.
What do I identify with today? Neither. I love
both punk and metal, but I am much more
of a composite of ideas from across the
spectrum, from all different types of music.
Metal has such a vast canon of sound, more
so than any other music, I think, and punk
has such a great anti-establishment message.

NEVER SECOND-GUESS YOUR
aUDIENCE
“In a lot of ways [divisive 2018 album] Reverence
got the reaction from critics that I would
expect, but in other ways, in terms of our
audience, I’m very shocked by the response.
You have the review, which is one person
commenting on how they feel about certain
aspects of the record, and then you have the
reaction of playing those songs to people. And
you can never ascertain how those songs will
go down live, which is why this record has
been such a shock to us. The audience seem to
have connected to it in a really genuine way,
which is not something
that happens with new
music from a band at
this stage in our career
that much. That is a
lovely surprise for us.”

WE REaLLY NEED tO LIStEN tO
EaCh OthER
“We can all be political. It’s just an exchange
of ideas. I know a lot of people want to get
into that world, so just talk to people! That’s
honestly the first step. I know there is that
idea that you don’t talk about politics at the
dinner table, or whatever, but I think that’s
such a stupid idea. You can only learn about
human nature with the expression and
exchange of ideas. That’s how things get
done. So, to listen and to adapt your
behaviour and to compromise, that’s really
important. That’s something I feel the world
lacks at the moment.”

WE ShOULD aLL BE MORE
LIkE aNIMaLS

LIFE LESSONS

“I look at human nature, and the destructive
tendencies we have, and then I look at these
creatures who are untouched by the concerns
we have as human beings. I rarely see spite,
or cruelty, or cut-throat ambition in the animal
kingdom. They behave in the same way no
matter what is happening in the evolution of
our society; they live simple lives and behave
solely out of the necessities of their life. We’re
consumed by so many
meaningless things.
I envy the simplicity of
their existence.”

WINSTON
Mccall

MUSIC LIVES aND
DIES ONStaGE

“I will play our songs to
hundreds of thousands
more people than will
ever read a review of
our music. I’d rather
concentrate on the
connection you feel
from showing someone
your art and having an
honest emotional
reaction back from
them than I would read
a critique of what I do. It’s nice to feel that
connection, it’s what music was created for.”

OUR StaGE ShOW
haPPENED BY
aCCIDENt

You shouldn’t have to pick one, and you don’t
have to pick one.”

“It was never the plan
to have our stage show.
When we started, we
were shocked that we
were able to do shows at
all! As the band grew it
just became something
that we felt we needed to
do, to address the larger
spaces. So, it was, ‘This
venue is bigger, we can
put a few inflatable palm
trees behind us to fill
the space.’ That’s still the idea! Filling space,
giving people value for money, serving our
songs in the best way we can.”

It’S Ok tO BE POLItICaL

hOME kEEPS YOUR GROUNDED

“The whole ‘shut up and play’ thing mystifies
me, because the entire reason I got into music
was due to a connection with what the artist
is saying, what they believe in, what their
outlook on life is. I don’t want that person to
shut up! It’s so hard in this day and age, in this
political spectrum, to switch off, but people
want to do that. [Politics have] become a part
of who I am, and I can’t imagine the art I make
being the same without it.”

“There has never been any consideration
of moving from Byron Bay. I mean, I’m aware
of how nice it is out here! Adam D [Killswitch
Engage guitarist] came to stay with us a while
back and he was like, ‘How can I move here?!’
So we come from a good place. Why would
I leave? Also, I know that if I hadn’t been
lucky enough to have made something with
my band then we’d just be another bunch of
guys working round here. Our friends from
school aren’t impressed by us;
they know who we really are,
they knew us before this.
You come back and you’re just
another dude in Byron. That’s
a great leveller.”

One of metalcore’s most inspirational figures can’t hack
divisions in the scene. he also bloody loves animals

RISkS aREN’t REaLLY RISkS
“When we take ‘risks’ in our music, we aren’t
really considering them as risks. It’s all about
committing to a concept and trying to do
justice to that. I see them more as opportunities
or adventures, they all come about from an
interest in a sound that we haven’t tapped into
yet and we want to do that. That’s why we
started this band in the first place; to keep the
canvas expanding. As you grow as a person you
need that self-expression to grow – it’s
imperative for our longevity. We aren’t going
to shy away from it.”

BOUNDaRIES aRE
NONSENSE
“When we started out, the
punk people did not like the

16 metalhammer.com

WORDS: STEPHEN HILL • PIcTuRES: JakE OWENS

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO
PICK PUNK OR METAL”

PaRKWaY DRIVE

Winston takes the
fart-lighter gag too far

metalhammer.com 17

PaRKWaY DRIVE

this episode of Walking
Dead looks wank

LiFe DoeSn’t aLWaYS haVe to
Be GReat
“One of the easiest ways to remain positive
is, ironically, to let people know that you are
sad. You can’t be positive all the time, life
can’t be great all of the time. We’ve had
a tough year, so it’s not the best time to be
talking to me about PMA. But that’s life,
that’s the reality of life. If you are feeling
down, don’t be afraid to express it, but always
know that around the corner something
good is going to happen. You have to ride life,
you have to face all of its challenges head-on.
I think that’s good for the human psyche –
to open up and let people know it’s not
always great.”

SoCiaL MeDia iS not ReaLitY
“I think the rise of social media is hugely
damaging to people’s mental health. I see
so much on there that is filtered ideas of
happiness – your holiday, your food, your
relationship. I came off when the album was
released, because I am aware of how lucky
I am and how I have a life that is full of
moments that look really incredible. I’m
not sure how helpful it is to expose that to

people who may not be feeling happy within
themselves. We all have our problems and
our troubles, but you never seen them on
Instagram, it’s just reinforcing someone
else’s feeling of inadequacy if you bombard
people with those sorts of images. So, I was
like ‘That’s it. I’m out.’ I don’t want to give
the impression that my life is perfect, it’s
a fallacy. It’s really important to me that we
all, as a society, recognise that.”

PetS teaCh US aBoUt LoVe
“I’ve learnt so much about unconditional
love from my animals – no matter how you
act, or how you feel, they will continue to
feel the same way about you. I think that’s
truly beautiful, that this animal relies on
you so much, has chosen to put their entire
life in your hands and gives you complete
love and affection in return. We could all
learn from that.”

YoU ShoULD neVeR FoRGet
WheRe YoU’Ve CoMe FRoM

“YOU NEVER SEE
SOMEONE’S PROBLEMS
ON INSTAGRAM”
18 metalhammer.com

“Of course, I have days
when I look out into
the crowd from the
stage and I wonder
what the teenage
me would think of
everything that’s going

on around me. Usually it’s during Bottom
Feeder, because that is the song where the
crowd and the band are going the craziest.
You know, people lose their minds to that
song, and then all these lasers and fire
bombs are going off around me, and
sometimes you do think ‘How did I get here?
How did this happen?’ But it’s been so gradual
that I’ve just been able to feel very grateful
for it. It’s never going to be something that
I take for granted.”

MetaL neeDS to oPen UP
“There is a lot of talk in metal about the next
set of festival headliners, who are going to be
the next Maiden or Metallica. It’s really not
something that concerns me. What concerns
me more is the fans’ willingness to open up
to newer ideas. Metal can be quite an insular
genre, with quite rigid rules, but I always
thought of it as a bastion for lawlessness.
So, these rules of how you dress, how you look,
how long your hair is, is a pretty bizarre thing.
Again, we’ve been so keen to push as hard
against that as we can. I don’t want heavy
music to be an imitation of the past, I want it
to feel current and contemporary. I want
people to embrace the change, visually or
stylistically, and it is happening. Slowly and
steadily, but we will do everything to help
challenge those perceptions.”

REVERENCE IS OUT NOW VIA EPITAPH.
PARKWAY DRIVE’S UK TOUR KICKS
OFF THIS MONTH

aaron’s pulling a serious face
but we know he’s just doodling
on a Where’s Wally? book here

IN THE STUDIO

OF MICE
AND MEN
Barely a year since Defy, the
Californians are gearing up for
another album. Why the rush?
WORDS: DANNII LEIVERS

IT’S BEEN lESS than a year since
Of Mice & Men released Defy, their
first album since beloved frontman
Austin Carlile stepped away from
the band to focus on his health. But
already the metallers are back in the
studio recording its follow-up. We
spoke to drummer Tino Arteaga to
find out why they’ve got back in the
saddle so quickly.

PIcS: aShley oSborn

So you guys are back in the studio
already – that was fast!
“I think in a traditional sense, people
might be used to bands taking a long
time to make records. We’ve always
been a band that’s very prolific. We
felt pretty inspired coming home
from the Defy tour and we just started
writing. We had some time off and
we felt that we needed to get in the
studio and make some music. As
musicians we feel it’s important to
continually write music. It’s what we
do to have fun and how we make
sense of our lives.”
So what’s inspiring the
music this time?
“Man, I cannot dive too far
into that. But with Of Mice
& Men, it’s always a very
honest and introspective
look at what we go through
in our personal life and how
we make sense of the world
with themes of life death
and everything in between.

20 metalhammer.com

THE FACTS
AlbuM:
6

While the term ‘album’ gets put on
a collection of songs, it’s not at that
point yet. We’re still sculpting where
we want to take it.”

