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The new Black Sabbath album is not quite as finished as Ozzy Osbourne has led fans to believe, but it's well on its way according to guitarist Tony Iommi.
Appearing on Britain's "Blairing Out with Eric Blair," Iommi corrected comments Osbourne made that the group had recorded 15 songs; rather, Iommi explained, "We've written 15 songs and we've played them all...Now, at the moment, we're recording them. We recorded them at my house first, in England, just as demos, but now we're doing them for real. So we're about six tracks in now, at the moment."
The album, which is being co-produced by Rick Rubin, will be Sabbath's first with Ozzy Osbourne singing since "Never Say Die" in 1978.
But Iommi told Blair that he doesn't foresee original drummer Bill Ward, who's been holding out over contractual issues, winding up back in the band:
"We'll always have a heart for Bill, but I think it's gone past that now. It's gone on so long that I don't see it happening at the moment. Maybe at some point we might do it."
Ward's spot has been taken by Tommy Clufetos, the drummer in Osbourne's band who's also played with Mitch Ryder, Alice Cooper and Ted Nugent, among others.
The Sabbath album is expected to be released in April, in time for the group's four-date tour of Australia that begins April 25. Black Sabbath will also headline the second of a two-night OZZFest in Japan on May 12 (Slipknot closes the first night, on May 11).
Iommi also gave Blair an update on his lymphoma battle, saying that "I'm a survivor up until now. I'm still very new to it. It's great that there's somebody doing something about it and trying to get rid of this awful disease. Things like this is what's needed to make people aware of what's going on."
CLICK HERE to learn out more about Gary Graff and his award-winning music journalism including the books he has written on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.
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