Forget those rumors that Ozzfest will have to do without Ozzy Osbourne in the future. The Prince of Darkness told reporters during a teleconference today that he'll be at the top of the 2008 Ozzfest bill -- "as far as I know."
He did not, however, indicate whether the annual heavy metal summer trek would remain free for attendees, as it was this past summer, saying that would be his wife, manager and Ozzfest creator Sharon Osbourne's decision.
Osbourne -- who begins an arena tour with Rob Zombie on Oct. 18 in Seattle -- told Billboard.biz that any Black Sabbath plans in 2008, for Ozzfest or separately, are up in the air. "I'm the last person to be told anything," he cracked, but Osbourne noted that he felt if Sabbath was to do anything it would have to be up to a certain standard.
"I'd love to do another Black Sabbath album," Osbourne said. "We did try and write together; there are a bunch of things written. But the problem I'm having is it's got to be at least on the same level as when we departed. If it's not, then what's the point in doing it. I'm definitely doing another album, whether with my own band or Sabbath. As long as I'm not doing bullsh*t..."
Osbourne said that his upcoming arena trek, still supporting his latest album, "Black Rain," came about because "I happened to mention to Sharon at the beginning of this year that one thing I really miss is doing arenas, 'cause the Ozzfest, we didn't think it would last nowhere near as long as it did. I just missed doing arenas. It's part of what rock'n'roll's about."
In the wide-ranging conversation, Osbourne also said he has no plans to write a book (blaming poor short-term memory) and will not be cooperating with filmmaker Peter Margolis' forthcoming documentary about Osbourne's original guitarist, the late Randy Rhoads. He did, however, defend Sharon from attacks made in the British press by her brother David Arden, who said that "she will keep Ozzy on the road until ... he dies on stage."
"Let me put this straight -- my wife does not get involved with telling me about working," Osbourne said. "My wife can't make me do anything I don't want to do. I think the guy needs to see a f*cking psychiatrist."