PrODuCEr:
Josh Wilbur

STuDIO:
hybrid Studios,
orange county

EXPECT:
all your typical
of mice & men
bounce – but
with added
groove and
heaviness

“For the love of God, don’t try
for ‘heavier but more melodic’”

Defy was very energetic and anthemic.
Will this album have a similar vibe?
“Whereas Defy had those anthemic
songs, what we’ll be working on next
is focusing more down those exciting
and heavier paths. We’re working
with producer Josh Wilbur and he’s
done records with Trivium, Lamb Of
God and Gojira. So the coach on the
new material understands sick metal,
has passion and he knows how to
bring out the heaviest with the artists
he works with. We had
a bunch of time blocked out
while we were home around
the holidays. We’re going in
and seeing what excites us
and what makes Josh start
a moshpit in the studio.”
So we’re looking at a
record that’s much heavier
than Defy…
“Yes. Of Mice & Men have

always had that Of Mice & Men sound,
and I think Josh is helping us take that
to level 11 and 12.”
Defy was your first statement after
Austin left the band. Now you’re
deeper into your second chapter do
you feel less pressure?
“Every album has its own pressures
and we try not to focus on that because
the music will speak for itself. We’re
a band that’s put out a wide scope of
music and as our band continues to
grow, it’s important for us to hone in
on the excitement of our music and our
fans can definitely expect that. We’ve
proved that many times throughout
our career… ‘the best laid plans of mice
and men can often go awry!’”
When will we hear new music?
“Expect new music, new music videos,
new tours, new everything soon. We’re
even working on some cool ideas of
involving some other organisations,
too. 2019 is going to be a big year of
music from Of Mice And Men.”

THE NEW OF MICE & MEN
ALBUM WILL LAND LATER THIS
YEAR VIA RISE

THE STORY BEHIND

MOTÖRHEAD
by...ERM...MOTÖRHEAD
Ace Of Spades might have cemented Motörhead’s legacy,
but it was a song originally written for a different band
that changed their lives forever
WORDS: PAUL ELLIOT

IT waS THE song that gave a name
to one of the greatest and loudest
bands on Earth; the song that defined
the man who wrote it as the epitome
of the sex and drugs and rock’n’roll
lifestyle; a song that had a profound
influence on such groundbreaking
bands as Metallica, Venom and
Napalm Death. But when Ian ‘Lemmy’
Kilmister wrote Motörhead almost
45 years ago, it was, he said, “just
another song.” Nobody, least of all
Lemmy himself, could have foreseen
that this song would become the most
important that he would ever write.
In 1974, Lemmy was 28 years old
and the bassist for space rock gurus
Hawkwind. He’d been in the band for
three years, and had sung lead vocal
on their biggest hit, Silver Machine,
which had reached Number Three
on the UK chart in June 1972. But as
a songwriter, he was feeling frustrated.
Dave Brock, Hawkwind’s leader, wrote
the bulk of the band’s material, and
as Lemmy wearily recalled, “there
was never much interest in my songs
in Hawkwind.”
Nevertheless, Lemmy stuck at it,
and when Hawkwind reached Los
Angeles on a 1974 US tour, he found
the inspiration for a new song during
an all-night booze and drugs bender.
The band were staying at the
Continental Hyatt House hotel on
Sunset Boulevard, an establishment
nicknamed ‘The Riot House’ by music

22 metalhammer.com

THE FACTS
RELEASED:
1977

ALbUM:
motörhead

PERSONNEL:
lemmy Kilmister
(bass, vocals),
‘Fast’ eddie clarke
(guitar), Phil
‘Philthy animal’
taylor (drums

HIGHEST CHART
POSITION:
6 (live version,
UK, 1981)

business insiders after numerous wild
parties staged there by visiting rock
stars – most famously Led Zeppelin,
whose drummer John Bonham once
rode a motorcycle along the hotel’s
corridors. It was the perfect setting for
Lemmy to fully immerse himself in
the rock’n’roll lifestyle – and to write
a song about it.
On the balcony that opened out from
his room on the hotel’s seventh floor,
with panoramic views of North
Hollywood and beyond, Lemmy wrote
the song in one marathon overnight
session fuelled by whiskey and speed,
and using an Ovation acoustic guitar
that he had borrowed from Roy Wood,
whose band Wizzard (yes, the ones
that did the Christmas song) were
also holed up at the Hyatt. “I don’t
remember the exact chronology of the
night,” Lemmy said, understandably
given the circumstances. “But I had
been up for a few hours before I started
writing, and I was still up at seven
in the morning, howling away at
the top of my voice.” He remembers
seeing cars pulling up on the street
below, as early morning commuters
looked up open-mouthed at the
bizarre spectacle of a screaming
longhaired lunatic apparently about
to jump to his death. And yet,
amazingly, there were no complaints
from fellow hotel guests. “Mind you,”
he said, “it was a lot wilder in them
days at the Hyatt.”

What Lemmy bashed out that night
was, in his words, “a basic rock’n’roll
number”. And its lyrics were effectively
a running commentary on the night’s
events – a classic case of art imitating
life. The opening couplet placed
Lemmy as a mad Englishman abroad:
‘Sunrise, wrong side of another day/Sky
high, six thousand miles away.’ The
refrain ‘Remember me now…’ was
a reference to his many one-night
stands – what he referred to as “hit and
run” encounters. And the song’s title
was adapted from American slang.
“A motorhead,” he explained, “is
someone who talks all the time. I heard
the expression and I thought it was
rather apt.” Lemmy was also “very
proud” of the fact that Motörhead is the
first and perhaps the only rock song
ever to include the word ‘parallelogram’.
Even Neil Peart of Rush, a man known
for his intellectualism as ‘The Professor’
,
couldn’t beat that.

LEMMY waS SuRpRISED when
Dave Brock consented to record the
song with Hawkwind. They cut it at
London’s Olympic Studios in January
1975, with Lemmy singing lead. And if
this first recorded version of the song
was a little sluggish for Lemmy’s taste,
he did like the jazz-inspired violin solo
by the band’s keyboard player Simon

MOTÖRHEAD

the classic motörhead line-up (left
to right): lemmy Kilmister, ‘Philthy
animal’ taylor, ‘Fast’ eddie clarke

House – included, he said, because
Hawkwind “endeavoured to perplex
people.” Motörhead was used as a b-side
for the Hawkwind single Kings Of
Speed. “How ironic,” Lemmy noted.
But a greater irony was to follow. In May
1975, Lemmy was fired from Hawkwind
after being busted for possession of
cocaine on the Canadian/American
border. He was jailed for five days,
resulting in the cancellation of several
gigs. And although he was released after
the drugs found on him were identified
as amphetamines – a lesser offence,
for which the charges were dropped
– he returned to London jobless.
But Lemmy wasn’t finished. And
with a song that Hawkwind dismissed
as no more than a b-side, he had the
template for a new band that would
become one of the most famous and
influential in the history of rock’n’roll.
Joined by guitarist Larry Wallis and
drummer Lucas Fox, Lemmy originally
named this new band Bastard. But,
as he recalled: “A friend said, ‘You
probably won’t get a lot of Top Of The
Pops action with a name like that.’
So I went with Motörhead.”

This name was perfectly suited to the
band’s music: “loud, fast, city, raucous,
arrogant, paranoid, speedfreak
rock’n’roll”, as Lemmy himself
described it. But it took a little time to
really nail that sound – as illustrated
by Motörhead’s first recording of their
signature song in 1976. To Lemmy’s
mind, this version was “too slow”, and
it remained unreleased until the band
became successful in 1979. It was only
after Fox was sacked and Wallis quit
that the definitive full-throttle version
of the song was recorded in 1977 by the
classic Motörhead line-up of Lemmy,
guitarist ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke and
drummer ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor.
And, in keeping with the song’s subject
matter, this version was recorded with

“I WAS STILL UP
AT 7AM, HOWLING
AT THE TOP OF
MY VOICE”
LEMMY

the whole band – and their producer,
the aptly named ‘Speedy’ Keen – all
buzzing on amphetamines. “We were
at Jeff Beck’s studio, Escape, in Kent,”
Lemmy recalled. “And we were out of
our heads. Speedy did 19 fucking mixes
of Motörhead and said, ‘Which one do
you like the best?’ I just pointed at one
and said, ‘That one.’”
What they created was a fast and
loose rock’n’roll anthem, which in
1977 resonated with punks and
headbangers alike. And for many
musicians that followed, Motörhead
would be a touchstone. Says Napalm
Death singer Barney Greenway: “That
song had a primal power. It was fast
and right on the edge of control – it
really sounded like it was about to come
off the rails at any point. It had a real
‘fuck it’ mentality. And it became
a huge influence for so many bands,
from punks like Discharge to metal
bands like Venom and Metallica.
I believe that extreme music began
with Motörhead, and all the stuff that
followed would not have happened
without that one song. That’s how
important and influential it was.”
Motörhead has not only been
recorded by Hawkwind and Motörhead
themselves, but by a diverse array of
other bands, including Primal Scream,
thrash metal jokers Lawnmower Deth
and US hardcore punks Poison Idea. For
Lemmy, the best cover version was by
Oi! ruffians the Cockney Rejects on

metalhammer.com 23

MOTÖRHEAD

honestly we just miss the
fuck out of this man

“IT SOUNDS LIKE
IT’S GONNA COME
OFF THE RAILS”
NAPALM DEATH’S BARNEY GREENWAY

their 1981 album, Greatest Hits Vol.3:
Live & Loud. “That was good,” he said.
“Quite lively.”

the song was a staple in
Motörhead’s live set for decades. The
definitive recording was on the band’s
legendary 1981 live album No Sleep ’Til
Hammersmith, surely the heaviest live
record ever to make it to Number One
on the UK chart. But in the last 10 years
of the band’s existence, this was one
number that they dropped from the set.
“I got sick of it,” Lemmy later admitted.
By his reckoning, the song had never
sounded quite right after ‘Philthy
Animal’ Taylor left the band in 1984.
And, as he explained, this was no slur
on Mikkey Dee, the drummer who
served Motörhead for many years until
the very end. “You need a fairly chaotic
drummer for that song to sound like it
should,” Lemmy said. “And Mikkey’s
too good of a drummer. He’s too
precise, so the song just doesn’t rave
enough, you know? So that’s one of the
reasons we stopped playing it.” The
other reason he explained bluntly in
an interview in 2014, sniffing: “I don’t
really give a fuck about it anymore.”
It was with a degree of nonchalance
and humility that Lemmy treated the
song that started it all for him, noting,
“Motörhead is just a song I wrote for
Hawkwind, which was updated for
Motörhead.” There was, however,
a bigger truth than this. What he had
created back in 1974, out of his mind in
LA, was the song that set the template
for Motörhead’s whole career, defining
a style encapsulated in their famous
motto: ‘Everything louder than
everything else.’ And while Lemmy
always considered Motörhead as simply
a rock’n’roll band – nothing more,
nothing less – the raw power and all-out
attack in their music inspired countless
bands to play ever harder and faster.
So many beginnings can be traced
back to this one song: Venom inventing
black metal, Metallica leading the
first wave of thrash. Most significant
of all, it was from this song that
Lemmy Kilmister began the greatest
adventure of his life. From that high
time in Hollywood, amid the madness
of a dusk-to-dawn bender, a legend
was born.

