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Tony Iommi opened up to Guitar World about his 2011 battle with cancer in the magazine’s July issue, recalling the events leading up to his diagnosis.
The iconic guitarist was fresh off his book tour for the autobiographical Iron Man and was in the process of reuniting with Black Sabbath, when, after discovering a lump in his groin, he was diagnosed with lymphoma.
Though the news understandably derailed the band’s reunion, after several months of treatment, he was back and ready to jump into recording a new Sabbath album.
Along with the rest of the band’s original lineup, including Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward, the new LP would mark the foursome’s first since their 1978 album, Never Say Die! But in early 2012, Ward shocked his band mates when he announced that he was leaving the group once again.
"We waited a long time for Bill and we wanted to sort it out," Iommi explains to Guitar World. "But at the end of the day, especially after I was diagnosed, I thought, 'F***ing hell, that’s it. We’ve got to get a move on. I might pop off next year!' So I emailed him and said, ‘Bill, we can’t wait any longer. We’ve got to get on with it.’ And that was it."
The band recovered, and two years after his diagnosis, Iommi , Ozzy and Geezer, along with drummer Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave fame, and infamous producer Rick Rubin, are now gearing up for the release of their new album 13.
Iommi told Guitar World of the album's recording process, "I didn’t want to sound hokey, trying to cop Paranoid or Master of Reality. But at the end of the day, you just have to go with your heart and ‘let go and let god,’ as they say. I’ll know if I’m cutting corners and if I can do a better vocal take or melody."
The LP, which has the guys returning to Sabbath’s earlier sound, will be released on June 11 and supported by several tour dates. The new issue of Guitar World is available now at the magazine’s online store.
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