Black Sabbath Reunite, Plan First LP With Ozzy in 33 Years
11/11/11, also being called "Nigel Tufnel Day" in honor of the Spinal Tap guitarist's special "goes to 11" amp, will also be remembered as the day the original four members of Black Sabbath -- Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward -- announced they are reuniting with plans for a new album and tour in 2012.
The announcement was made as the four musicians (joined by producer Rick Rubin, who will work on the band's new album) gathered at the site of their very first U.S. show, L.A.'s famed Whisky a Go-Go on the Sunset STrip. That gig was played 41 years ago to the day on 11/11/70, so that's where the men convened at 11:11AM, along with emcee, musician and spoken-word artist Henry Rollins.
Walking out on the intimate stage to a loud round of applause from the assembled press (after a short, thoughtful intro by Rollins and a video featuring vintage Sabbath footage), the four metal icons from Birmingham, England took questions first from Rollins then from the media. (And both Rollins and the band all acknowledged the importance of Veteran's Day, as well.)
Ozzy described how this simply seemed like the right thing to do, given the fact that the band members are in touch (and still happen to like each other). All four seemed confident that the new material they are working on with Rubin is more than up to snuff, and Rubin expressed a lot of enthusiasm at being able to work with such seasoned legends. According to Rubin, the writing process is ongoing, with several songs already written. Recording will begin early next year.
Watch the Black Sabbath Reunion Video
Recently, the band signed a worldwide record deal with Vertigo and Vertigo/Universal Republic in the U.S., its original label. The new LP will mark their ninth studio album together and their first since 1978's 'Never Say Die!'
Next summer, Sabbath will headline the mammoth multi-day U.K. Download Festival on June 10, and the new album, set for a fall 2012 release, will be supported with a worldwide headline arena tour (dates TBA).
Noisecreep asked the band if they had any special memories from playing the same Whisky stage 41 years ago to the day. After disputing a much-reported and documented fact that the gig was actually an opening set for Alice Cooper, Iommi recalled that the band rented special white tuxedos for the show and that Bill Ward's had become so filthy that the tux rental shop would not accept it back.
"I've still got the suit," Ward said with a laugh. "And I'm thinking maybe I should give it to one of those halls that collects artifacts like that."
Black Sabbath also announced today the launch of www.BlackSabbath.com, the first-ever official Sabbath website for all authorized band news. In addition, the band's online presence will also be supported by social media via Facebook and Twitter, marking the band's first foray into the social media world.
Watch the 'Learn About Black Sabbath' Video