Motörhead’s Under Cöver
albuM is out now via wea
24 metalhammer.com

LETTERS
the het laUGhS at
YoUr SUBorDINaNce
toWarDS oNe

YOUR SHOUT

DID JAMES
HETFIELD
GO TONE
DEAF?

#TWEETS
I wasn’t big on
hellYeah but that
doesn’t mean
I respected chad Grey
and Vinnie Paul any
less. I grew up on
Pantera and I’ll miss
Vinnie on the drums.
I’ll give the next
album a listen to out
of respect.

And other monthly
musings from the
Metal Hammer family

@A7XFallenOne
GNr are awesome
but they are not
metal. GNr are in the
same family as as
aerosmith and ac/Dc
only not as good.

MORE LIKE YAY-ER
There was like 500 pages of Slayer
in your last issue and it still wasn’t
enough. I even made it onto the fan
cover. So happy right now! Thank
you, Hammer dudes! I haven’t even
started the book yet.

@CobraCommandr15

Leiah Brody (email)

t-shirts tearing the roof of
arenas, and it’ll be sweeeeeeet.

We thought of adding another
ive pages that just said
SLAAAAAYEEEERRRRR! over
and over but decided that would
be a) excessive and b) a waste of
paper because ultimately saving
the environment is metal.

MORE LIKE NAY-ER
I like Slayer as much as the next
guy but is 30 pages not a little
excessive? Plus, we all know they
will be back in ive years anyway.
They always are.
Ed Copers (email)

Look, we’ll probably never get
to do a Slayer cover again, so we
went all-out. Plus, come on, it’s
fuckin’ Slayer. Also, you’re wrong
because they’ll actually be back
in ive months for Download fest
so there.

SPEED OF FRIGHT
Just watched the episode of Metal
Hammer TV, looks great! Was
slightly weird for me, however, as
I normally listen to the podcast at
around 1.8x speed so I wasn’t used
to your voices at normal speed.
Mark Baker (Facebook)

(N)ONE

Thanks, Mark, that’s very kind
of you and we were totally
relaxed ilming a TV pilot and
didn’t shit ourselves inside
out the second our director
yelled acti-hold on, why are you
listening to us at 1.8x speed?!
Are you The Flash? Is that how
The Flash works? We gave up
caring after Justice League.

WOO YEAR!
So in the irst few weeks of 2019
we have Parkway Drive headlining
Ally Pally and Architects doing
fucking Wembley? Surely this is
the year metal’s next generation
take over?
Bradley Rannings (email)

The revolution will not be
televised, ladies and gentlemen.
It’ll be a bunch of sweaty
motherfuckers in metalcore

I’m familiar with the story behind
One, but I was so disappointed
when I irst heard this song (and
the entire album for that matter).
Most tuneless ballad ever. Had
James suddenly gone tone deaf?
Gry Sharp

Wh… how can you… whe...
bu... we honestly thought we’d
heard every hot Metallica take
imaginable but fair play, Gry,
you’ve just outdone the lot. Leave
the hall.

POSTERS WITH THE
MOST…ERS
Can we have more posters, please?
No shitty boy band promo shots,
though – we want good album art.
How about a death metal art set?
For the real metalheads.
Ryan Leith (email)

Well, we just had to tear up our
Blood On The Dance Floor poster
mega-pack because of this email,
so thanks, Ryan. Thanks a lot.
Yeah, that’s right, we made

Snickers are the
worst chocolate bar
because I’m allergic
to nuts, followed by
Bounty because who
wants coconut stuck
in their teeth forever

@KatOuttaHere
the singer of
Bleeding through
picked me up &
launched me from
the stage at hellfest
circa ’04 & he was
cracking up. Do that
shit now you’re likely
to get tazed, because
security can’t be
sure you’re not a
f’n lunatic murderer.

@Alt_PastaTits
Is there any better
publicity for a metal
band than christians
praying for them
because they believe
they’re Satanists,
as is happening to
Ghost? how many
tickets and shirt sales
will those prayers net?

@SeeYouNextWed

metalhammer.com 27

LETTERS

THE BIg DEBATE
Our writer Stephen Hill lamented
the dissolving of subgenres in
metal on the Hammer site last
month, and how it has impacted
our scene. Unsurprisingly, you
guys had Some Thoughts.
HE SAID:

“How many fans were irst exposed to our world
through a taste of thrash, or NWOBHM, or punk in the
mainstream and then given the keys to a new world,
a new way of life? It must be immeasurable. That’s the
true power of a subculture: it doesn’t just deine an
era, it can actually shape huge groups of people.”
Bmth: are you even a fan if you
don’t know all the words to Tell
Slater Not to Wash His Dick?

YOU SAY:
There are only two genres: music I like and music I
don’t. I don’t give a shit if others need to categorise it.
Joe Michael Lecuyer (Facebook)

a Blood On The Dance Floor reference.
We remember 2012.

STRING WHEN YOU’RE
WINNING
Earlier this week I saw Gary Numan
perform with an orchestra. I wish
I went to the Alter Bridge show with
one, so my question is, what other
bands should give their music the
orchestral treatment?
Chris Lloyd (Facebook)

Hatebeak.

BIG HANG THEORY
‘Hangman’s Chair?’ Why does
a hangman have his own speciic
chair? A hangman has a rope, or
gallows. All he has to do is pull
a leaver, and he wants to sit down to
do it? I bet he’s told his employer he
has a back condition. Got a doctor’s
note and everything. Maybe it’s
a decommissioned electric chair that

was knocking around the execution
department. I guess it makes an
interesting conversation point for
the poor soul on his way to the
gallows to be hanged by a man who
can’t be bothered to stand up.

Subgenres are a way for people to feel like they’re
doing something original. Usually they’re just
rehashing stuf that’s already been done.
Jef Riniker (Facebook)

Genres are useful for describing a particular sound.
I’m not going to say that Pig Destroyer and Celtic Frost
sound the same just because “it’s all just metal”.

Raven O’mara (Facebook)

Look, we don’t pick the band
names, take it up with Hangman’s
Chair. Jesus.

Wyatt Wilcher (Facebook)

BRING ME THE RIFFS

People were predicting the death of punk when I was
a teenager. They pronounced metal dead in my 20s.
Rock was pronounced dead when I was 30. I’m 50. I’m
not worried about metal dying out, subgenres or no.

All the new BMTH fans don’t even
know their old songs when they
play them. Only the real OG fans
are banging their heads. It’s sad to
see 80% of people confused with the
deathcore. Man I wish BMTH would
go back to their heavy days.

Lisa Ishee (Facebook)

Basic genres are ine, but it gets nuts when people are
like, ‘Check out this band, they are thrash-technicalbattle-blackened-doomy-death-progressive-sludge.’

Bryce Plez (Facebook)

Honestly, there are plenty days we
do too. We liked that song with the
sax on the last album though. That,
as the kids apparently say, slapped.

HAMMER STEREO

Rejan Plante (Facebook)

Join the Big DeBate at FaCeBooK.CoM/
MetaLhaMMeRReaDeRS

What’s been blowing our office speakers

PUPPY

EMIgRATE

SWALLOW THE SUN

DEAD SOUL

FEVER 333

THE GOAT

A Million Degrees

When A Shadow Is
Forced Into The Light

In The Darkness

Strength In Numb333rs

“Worth the wait?
I reckon so. Where
else will you hear
maiden by way
of Weezer?”

