We’ve already known that after one more Black Sabbath album, the band’s done. But in a recent interview with Billboard, Ozzy not only reiterated that, but said that they’re done for good. “We’re disbanding the name and everything,” he told the magazine. “They don’t want to tour anymore. I get it. But I love it. I’m gonna continue my solo thing.” On that front, Osbourne tells Billboard that he’s got about three songs written for his next solo album. Oddly enough, he’s been working on them with Billy Idol guitarist Billy Morrisson, not Firewind guitarist Gus G., who played on 2010’s Scream.
Getting back to Black Sabbath, while we know that there will be a new album, what’s up in the air is when it will be coming. The only thing Ozzy knows is that it’s not happening this year, which isn’t that big of a surprise. But he says that once it does start, he doesn’t expect it to take that long, especially now that he’s asking Tony for some riffs:
“I keep asking Sharon (his wife and manager), ‘When are we gonna start it?’ She said it’s not this year. I can’t really say how long it’s gonna take. Once we get going it won’t take that long, I don’t think, ’cause Rick Rubin — I assume he’s going to (produce) it again — is very quick. And Tony comes up with the best riffs, one after the other. He never runs out. I sent a text to Tony, ‘Please send me some riffs to get my head around,’ and he said ‘I’ll get some and I’ll send some over to you.'”
Like the wishes of many fans, he also reiterated that he’d like Sabbath’s last hurrah to be with original drummer Bill Ward, who sat out the 13 album cycle in favor of Brad Wilk (for the album) and Tommy Clufetos (for the tour):
“I would absolutely love that. We all would,” Osbourne says. “We were all sad he didn’t come the last time. But I don’t deal with the dough and the business side; that’s my wife’s job. The thing is, when you’ve got four guys with four different agendas and managers, it gets pretty crazy. I just go, ‘You do what you’ve got to do, Sharon. I’ll do what I’ve got to do.’ “
It seems like it’ll be a numbers game again. Bill Ward wanted more money than Sabbath was willing to give him the last time out, and they proceeded without him. But Sabbath playing with Ward would be the best possible way to wrap up the band’s 40-plus year run, and its something that both the band’s singer and the majority of fans want. That being said, Ward might be asking for even more money, looking at the end game. And he probably should be. Black Sabbath ending their run without their original drummer would put an asterisk in their long career. Will Ward return to Sabbath though? Given what a tenacious manager Sharon Osbourne is, the odds are against him. Literally. Either way, with Ozzy’s next solo album happening in 2 to 3 years, and a loose timetable for the next Sabbath album, things are going to be moving pretty quickly.