There’s plenty of talk about a Black Sabbath reunion for 2008. It’s just not coming from the band members themselves. Guitarist Tony Iommi tells Billboard.com that even though “everybody’s been talking to me” about the much-reported regrouping, “there’s nothing in stone at all. It’s very loose, so we’ll see what happens.”
Sharon Osbourne, original frontman Ozzy Osbourne’s wife and manager, indicated earlier this year that Sabbath would be working together in 2008, and recently confirmed that “we’re definitely talking to the guys.” She hopes to further the discussions while Ozzy is on the road this fall on his post-Ozzfest tour with Rob Zombie and as Iommi and bassist Terry “Geezer” Butler finish up their Heaven & Hell tour with Ronnie James Dio.
Iommi says he’d like to see any Sabbath reunion involve some new music; the group’s original lineup hasn’t released a full set of fresh material since 1978’s “Never Say Die!,” though it did include a couple of new tracks on the 1998 live album “Reunion.”
“I’ve been going on for a few years now saying I think we should’ve done an album a long time ago,” Iommi explains. “It would be nice to do one, but, again, it’s having the time to do it. I haven’t written an album with Ozzy for a long time, so we’ll have to see how long that’ll take, and what it involves.”
Iommi says he and Osbourne have been talking throughout the year and reports that the singer is “doing quite alright. He sounded fine when I spoke to him. We usually check in with each other and say, ‘How you doing?'”
Heaven & Hell, meanwhile, is gearing up for a second North American tour, which kicks off Sept. 5 with opening acts Alice Cooper and Queensryche. This time out the group is supporting the “Live From Radio City Music Hall” CD and DVD, and Iommi and Butler acknowledged that they’re intrigued by the possibility of continuing this band as well.
“It could happen, but we’re not planning anything yet,” says Butler. “We’ve always said it’s just for this year only and that’s it. But if something happens in the future … I mean, I didn’t even know this was gonna happen a year ago, so never say never.”
Iommi adds, “I think we’d probably like to do something, whether it’s an album or whatever, because it’s such a great lineup. We’ve sort of mentioned it, but we’ve not really gone further with it. I think when we get to the end of this year we’ll probably make some kind of decision.”