MERLIN ALDERSLADE
EDITOR

28 metalhammer.com

“hello, tobias
Forge and
till lindemann”

ELEANOR gOODMAN
DEPUTY EDITOR

“a spellbinding
journey into the
darkest ventricles
of the heart”

“as the nights
draw in, this ‘dark
electronic industrial
doom blues’ is
perfect mood music”

“Jason aalon Butler
can do no wrong,
and this feels like
the start of
something special”

JONATHAN SELZER

VANESSA THORPE

LUKE MORTON

REVIEWS EDITOR

PRODUCTION EDITOR

ONLINE EDITOR

THE DAMNED
THINgS
Ironiclast

“they’re back, and
this cD is jammed in
the stereo like it’s
2011 all over again”

LEWIS SOMERSCALES
ART EDITOR

NEW NOISE

FOR I AM
KING
For these Dutch melodic death metallers, music
is a symbol of hope. For Iranian frontwoman Alma,
it’s a matter of life and death
Words: HyWel davies

AlmA AlIzADEh hAD to take
some huge risks to make it to the
pages of this magazine. Born in
Iran, she became a political refugee
at the age of nine, escaping to the
more liberal surroundings of the
Netherlands, where she has lived
ever since. In fact, the For I Am King
frontwoman may never get the
chance to see her native land again –
fronting a death metal band could lead
to her arrest, or worse, if she should
ever return.
Though many years have passed,
there are memories that still echo
in her mind, proving a lot for the
frontwoman to bear. “I remember
living on a farm with my family,”
she recalls of her homeland.
“I remember that my parents had
to move away because of political
reasons but I didn’t really understand
any of that when I was a kid. When
you see people leaving their country
or their homes on the news, not
everybody can understand just
how hard the reality can be. I haven’t
really talked about it a lot. It’s still
very difficult to tell anyone what
I went through.
“When we arrived in Holland,
I noticed that everything was much
bigger and people were dressed
differently, but I felt so at home here,”
she continues. “I remember learning
the language quickly and one of the

30 metalhammer.com

IN SHORT
SOuNdS LIKe:
Demonic meets
melodic in
a whirlwind of
ballistic shred

FOR FANS OF:
arch enemy,
Unearth,
Killswitch engage

LISTeN TO:
Forever Blind

reasons why was because the people
helped out so much. I feel very lucky
to be living here. I can listen to metal
whenever or do whatever I want to do.
I wish everybody could have the same
experience and the same feeling as
I did when I moved here.”
Though she bashfully admits to
her love of the Backstreet Boys when
she was growing up, her tastes
ultimately took a much heavier route,
culminating in the volatile melodeath
ferocity of For I Am King. If Arch
Enemy were in a relay, this five-piece
would be the next contenders to pick
up the baton.
Alma tells Hammer that metal
was non-existent in her life back in
Iran. “I didn’t hear any metal before
I left home,” she explains. “I didn’t
know anything about tattoos, heavy
music or anything like that when
I lived in Iran. But I remember my
mom and dad would play Abba, Bee
Gees and Queen a lot. Those are the
first bands I remember who weren’t
Persian. System Of A Down was the
first of the heavier bands I started to
listen to. Then bands like Slipknot
came along, with Metallica and Iron
Maiden. When I met Jurgen [van
Straaten, FIAK bassist], he introduced
me to more hardcore and metalcore
music like Underoath, Hatebreed and
especially Walls Of Jericho, who were
a huge inspiration to me.”

ThE NEThErlANDS’
ATTITuDE towards refugees
continues to be progressive, having
accepted around 60,000 asylum
seekers back in 2015 at the height of
the Syrian crisis. Talking with Jurgen,
this was a situation he and his family
couldn’t ignore.
“I think for Alma, this situation
still hits home on a daily basis. It really
opened my eyes. There are a lot of
refugees around here and my family
tries to help where they can. I also try
to help by driving people to their
families who have been separated.
Overall, the political side of the
Netherlands thinks we should help
each other out, no matter where you
are from. We’re all human, we are
all the same.”
No other song on latest album
I reflects more on Alma’s childhood
experience than Home. With the record
being the band’s most personal release

FOR I AM KING

For I am King: and you thought being
a metalhead in rotheram was hard…

yet, it’s on this track in particular that
Alma makes her stand and shares her
message to the world.
“The themes on Home were very
close to me, but they can relate with
anybody. I wanted to write a song that
wasn’t especially focused about my
journey or my experience. It’s more
about the people around you who help
you, who make you feel at home. That’s
what I experienced when I came to
Holland. Not everybody is lucky enough
to have had the same opportunities or
have such wonderful people around
them as I had, which saddens me. So,
this song has more importance to me
personally, but this album as a whole
is very important to us.”
Formed in 2013, the band’s fanbase
has steadily grown internationally,
including a dedicated small number

of fans from Iran. However, being
a metalhead in Iran can have serious
repercussions. Bands like Tehran’s
Confess face impossible odds daily
– they narrowly escaped the death

“IF I WAS STILL IN
IRAN, I COULDN’T
DO THIS”

alma alizadeH

penalty back in 2016 for writing songs
that were considered blasphemous by
their government.
“It’s crazy and I can’t imagine myself
doing that,” Alma admits. “If I was still
living in Iran I don’t think I could do
what I’m doing now with my life, at all.

We do have a lot of Persian fans who
contact us through our social media.
I have Iranian friends who’ve told me,
‘It’s so awesome that you’re doing this.’
They look up to you because we’re
playing this kind of music.”
If by some miracle this issue finds its
way into the borders of her birthplace,
what message does she send to our
metal brethren out there?
“Keep doing it; keep on going! Music
is so important, it brings everybody
together. Iran is a beautiful country and
there are so many people out there who
love to listen to music and there’s lots of
people who love metal in Iran. I couldn’t
imagine a life without listening to
music, or making music, writing songs
or going to concerts. It’s a privilege
and it’s a shame it’s not possible
everywhere. Metal gives people hope.”

I is out now via
Redfield RecoRds

metalhammer.com 31

NEW NOISE ROUND-UP

NEW NOISE

LUCIFER’S CHILD
One member of Rotting Christ is pushing BM’s
values onto a wider plane of consciousness
WORDS: JONATHAN SELZER

ITHACA
Metallic hardcore band? Holy Roar?
They’re obviously going to be good
WORDS: MATT MILLS

THaNkS TO NaMES like Code Orange and Vein,

NO ONE MakES a record like
are processes that take a lot of time,
Lucifer’s Child’s The Order unless
isolation and research. We want to
reach a state of empowerment, but to
it’s driven by fervent belief, an
get there, there are no short cuts.”
unquenchable thirst for knowledge,
For all the spiritual stormfronts
and an instinctive understanding of
raging throughout The Order, Lucifer’s
how to make an audience lose their
Child aren’t beholden to tradition, be it
collective shit. Part feral rite, part
philosophically or musically.
bug-eyed, anthemic groove
For George, Satanism, Wicca
machine – with an occasional
and black metal are fertile
detour into atmospherics that
SOUNDS LIkE:
raw material from which
ring with baleful splendour
Imperious yet
to forge your own quest.
– the Greek quartet’s second
spirit-ravaging
They’re at the most potent
album may observe the
Bm hurling hearts
like molotov
when activated by your own,
fundamental tenets of
cocktails
personal observations.
black metal, but does so in
“Our aim is to reach into
the rear-view mirror as it
FOR FANS OF:
ourselves and deliver our
careers at full pelt into your
rotting christ,
Behemoth, Watain
darkest and deepest
consciousness, refusing to let
experiences through playing
go of the pedal until it pushes
LISTEN TO:
black metal,” he states.
you over the edge of reason.
The Order
“We feed from the roots
Devout followers of the
and respect the path that black metal
brimstone-dusted left-hand path, and
has carved, but that’s not to say that
woven through with Wicca-derived
experimentation and evolution is
worldviews, Lucifer’s Child reach
wrong; life evolves, and knowledge
a heightened state through sheer
evolves. Music should liberate you
force of will. But as immediate and
from the stereotypes modern society
adrenaline-inducing as they might
sets out for us, and that is why black
sound, the means of getting there
metal is not just a music genre.
are still steeped in mystique.
I strongly believe it’s also a way of
“It is very difficult to put it into
living and thinking that guides you
words,” says guitarist (and member
to a path of freedom.”
of Rotting Christ) George Emmanuel
about the band’s creative process,
“since this state is an abstract and
THE ORDER IS OUT NOW
esoteric trip. Inspiration and creation
VIA AGONIA

IN SHORT

32 metalhammer.com

metallic hardcore is hotter than ever in the heavy music
underground. The subgenre’s recent success creates the
perfect atmosphere for Ithaca and their impending first
album, The Language Of Injury, to thrive. But what may
surprise newcomers to these debutants is that they actually
predate the extreme metalcore renaissance.
“When we started playing together, we couldn’t classify
our music in a certain genre,” says lead singer Djamila
Azzouz. “Because metallic hardcore wasn’t in resurgence
back then, so we got away with playing with so many
different bands of different genres.” “We came up doing
tours with bands like Employed to Serve and Venom Prison,”
guitarist Sam Chetan-Welsh adds.
Ithaca formed in late 2012, before
releasing EPs in 2014 and 2015. The
SOUNDS LIkE:
Language Of Injury will be their first new
Dissonant
material in three years, partially due to
hardcore anarchy,
the band’s meticulous writing style.
raging atop
gorgeous melodies
“It takes a long time to write,” Sam
admits. “It’s a laborious process and
FOR FANS OF:
tends to be quite detailed. We were happy
loathe, code
just letting the tracks come naturally,
orange, Svalbard
rather than going, ‘I have to write track
LISTEN TO:
nine on the album now!’”
The Language
However, the debut is worth the wait.
Of Injury
Inspired by The Chariot and Rolo
Tomassi, Ithaca’s songs pummel with whirring guitars and
grooving rhythms, built atop a backbone of subtle melodies.
Djamila and Sam trade roars, but the former – for the first
time – also makes room for a cleaner, harmonic delivery.
“I lived in a little village and was very secluded,” explains
the frontwoman. “It could get lonely, so I started singing
a lot. It just snowballed from there.” “It’s another significant
tool we add to the toolbox,” Sam summarises.
By flavouring their raging hardcore with dashes of beauty,
Ithaca are ready to stand tall in their subgenre’s pantheon
of greats.

IN SHORT

THE LanguagE Of InjuRy IS OUT NOW VIA
HOly ROAR

NEW NOISE ROUND-UP

SHADING
Robots are dicks. These cyperpunkfuelled tech metallers aren’t
WORDS: DANNII LEIVERS

Is TeCHNOlOgy HuMaNITy’s

IN SHORT
SOUNDS LIkE:
Vibrant,
aggressive and
futuristic prog
with an
imagination

FOR FANS OF:
architects,
Periphery,
Northlane

LISTEN TO:
The Scent

enemy? What if we lost control of AI?
These are the questions in the noggins
of Italian prog metallers Shading. Their
hyper-futuristic, cyberpunk-influenced
album, The Vanishing Of Our Lore, is set
in a hostile Blade Runner-meets-Matrixesque world where machines have
assumed power over humans.
“Every day I use a lot of technology.
Part of me is scared of this connection,
but the other part loves it,” says
guitarist Andreas Miotto. “Cyberpunk
is a future that I really hope won’t
become reality but it’s possible.”
That love/hate relationship with
technology lies at Shading’s core. Their
recent single, The Scent, is about
technological dependency turning us
into soulless beings, but technology has
allowed them to realise their dream.

