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Ozzy Osbourne on Returning to Black Sabbath: ‘It Takes a While to Switch Off Being Ozzy’

Ozzy Osbourne
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Ozzy Osbourne‘s solo sound owes a lot to the music he made with Black Sabbath, but he found it difficult to get back in the band mindset when he rejoined Sabbath for the new ‘13‘ album.

“It takes a while to switch off being Ozzy. I’ve been on my own for 35 years and it took me three or four gigs to become un-Ozzy and be a member of Black Sabbath again,” admitted Osbourne in a recent USA Today profile on the band. But, he assures us, all that time off has done the original Sabbath lineup a world of good. “Now it’s one unit,” Osbourne explained. “It’s great, a different feeling entirely. It’s the chemistry of these guys around me that makes it happen. The shoe fits.”

“I thought we’d have to keep Ozzy on track, but he was there all the time,” nodded guitarist Tony Iommi, who saw the band’s last stab at new material fall apart in 2001 due to an overall lack of focus. “I haven’t seen him like that. He’s been really good.”

For Osbourne, the difference was not only a lifestyle change — although he’s admitted a recent relapse into substance abuse, he told USA Today that “I work out. I don’t do drugs or alcohol. I don’t smoke. I don’t want to be a dead guy before my time” — but also one of band communication. As he put it, “For the first time, I felt people were listening to me.”

Next: Black Sabbath Lineup Changes

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