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Highlights From Recent Interviews With Ozzy & Zakk (7/6/2006)

(The following interview highlights are from

Ozzy, On the 1982 Alamo incident:

"People laugh and joke about it, but I disappointed a lot of my fans and made a complete (jerk) of myself," the singer says in his familiar British mumble. "(City officials) wouldn't allow me to play there for a long time. I'm at peace with myself. I wish the rest of the (expletive) world would (get over it)."

Calling from a tour stop in Seattle, the 57-year-old heavy-metal iron man has been allowed back in San Antonio since 1992. Following a 10-year banishment and a $10,000 goodwill check made out to Alamo caretakers, Osbourne has returned in recent years to sing with his legendary band, Black Sabbath. Tuesday, John Michael Osbourne rips through a solo set at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater when he appears as the second-stage headliner at his namesake heavy metal tour, Ozzfest.

Ozzy, On recent Sabbath reunion concerts:

"I began to feel like a mouse on a wheel, I wondered if it would be possible to take a year off and just concentrate on writing great new songs. Sharon said, 'You've got to do some shows (because) it's called the (expletive) Ozzfest, ya know?' It's like going to Barnum & Bailey and finding out they ain't there. I ain't complaining. I could be (expletive) working on a road gang digging holes."

Ozzy, on playing San Antonio:

"Everybody else in this country has seen a lot of (solo) Ozzy Osbourne except (San Antonio) because of the Alamo incident back in the (expletive) Dark Ages," he says. "I like San Antonio very much. "I no longer drink, so you ain't gonna get me (urinating) on walls; I no longer take dope, so you ain't gonna get me acting (expletive) crazy. I'm naturally (expletive) crazy so I don't need anything else. I'm (expletive) nuts!"

Ozzy, on playing the 2nd stage:

"Rob Zombie did it last year and he said it's (expletive) amazing," Osbourne says. "I like to be in the midst of it all, ya know? I ain't saying the big stage ain't great, but you're (expletive) five miles from the audience?"

Ozzy, on meeting Randy Rhoads:

"I was absolutely (expletive) three sheets to the wind," Osbourne says recalling his first meeting with Rhoads. "I thought I was hallucinating. I went to this little studio, sat on the couch and went unconscious. What brought me around was (Rhoads) asking, 'What do you want me to play?' I said, 'Play anything.'

"It was mind-blowing. I told him to come around tomorrow and I'd be sober. The first song we wrote together was 'Goodbye to Romance.'"

Ozzy, on the bat incident:

"I'm fed up with talking about it.

Ozzy, on the delayed induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

"That was my fault," Osbourne says. "Every year for (expletive) 10 years we'd be on the list and never got picked. So I wrote a letter and told them not to bother putting our (expletive) name on the list. It's so pathetic. But then I was thinking it's not up to me (to reject the nomination). I was a member of a band and there was three other guys to think about. I agreed in the end. Sting came up to me and said, '(Expletive) hell, it's about time!'"

(The following interview highlights are from

Ozzy on playing select Ozzfest dates:

"I wanted to take a year off," says Osbourne, 57. "But it's called the Ozzfest, and it's pretty stupid if the person whose name is on it ain't there."

Sharon on the music industry:

"The people higher up in the music industry are music snobs," she says sharply. " 'Oh, are you coming down to the show?' 'With that audience? No.' "Ozzfest remains the ultimate hard-rock tour, over the years hosting such iconic metal acts as Slayer and a reunited Judas Priest, plus early shows by the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Slipknot and a then-unknown System of a Down in 1998. And the core audience, Sharon adds, is also reason enough to attend: "You see those young boys getting out that aggression. It's a fantastic experience.

"Love Pearl Jam. But Pearl Jam now is like the Gap crowd," she says. "The baggy trousers. It's a date. It's nice, lovely music. You know, there is a whole other world out there. But people are snobbish and don't want to mix with it. We love those people. We embrace them. They are as loyal as they can be."

Two more albums, and Ozzy will be done with his contract with Epic Records. "As far as I'm concerned, someone in Ozzy's position doesn't need a record company," Sharon says, also complaining about a general lack of creative understanding from record executives. "It has got nothing to do with the artistic. It's all about money. That's all. They ... don't know what you look like, what you sound like."

Ozzy on concert goers:

"I don't how the audience stands all day in the sun waiting. It's ... nuts," he says wearily. But Osbourne quickly raises an eyebrow. "I'm not complaining."

(The following interview highlight, is from Guitar World)

Zakk, on the new album:

"I'm about to go up to Vancouver to mix 'Shot to Hell'," he said. "But Oz wants to start doing some jamming pretty soon for his new record. We've already got, like, 20 songs. It's gonna be a piece of cake, though obviously that record's not going to be done until after the summer. There's just no way." When asked what he means by "a piece of cake," Zakk explained, "Me, Blasko [bass] and Mike [Bordin, drums] go into the studio and bang all this shit out. Except for the solos. Usually I overdub the solos after Ozzy puts down his vocals, because you've gotta hear the vocal lines. You know where the solo section is, but if you want to put some guitar fills in here and there, it's gotta be around the vocal. The vocal line is the most important thing."

(The following interview highlights, are from Metal Edge)

Zakk, on writing the new album compared to "Down To Earth":

"Well, we didn't… With the last album [2001's 'Down to Earth'], I didn't even write anything on it, you know what I'm saying? So, with 'Ozzmosis' [1995], it was… The way that one was written, we were all over the place, you know? It wasn't like we sat down and wrote the thing. The way it is now, we're just going over to Ozzy's studio and knocking it out there. You know, I just come in and start jamming some riffs, and that's it."

Zakk, on record company pressure for hits:

"I don't know about record company pressure for hits. I mean, as far as hits go, look at 'No More Tears'. 'No More Tears' ended up being a hit song, on radio, but if you really listen to the song, it's so friggin' long. I would have never thought that thing would've gone on the radio. 'Mama I'm Coming Home', if it's like a ballad, obviously it's going to have, you know, odds are that it would be a better choice as to what gets played on the radio. But with Ozz, the last album was already written, so I was more or less like a studio guitar player on that record. Everything was already done, so I just came in, and I was able to do my own thing, put my treatments on there, whatever, my squeals, and pings, and this and that, and yadda yadda yadda. I put my own stamp on it, but everything was already written. Ozzy had been writing with a bunch of different guys and stuff like that, and he was like, 'Zakk, I dig the material, but I don't want to sit around for another five months writing songs.' He was like, 'Enough is enough. I just want to record the thing and get out on the road."

Zakk, on Rolling Stone's list of top guitarists:

"Oh, God… That thing was pathetic. I mean, dude, I think they had Eddie Van Halen at, like, 70-something, Randy Rhoads almost didn't even make the list. I was like, 'You gotta be kidding me!' Then they had Kurt Cobain, he's like, 12??? God bless his soul, Kurt was a great songwriter — you know what I mean? — who happened to be playing guitar. He would have been laughing his balls off, above Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhoads. Yngwie wasn't even on the friggin' list! Steve Vai wasn't on the list. I don't even know if Slash was on the list, and we're not even talking about rock guitar players. Danny Gatton, Albert Lee, none of these guys were on that list. I mean, I don't know who figured out that list." I just laughed. Their audience would vote Dave Matthews the best guitar player on the planet, you know what I mean? And that's that audience, and there's nothing wrong with that — it is what it is. I could understand if the guitar magazines had a list, and Yngwie wasn't on it, gimme a break. It was unbelievable…"

Source: / metal edge / / guitar world

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