After they emailed demos to Tesseract
guitarist Acle Kahney and Melbournebased engineer Ermin Hamidovich
(Architects, Periphery), Acle mastered
2017 single Breathless while Ermin took
on mastering duties for The Vanishing…,
perfecting the tracks over Facebook
and email. “Acle had a lot of suggestions
that we ended up using,” says Andreas.
“He told us we were tight and there was
good songwriting but we need to focus
more on guitar tone.”

Shading formed more than a decade
ago, when founding members, Andreas
and drummer Mattia Bastianello, were
just 13 and 14 years old. They released
their debut, Human Colour Perception,
in 2016, but in their eyes The Vanishing
Of Our Lore is their first ‘proper’ fulllength, the moment everything fell
into place, aesthetically, sonically and
conceptually. “We are confident to say
this is our first album,” says Andreas.
“Even though we have been a band for
10 years, I think we are just starting.”

THE VanISHIng Of OuR LORE IS
OUT NOW

IN THe kNOW
What your favourite
bands are listening to

LANDMVRkS
It’s a wicked heavy band from
France that’s not gojira!
WORDS: ALI COOPER

IN SHORT
SOUNDS LIkE:
Frantic metalcore
meets morose
grunge

FOR FANS OF:
architects,
Napoleon,
Novelists

LISTEN TO:
Scars

MaRseIlle MaRvels
laNdMvRks reverberate reflective
grunge vocals against berserk
metalcore energy. After self-producing
and releasing their debut album,
Hollow, in 2016, 2018’s polished
follow-up Fantasy hones their two
clashing moods at their own pace.
“Vocalist Florent Salfati and I are
sound engineers, so we use our own
studio at home,” explains guitarist
Nicolas Exposito. “Our sessions are
neverending and it doesn’t cost
hundreds per day, but the downside
is we don’t give ourselves deadlines.”
The old adage of not judging a book
by its cover certainly applies to

Landmvrks, with their new album’s
funfair-themed artwork concealing an
onslaught of vigorous riffs.
“If you didn’t listen to the album,
you’d have no idea we’re a metalcore
band, and that’s what we wanted. We
didn’t want a cliché album cover so we
asked a tattoo artist friend to listen to
our album and just draw what she felt.
It fits the poetic lyrics and we’re French
so it’s romantic, too.”
Accompanying While She Sleeps and
Stray From The Path on their European
tour before supporting Polaris in Japan,
Landmvrks will take their place in the
worldwide scene this year – all in good
time to make their own landmark in
the colourful history of metalcore.

fanTaSy IS OUT NOW VIA
ARISING EMPIRE

GRANDSON
“I aM COMpleTely

obsessed
with this band – I think it’s one
guy with hired musicians. There’s
so much going on, I don’t even
know how to describe it. There’s
guitar in there that reminds me
of Led Zeppelin, but then he’s
mixed it with Twenty One
Pilots-style pop-rap vocals,
dubstep… it’s everything.
The guy’s a genius.
I recommend
it – it’s
awesome.”
BEN BRUCE,
ASKING
ALEXANDRIA

metalhammer.com 33

HOARD
ALMIGHTY
Box sets, underground oddities and all the
essential merch you need this month

WHITE WALKER SCOTCH WHISKY
£34

Basing North Of The Wall, aka Scotch,
whisky on Game Of Thrones’ White Walkers
is a deviously brilliant idea. Its “notes of
caramelised sugar and vanilla, fresh red
berries” will preserve you through the
longest of winters.
http://tinyurl.com/got-walker

THE OCEAN T-SHIRT
£17.85

LACUNA COIL

The Ocean’s new record, Phanerozoic I:
Palaeozoic, is another conceptual deep-dive
in their way-back machine (500 million
years, to be exact). Let everyone know you’re
proper clever and conscientious with this
eco-friendly, 100% organic shirt.
http://tinyurl.com/ocean-tee

NOTHING STANDS IN OUR WAY:
THE OFFICIAL ILLUSTRATED HISTORY
£35/£100

ROCKET 88

Listen to Lacuna Coil’s 1999 debut album, In A Reverie, and for all its
downcast, gothic-tinged aura, it’s still easy to see the level of scope and ambition
that’s made the Milanese metallers the globe-trotting behemoths they are today.
In celebration of their two decades as a band (or thereabouts, since they actually
formed in 1994), they’re following up their spectacular series of circus-themed,
commemorative concerts and accompanying DVD with an equally exquisite book,
as told by founder members Andrea Ferro, Marco Coti Zelati and Cristina Scabbia.
Running to 224 pages, and full of rare and classic images, it also comes as a yet
more glorious, foil-detailed hardback Signature Edition, complete with
presentation box, signatures from each member of the band and four original
art prints by Marco himself. Una cosa di bellezza!

https://lacunacoilbook.com

34 metalhammer.com

HIGH ON FIRE SILKSCREEN PRINT
£44.50

High On Fire’s Matt Pike is more metal than
you. You’ve seen his amputated toe? Well
metal. Regardless, gaze upon this print with
a beer, bong or copy of Blessed Black Wings.
Still quite metal.
http://tinyurl.com/hof-print

HOARD ALMIGHTY

JUNGLE ROT BASEBALL T-SHIRT
£15.70

Heavens forbid what the denizens of Jungle
Rot’s world would do all kitted out with
baseball bats, but nevertheless, pledge your
allegiance to team gore, or, as the backprint
proclaims, “United We Rot” with this elegant
yet deadly item.
http://tinyurl.com/junglerot-tee

GRYFFINDOR QUIDDITCH
CAPTAIN’S JERSEY
£22.99

Quidditch mightn’t be very heavy metal
compared to Rollerball, Climbing For Dollars
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“I’m f*cking unsinkable!”

OZZY
OSBOURNE

“I’m f*cking unsinkable!”

OZZY
OSBOURNE
is refusing to go quietly

is refusing to go quietly
ISSUe 318

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11 TRACKS FROM LATIN AMERICA

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Ozzy OsbOurne

38 metalhammer.com

Ozzy OsbOurne

As Ozzy embarks on his farewell tour, we sit down with the
Prince Of Darkness to reflect on five decades of insanity.
But is this really the end, or just the beginning of the end?
Words: dom LaWson

metalhammer.com 39

Ozzy OsbOurne

Partners in crime:
ozzy and Sharon at
the Metal Hammer
Golden Gods last year

ozzy and Zakk Wylde in
1990. Yes, Zakk didn’t have
a beard once

singing with far more conviction than
he has for some years. As much as his
fans are always willing to give him
the benefit of the doubt – because he’s
Ozzy fucking Osbourne – there have
been plenty of moments over the last
few years, particularly during Black
Sabbath’s lengthy winding down,
when he has intermittently sung
horribly off-key and seemed less than
his usual ebullient self. At Download
last summer, he was a metal icon
transformed, delivering a set that
surprised many, not least due to the
renewed power of Ozzy’s voice. The
man himself attributes this renaissance
to – whisper it – a healthy lifestyle.
“Well, I don’t drink anymore, I don’t
smoke fags anymore, I don’t do drugs
anymore,
and you
know what?
I like it!” he
chuckles.
“I never
thought I’d

“Before I was soBer, I was
lyIng on some Bathroom
floor covered In pIss”
40 metalhammer.com

GettY

mIcK hUtSoN

I



m not fucking retiring!”
Oh dear. Ozzy Osbourne is
pissed off. As we speak to him
in anticipation of February’s
UK tour, he is determined to
set the record straight about
whether not his career is about to come
to an end. In fairness, he’s done this
to himself. The tour has been billed as
No More Tours 2 – a knowing reference
to the first supposed farewell tour
that Ozzy did in 1992 – and has been
widely declared to be the legendary
Brummie’s final round-the-world
jaunt. But Ozzy is not having any of it.
“You know what? I want to get one
thing fucking straight. People are
getting this whole thing fucking
wrong, because I’m not retiring!” he
rages. “This is not my farewell tour!
What I’m doing is that I’m not going to
leave the house in January and come
home in December anymore. I’m
slowing it all down, so when I’m on the
road I’m not doing the whole fucking
world. I’m doing England or Europe or
Australia or wherever. I’m not staying
on the road anymore. People keep
saying, ‘Oh how many more times are
you going to retire?’ I’m not fucking
retiring, you know? Over here [in the
US] they’ve gone mad. ‘Oh you’re
retiring!’ No, I’m fucking not.”
Far be it from us to disagree with the
Prince Of Darkness, but even if Ozzy
does do more shows after this final
world tour has finished, this still feels
very much like the beginning of the
end, if not the end itself. We speak to
him a few days before his 70th birthday
and, in reality, he’s on excellent form
and clearly relishing the next few
weeks of hitting the boards with Zakk
Wylde and the rest of his band. He just
doesn’t want us to think that he’s
retiring. Because he fucking isn’t.
“The thing is, I don’t make these
fucking announcements,” he shrugs.
“My wife and my agent are supposed to
do it all. People go, ‘What are you going
to do when you retire?’ Retire from
what? How can you retire from this
fucking thing? I’m not getting up in the
morning and joining a queue of people
getting on a fucking bus. This has been
a great life, you know? And I’ve really
enjoyed this tour so far.”
If you’ve had the good fortune to
catch Ozzy on any part of the tour thus
far, you will have noticed that he seems
to be both having a brilliant time and

see the day when Ozzy Osbourne says
he prefers being clean and sober, but
so far, so good! When I first tried being
sober I did think, ‘I’m better than I was
before!’ but that’s because before I was
lying on some bathroom floor covered
in piss! I just got fed up with being fed
up with myself. It was fun for a while
but in the end, with all the chemicals,
I’d nearly kill myself on a daily basis.
I know what to do if I fancy a drink.
I know how to get one of those. But
right now I don’t want one.”
This could be a false dawn, of course.
Ozzy’s on-off relationship with
alcoholic and chemical excess is
well documented and, in truth, an
absolutely integral part of the great
man’s mythology. But today he sounds
genuinely happy to watch that life of
insanity recede in the rear-view mirror.
“I’m definitely singing better than
I have been. When I was hungover all
the fucking time, it was really bad, you
know?” he says. “To be honest with
you, it’d be nice to say it wasn’t my
fault, but it was. No one ever said, ‘Ozzy,
drink as much as you fucking can,
you’ve got a gig tomorrow!’ On these
last few gigs, I’ve had a couple of rough
ones along the way but most of them
were great. I’ve been thinking, ‘Why
now? I’m nearly fucking 70!’ I keep
pinching myself.”

T

his has been a sobering few years
in the rock and metal worlds,
with numerous high-profile
figures passing away and the new
experience of watching the genre’s
biggest icons start to join the ranks
of the officially elderly. The irony of
one of metal’s most notorious wild
men reaching his 70th birthday in
a relatively impressive state of health

Ozzy OsbOurne

these swimming lessons
are going miserably

metalhammer.com 41

GettY

Ozzy OsbOurne

is not lost on Ozzy. He runs through
a list of the greats that he has somehow
outlived, citing John Bonham and Bon
Scott as men with similarly legendary
thirsts that, tragically, weren’t able to
stay the course. He also mentions the
triple blow of losses in 2015 and 2016:
Bowie, Prince and, in particular,
Lemmy; a close friend for decades and
one of the few that could ever have
matched Ozzy, drink for drink.
“They’ve been dropping in fours and
fives, when it used to be once in a blue
moon, but I’m still here,” he notes,
incredulously. “Turning 70 doesn’t
bother me. Whether I feel happy, sad
or mad, it’s happening. I consider
myself very lucky. There but for the
grace of God go I, you know? I tried to
do everything to the absolute fucking
max when I was doing it. I’d be looking
around for crumbs of coke on the
floor when everyone went home, you
know? I’m not proud of that, but I’m
a survivor, I suppose. Lemmy died a
while ago. Before he died, he said to me,
‘Well, I could have 10 more years if I did
all the proper things, but I did things
my way…’ He knew what he was doing.
It’s sad and I miss him being around.”
Do you have any theories as to why
you’ve survived when Lemmy and
many others haven’t?
“I said to my wife the other day, ‘Why
have I survived?’ and she said, ‘Don’t
complain!’” he laughs. “If it wasn’t for
Sharon, I would’ve been gone a long
time ago. She used to bollock me all the
time about it. I did have a conscience
and I realised, ‘Do I really want to be
remembered as a junkie and an

“I was drownIng
In my own Blood.
my heart stopped
twIce. ha ha!”
42 metalhammer.com

admit it: you’d want to be at this aftershow.
Black Sabbath and metallica at the 21st annual
rock and roll hall of Fame Induction ceremony

alcoholic nutcase?’ But if you’d said to
me years ago, ‘How long do you think
you’ll last?’ I would’ve said ‘I’ll be dead
by 40!’ Luck has shadowed me all the
way. If you’d read a news story that
said ‘Ozzy Osbourne has been found
dead in his hotel room!’ you wouldn’t
go, ‘Oh, really?’ would you? You’d say,
‘Well, obviously!’”
One of the many reasons why we all
love Ozzy so much is that, unlike many
other rock stars, he really has seen and
done it all, particularly when it comes
to hardcore misbehaviour. There is no
need to varnish the truth here. But
with those days of drunken debauchery
and drug-fuelled risk-taking firmly
behind him, he now looks back at those
many brushes with death with a sense
of mild bemusement.
“I’ve fallen out of lift shafts and
windows. I broke my neck on a quad
bike. There was one time when I died
twice on the way to the hospital. I was
drowning in my own blood. I’d crushed
my ribs and stabbed my lungs. My heart
stopped twice on the way to the
hospital but they got me going again.
I might be unsinkable! Ha ha! I’m not
proud of it, but I’m grateful. I’m still
here and a lot of people who did much
less than me have gone. I don’t
question it anymore.”
Having lost a few friends along the
way – not to mention wife Sharon
and Black Sabbath bandmate Tony
Iommi’s cancer battles – Ozzy could be
forgiven for becoming a little morose
as his life edges into its closing scenes.
He admits that he has contemplated
his own mortality from time to time,
but not being prone to navel-gazing,

he sees the impending end of the road
as an incentive to make sure that not
a moment is wasted.
“Yeah, I do think about it. It’s getting
close to the fucking end now!” he grins.
“But turning 70 really makes you
aware of the phenomenal change in
the world. It’s crazy what’s going on.
Everything’s sped up to a ridiculous
level now. You can do more in one hour
than you could do in a week before.
I do think that mankind is moving
way too fast. I still can’t work a fucking
computer, ha ha! But getting older
makes you realise how valuable time
is, too. I hate being late for anything.
If you say to me, ‘Be there at eight!’
I’ll be there at seven thirty. I hate being
fucking late. It’s a cause of arguments
in this fucking house all the time. My
wife has never been early in her life!”

E

ven as you attempt to get your
head around the notion that
Ozzy Osbourne is a stickler for
punctuality, another pressing question
rears its head: will there ever be another
Ozzy album? Eight-and-a-half years
have passed since the release of his last
studio effort, Scream, and while Black
Sabbath duties undoubtedly kept him
busy for most of the intervening years,
it must surely be time for a follow-up,
even if it ends up being the last Ozzy
album of all. Meanwhile, with Zakk
Wylde reinstalled as chief guitarist,
following Gus G’s well-received tenure
and contributions to Scream, Ozzy’s live
band have rarely sounded so ferocious.
It all bodes well for that hypothetical
next record, even if Ozzy remains
noticeably vague about the whole thing.
“I’d love to make an album but it
costs so much to make a record,” he

Ozzy OsbOurne

Face of an angel.
Vital organs of a terminator

posits. “I built a studio in my house but
that cost a lot of money. Then you make
an album and kids go, ‘Okay, I’ll steal
that track…’ and that’s it. But I do want
to make one. I’ve got 10 ideas for songs,
and now Zakk’s back… well, I don’t
want to sound like the singer for
fucking Black Label Society, but Zakk
really works. He’s such a great player.
Fucking hell, you can’t stop him. He’s
got so fucking good. He’s faster than
fuck now!”
Do you still feel ambitious about
making new music? Have you got
another great album in you?
“The thing is, I have to like it. When
I make music, if I don’t like what I’m
doing then that’s it, it’s not happening.
I’m not in a situation where I’m just
a product. I’ll never go into a studio
and go, ‘Right, I’ve had a great run,
now I’m going to make a shit record!’
Sometimes you do make a bad record
or you just ain’t the flavour of the
month or whatever, but it’s a crap
shoot. I remember when we made No
More Tears. We were in pre-production,
Mike Inez [Alice In Chains/ex-Ozzy
bassist] came out with that bass riff,
and before we knew where we were,
we’d written No More Tears and we had
a title for the album. You just need that
one song and sometimes you pull it off
and sometimes you don’t.”
When you consider that Ozzy has
only released three studio albums in
the 21st century (2005’s somewhat
questionable Under Cover covers album
not included), it’s difficult to deny that
his status as a mainstream celebrity
has inevitably overshadowed his
artistic efforts over the last 18 years.
This, of course, is primarily due to The
Osbournes: the all-conquering MTV
reality show that premiered in the
spring of 2002 and swiftly turned
Ozzy’s family into global superstars,
while also paving the way for countless
likeminded (but generally dreadful)
TV shows, many of which are still
plaguing us to this day. During that
brief but manic period of small-screen
notoriety, Ozzy never quite managed
to fully alienate his fans in the metal
world, but the common perception
persisted that this heavy metal legend
was, in fact, a hapless buffoon, prone
to falling off chairs and losing his rag
with the TV remote. Metalheads knew
better, of course, but it at least seemed
that The Osbournes had distracted Ozzy
from making music to such a degree
that Black Rain’s release in 2007 came
as a major surprise. As far as he is
concerned, however, it was all just a
smart idea that spiralled out of control.
“All I can say to you is this: number
one, if someone offers you a shitload of
dough to be on television, you’d have

metalhammer.com 43

Ozzy OsbOurne
to be a mug to turn it down,” says Ozzy.
“I thought it was gonna be a piece of
cake, but you have a camera crew living
in your house for three years and see
how you feel at the end of it. You feel
like a fucking laboratory rat. It got to
the point where I was falling apart
emotionally, because you can’t fucking
relax. It doesn’t matter where you go for
a piss, you’re paranoid there’s a camera
in there. Would I do it again? The world’s
changed, man. It’s now Kardashianville.
But I did it. I’m not ashamed of it and it
was a big hit. It was like an experiment
that went fucking nuts. We didn’t plan
it, it just happened.”
As you reach 70 and head off on your
final world tour, is there anything that
you do regret?
“The way I answer that is that we all
have regrets. I wouldn’t change any of
it because it was all my destiny. When
you get to the crossroads, you go to the
good, the bad or the ugly. When things
are meant to happen, you can’t fuck
around with it. I believe in fate. I often
think, ‘Fucking hell, I remember not
knowing what I wanted to do with my
life…’ It’s an interesting thing. One day
you’re down on your luck and the next
day you’re flying high. If I hadn’t done
things the way I did, it would’ve been
a different story.”

T

these torture Garden artists
are getting way more intense

44 metalhammer.com

here are many reasons why
we all love Ozzy so much, but
principal among them is the
fact that, five decades into a wildly
successful but admirably haphazard
career, he still speaks exactly like
a man from Birmingham who grabbed
an opportunity, became a global
megastar and, even after all this time,
simply can’t believe his fucking luck.
You won’t get any arrogance or
smugness from Ozzy – he knows he’s
made some classic records, sung some
timeless songs and become an icon
along the way, but he remains
endearingly bewildered by the course
his life has taken and genuinely doesn’t
seem to mind that when he does reach
the end of the mortal line, he will
probably be remembered both as
a hugely influential and important rock
musician and that daft sod off the telly
with the history of alcoholic excess
and Olympic-standard dicking about.
“Everybody loves a loony, you know?
A lot of people would like to be a loony
for the weekend, wouldn’t they?” he
notes. “But I’ve had my fair share of
heartbreaks, too. It hasn’t always been
carefree. I do care about certain people
– my wife and my family. My son got
married, he’s gone through a divorce
now and he’s got three kids, and that
fucks me up. When you get divorced,
you may hate your ex-partner but the

OZZY:

Surrounded by his family, ozzy announces
his No more tours 2 tour at his los
angeles home last February

TrUe Or FALSe?
He’s had one of the most
rollercoaster careers in all
of metal lore, but can you
spot which of these Ozzy
moments really happened,
and which we’ve made up
like the sneaks we are?

1. ozzy once bit the head off a live bat.

2. ozzy once pissed on the alamo while
wearing his future wife Sharon’s dress.

3. ozzy once dipped his balls into
a record executive’s glass of wine during
an important meeting.

GettY

4. ozzy once got pissed, stood up
and blew kisses at President George
h. W. Bush during a White house
correspondence dinner.

them a good show!’ I’ve been doing it
for 50 fucking years now! It’s a long
time. If you’d been doing something for
50 years, wouldn’t you want to slow it
down? The thing is, I did all my drugs
and alcohol and now I’m left with
fucking Yorkshire Gold!”
Clean and sober and cheerfully
turning 70: Ozzy Osbourne may be
nearing the end of his musical career,
but he still sounds like a man on
a mission to rinse every last drop of
fun from every situation. As he readies
himself for one final, full-blown trek
around the UK, performing to the fans
who loved him first and arguably best,
The Double-O is just happy to be here.
He’s Ozzy fucking Osbourne and he’s
not finished yet.
“This tour has been great and we’re
having a fucking blast,” he concludes.
“You know what? I like the fact that
my education was basically fucking nil
but I’ve given people a good time over
the years. If listening to my music or
watching a show has given someone
a better day, that’s a great feeling. And
I made it to 70! If I can fucking do it,
everyone’s got a chance.”

8. ozzy once tackled a burglar naked.

9. ozzy once came home so drunk he ate
one of the family’s much-loved dogs.
10. ozzy did all his tattoos himself.

8. true. It happened at ozzy’s Buckinghamshire
home in 2004, with the robber making off with
Sharon’s wedding rings in the middle of the night.
“It could have been a lot worse,” ozzy noted after.
We imagine the burglar thought the same.

7. true. the statue was created by Jim mendiola
and ruben ortiz-torres in honour of that
aforementioned near-the-alamo incident. It also
looked freaky as shit.

6. False. We just made that up. We can imagine
a lot of people wanted to punch axl in the 80s and
early 90s, though…

5. true, and it’s another notorious one, taking
place in a meeting with cBS records in 1981. let’s
just say animal charities probably weren’t too keen
on our ozz in the 80s.
3. true, according to Sharon at
least – ozzy insists he doesn’t
remember it. he also pissed in the
wine and performed a Nazi goose
step. oh dear.

2. False – he pissed near
the alamo, but the story
that he peed directly onto
the texan war monument
isn’t technically true. he was
wearing that dress, though.

ANSWERS:
1. of course it’s true,
and arguably the most
famous anecdote in metal
history. ozzy still claims
he thought the bat –
thrown onstage at a gig
in Iowa in January ’82
– was fake.

Boxout: mErLIn aLdErsLadE

4. False – it was at a dinner hosted by
George Snr’s son, George W. In fairness,
‘Dubya’ did give ozzy a call-out from the
stage, so it wasn’t totally unprompted.

“I was fallIng apart
emotIonally. I felt lIke
a fuckIng laBoratory rat”

7. two artists made a lifesize wax statue
of ozzy that ‘pissed’ real liquid when
people walked past.

9. False. happily, the osbournes’ dogs are some of
the animals who’ve escaped ozzy’s, um, appetite.

Ozzy’S NO mORE tOuRS 2 uk
tOuR, SuppORtEd by judAS
pRiESt, StARtS iN fEbRuARy.
hEAd tO pAgE 190 fOR All
thE dAtES

6. ozzy once punched axl rose in the
face after a particularly frosty discussion
at an awards show.

10. False. that’d be mental. though he did once
ink a couple of smiley faces onto his own knees.

kids are there, too, and it’s not their
fault. So I do get sad about that. My two
granddaughters are fucking great fun!”
Are you looking forward to being
a more hands-on grandad?
“Well, no. The thought is nice, but
I’m not having shitty diapers on my
fucking knee! When it comes to that
department, I don’t go there. I don’t
like my own shit, let alone anyone
else’s, ha ha!”
Annoyingly, Ozzy won’t be drawn on
the setlist for his forthcoming UK dates,
although he does say that he’ll play “all
the classics” (which probably means
the same set as usual, to be fair) and
speaks excitedly of the stage production
and lighting that wife Sharon has put
together for the European run. He may
have made the decision to slow down
and stop touring the world, but Ozzy
Osbourne is – as he notes with a
derisive cackle – “high on life” at the
moment and determined to make this
(sort of) last hurrah a truly special one
for everyone involved. And then, he’s
really looking forward to getting home
and putting his feet up for a bit.
“Well, I’ll be able to smell the fucking
roses, if you like,” he says. “I’ll probably
exchange them for fucking marijuana
plants, ha ha ha! But no, I just can’t
keep that pace up. I say a little prayer
every time I go onstage, basically
saying, ‘For fuck’s sake, let me give

5. ozzy once bit the head off a dove after
signing a solo record deal.

metalhammer.com 45

Black SaBBath

on the wall...
…what’s the greatest Sabbath album of them all?
As Ozzy prepares to bow out (well, kinda), we dissect Black
Sabbath’s experimental masterpiece, Sabotage. As the band
reveal, it was an album created in chaos. Words: Paul Elliot
According to Geezer Butler: “We hadn’t stopped
pril 6, 1974. In the warmth of an
touring and recording for five years. We needed to
early evening in California, with
go home and become normal for a few weeks.”
the sun still shining, the four
But in the months that followed, Black Sabbath
members of Black Sabbath looked
would face a far greater problem than mere fatigue.
out at the biggest audience they
The band had decided to fire their manager. What
had ever seen. 300,000 people
resulted was a protracted legal battle, a bitter
were massed at the Ontario Motor Speedway
struggle that threatened to derail their career. It
racetrack, 35 miles from Los Angeles, to witness
was a period that Geezer describes as “total chaos”.
the first California Jam festival, co-headlined by
But out of this chaos would come one of the
Deep Purple and ELP.
greatest and most influential albums in rock
Sabbath had flown in from England especially
history, and the last classic album Black Sabbath
for this one show. And, in a style befitting of their
would make with Ozzy. Its title – a bleakly
superstar status, they arrived at the site aboard
humorous comment on the forces bearing down
a chartered helicopter. As drummer Bill Ward
on the band – was Sabotage.
recalls today: “We were flying high, high, high…”
On the huge
stage, beneath
t was in 1970
the arc of a
that Patrick
steel-and-glass
Meehan was
rainbow, Sabbath
appointed
rolled out the
manager of Black
Geezer butler
heavy-hitting
Sabbath. The
songs that had sold them millions of albums: War
band had already made significant progress by this
Pigs, Children Of The Grave, Paranoid. Apart from
point, under the guidance of their first manager,
the bare-chested Ward, the band favoured the
Jim Simpson, a club promoter in Sabbath’s native
flamboyant couture of the moneyed rock’n’roll
Birmingham. Their first album, Black Sabbath,
star: Ozzy Osbourne in purple-tasselled white
had reached the UK Top 10; their second, Paranoid,
jacket and outsized moonboots, bassist Geezer
went to No.1. But as their popularity rapidly
Butler in silver satin, guitarist Tony Iommi (minus
escalated, there was a feeling within the band that
his trademark moustache) in blue silk fringed with
Simpson was a little out of his depth. In Ozzy’s
white. Ozzy even spoke with a faux-US accent as
opinion: “overwhelmed”.
he exhorted the crowd: “Let’s have a party!”
Enter Patrick, a former assistant to the selfBut after the high of California Jam, Black
styled ‘Mr Big’ of rock’n’roll managers, Don Arden.
Sabbath would come crashing down to earth.
The band were impressed by his global business

A

“I stayed up all nIght lookIng In
the mIrror: I was god, and my
reflectIon was the devIl”

thanks to hugh gilmour

46 metalhammer.com

I

FRoM the
aRchIVe
Originally printed in
Classic Rock #172

metalhammer.com 47

Black SaBBath

“let’s have a party!’: ozzy at
the california Jam, april 1974

plan, symbolised by his company’s name,
Worldwide Artists, and by his go-getter
attitude. “Meehan talked a good talk,” Tony
said. Once installed as Sabbath’s manager,
Patrick delivered on his promises. “In the
early days,” Tony said, “he really got things
going. He’s the one who got us to America.”
With Patrick at the helm, Sabbath became
an international success. The three albums
that followed Paranoid – Master Of Reality in
1971, Vol.4 in 1972, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath in
1973 – all hit the UK Top 10 and the US Top
20. By 1974 the band had all the trappings of
success, the country houses and flash cars.
But after four years on a continual cycle
of touring and recording, they were running
on empty. As Geezer
says: “We wanted
to take a break after
Tony collapsed with
exhaustion on the
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
tour. We were in
England, having just returned from the tour,
when our management called us all and said
we had to go back out to do the California
Jam. We said no, but we were eventually
forced into doing it.”
Moreover, Sabbath had grown suspicious
of Patrick. Ozzy complained: “He never gave
you a straight answer when you asked how
much dough you were making.” Geezer said,
bluntly: “We felt we were being ripped off.”
Shortly after their return from California
Jam, the band notified Patrick of their

decision to end their contract with
Worldwide Artists. But Patrick was not going
to give up one of the biggest rock bands in
the world without a fight.
Such was the managerial turmoil
surrounding Black Sabbath that it took them
almost a year to complete the recording of
Sabotage. Geezer Butler sums up the band’s
state of mind during this period in four
words: “Concerned, tired, drunk, stoned.”
The album was recorded at Morgan Studios
in London, a state-of-the-art facility where
Sabbath had made their previous album,
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. The band worked at
Morgan for four months, split into threeweek sessions. Mike Butcher had been the

Charlie Watts. “We called the dartboard ‘Bill’s
beard’,” Geezer says, “because the stuffing
was coming out of it at the number 3 mark.”
The drinking continued in Morgan’s
studio rooms 3 and 4. The band also had
a plentiful supply of cocaine and marijuana:
“Bags of the stuff,” says Mike. During the
actual recording, however, it was work all
the way. “When it came to laying track, my
intake of anything mind-altering would
diminish somewhat,” says Bill Ward, drily.
Mike recalls there was only one occasion
during the sessions when work was impeded
by a bandmember’s penchant for selfmedication. “Because everything was
recorded live, the band always wanted Ozzy
to sing along as they
were tracking,” he says.
“But this one time, Ozzy
was passed out drunk on
the sofa, well out of it.”
Tony – identified by
Mike as Sabbath’s
“unofficial leader” – has stated that
Sabotage was in part a reaction to the complex
style of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, on which the
band had combined their signature heavy
metal with elements of progressive rock,
aided by Yes keyboard player Rick Wakeman
and even an orchestra. “We could’ve
continued getting more technical,” Tony
said, “using orchestras and everything else.
[But] we wanted to do a rock album.”
Tony was also reacting, on a deeper
level, to the ongoing litigation with Patrick

“we wanted to take a break. tony had
collapsed wIth exhaustIon on tour. but we
were forced Into doIng the calIfornIa show”
engineer on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, and
he was charged with producing Sabotage.
Mike recalls that the sessions ran to a loose
schedule. “I’d arrive at two in the afternoon,
but the band wouldn’t start showing up until
four. And because Morgan had a bar, that’s
where the guys would wait for the others to
arrive. Most days, we’d start at nine and go
through ’til one or two the next morning.”
Many hours were idled away in that bar,
where Geezer spent one drunken evening
playing darts with Rolling Stones drummer

neil ZloZower/atlasicons.com x2; getty

48 metalhammer.com

Geezer butler

Black SaBBath
Meehan. “We were in the studio one day
and in court or meeting with lawyers the
next,” the guitarist said. And his anger and
anxiety fed into Sabotage. “The sound was
a bit harder than Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,”
Tony explained. “My guitar sound was
harder. That was brought on by all the
aggravation we felt over all the business
with management and lawyers.”
Certainly Tony’s heavy riffing is the
dominant tone on the
album, not least on the
song chosen as its opener,
Hole In The Sky, which
begins with the hum
of amplifiers set at
maximum volume and
a scream of ‘Attack!’
The scream was an injoke, delivered by Mike.
“Sabbath had a supporting
act who had a manager
who’d stand behind them
onstage shouting, ‘Attack!
Attack!’” he recalls. “So
that’s what I shouted
from the control room
through the Tannoy.”
Even heavier was
Symptom Of The Universe, Sabotage’s most
famous and influential song. Its bludgeoning,
staccato riff would provide the template for
countless metal bands, but it was more
than a one-note headbanger. It ended in
a funky coda, created by the band jamming
while recording the track and subsequently
overdubbed with acoustic guitar.
There were more left turns throughout
the album. Tony may have set out to make
a more straightforward rock record, but
Sabbath continued the experimentation
they started on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. And,
ironically, it was Tony who created the most
bizarre and unorthodox song ever to feature
on a Black Sabbath album: Supertzar.
More atmospheric even than the song
that gave the band its name, Supertzar was
a darkly dreamlike piece featuring the
English Chamber Choir, and described by
Bill Ward as “a demonic chant”. Tubular
bells, played by Bill, carried an echo of the
1973 movie chiller The Exorcist. The only
connection to conventional rock music
was Tony’s slow guitar riff, played like a
death march. Ozzy had no part to play on
Supertzar, but what he heard as he observed
the song being recorded was, in his words,
“a noise like God conducting the soundtrack
to the end of the world”. Tony said, with
characteristic reserve, that “it sounded
really different and really great”.
In stark contrast was Am I Going Insane
(Radio), essentially a pop song written by
Ozzy on a Moog synthesiser, which he
played on the finished track. “Oz drove us
all nuts with that Moog thing,” Ward recalls,
“but the song was great. And in hindsight,
it was kind of a precursor for his solo career.
His personality was blooming on this song.”
The ‘Radio’ in the title was rhyming slang:
Radio Rental – mental. Ozzy’s lyrics were
“definitely autobiographical,” Geezer says.

Even better, and even more pointedly
autobiographical, were Ozzy’s lyrics for the
album’s heavyweight final track, in which
he poured scorn on Sabbath’s tormentor,
Patrick Meehan. ‘You bought and sold me
with your lying words,’ Ozzy sang, before
threatening a curse on his enemy. The
song was named The Writ, a title that was
suggested by Mike Butcher after Meehan’s
lawyers arrived unannounced at Morgan
Studios. “Some guy
walked in and said, ‘Black
geezer Butler:
Sabotage’s
Sabbath?’” Mike recalls.
chief lyricist
“And Tony said, ‘Yeah.’
The guy said,‘I have
something for you,’ and
gave him a writ.”
Adding to the
threatening vibe of The
Writ was a sinister intro
mixing laughter and cries
of anguish. The laughter
was that of an Australian
friend of Geezer’s. “He
was a complete nutter,”
the bassist says. “We
invited him into the
studio when he was
visiting London.”
The cries were those of a baby, recorded
on an unmarked cassette tape that Mike
found lying on a console at Morgan. When
he played it at half speed, the baby’s crying
took on an eerie quality. “It was so weird,”
he says, “that it worked perfectly for that
track.” Mike never found out whose tape
it was.
For Ozzy, writing and singing the words
to this song had a therapeutic effect. “A bit
like seeing a shrink,” he said. “All the anger
I felt towards Meehan came pouring out.”
And yet, for all the vitriol in The Writ
there was a note of hope, and defiance, in
its closing line: ‘Everything is gonna work out
fine.’ And, in the short term at least, those
words would ring true. Patrick Meehan
would not break Black Sabbath. Ultimately,
they would do that to themselves.
n the spring of 1975, one month after
recording was finished in London, Mike
Butcher flew to New York to oversee
the mixing and mastering of Sabotage.
And it was here that the producer added, at
the end of The Writ, a 31-second snippet of
music he had recorded without the band’s
knowledge. “Microphones were plugged in
all around the studio,” Butcher explains.
“So one night, when Ozzy and Bill were
messing around on the piano, I pushed the
record button.”
What he’d captured was a joke song
named Blow On The Jug. “This stupid fucking
thing,” says Bill now. “A drunken song that
Ozzy and me would sing together in a van
or on a plane. That’s me on piano, and Ozzy
blowing on one of those brown cider jugs,
playing it like a tuba.”
Bill insists he had no idea that Blow On The
Jug would end up on the album. But for the
outfit he wore in the album’s cover photo
– black leather jacket and a pair of red

I

“they MaRked out
theIR teRRItoRy.”
Gene Simmons reveals what
happened when Sabbath
took Kiss on tour in 1975
“i have always loved and
admired Black sabbath, and
can proudly say the early days
of touring together will be
a lifelong memory.
“the sabbath of 1975 had
all the adrenaline of a band
in a strange land doing what
they believe in. there was no
question sabbath were going
to do things their own way.
love them or hate them, this
would be a band that would
mark its own territory like an animal.
“kiss got an opening slot, thankfully, on
the Sabotage tour, but only for three or four
shows. on the first night, i was backstage,
fully made-up and ready to go out onstage,
and standing next to me was the great geezer
Butler – all five-foot-six of him. in my
platform heels i stood at about six-foot-nine
tall. it’s in my Dna – once the war paint
was on, i became the Demon. and geezer
didn’t quite know what to make of me. as
he stood next to me, he looked me up and
down. i looked down at him, glared at him
and stuck out my tongue. i lowered my head
so we were face-to-face with each other and
said: ‘aaahhhh!’
“many years later, ozzy told me that
geezer had said he felt threatened by the
bass player in the opening act. he didn’t think
that was a good sign. and he was right. our
intention was to go out onstage and destroy
all living things.
“all of the above comes with a great deal
of admiration, respect and love for one of the
few bands who forged the way for countless
others to follow.
“i will never forget the first time i ever
heard the name ‘Black sabbath’. it was an
advertisement for their first album. it appeared
in Rolling Stone. it said: ‘Black sabbath – louder
than led Zeppelin!’ louder and prouder, indeed.”

metalhammer.com 49


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