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Ozzy Osbourne, right, and Geezer Butler of the rock band Black Sabbath. AP
Ozzy Osbourne, right, and Geezer Butler of the rock band Black Sabbath. AP

Black Sabbath will go on tour to promote 13, their new album

'I never thought we'd still be going strong in 2013,' said Ozzy Osbourne.

Forty-three years ago, Black Sabbath released its debut self-titled album, a collection of songs powered by heavy-metal guitar riffs. Now, three of the original band members – the singer Ozzy Osbourne, the guitarist Tony Iommi and the bassist Geezer Butler – and the drummer Brad Wilk, of Rage Against the Machine, have released a new album, 13, and are planning to tour the world to promote it.

“I never thought we’d still be going strong in 2013,” said Osbourne, whose well-publicised battles with addiction led to friction with other members of Black Sabbath. “But it’s great to be back together again.”

13, the original band’s first studio album since 1978, is being released this week. A tour is scheduled to begin this summer in the US followed by concerts in South America and Europe later in the year.

Osbourne said the band had tried to get back together in 2001 but nothing gelled.

This time the music flowed. Osbourne said Iommi, who is being treated for lymphoma (diagnosed a year ago), had great riffs, which the band narrowed down to 10 tracks.

“Working on this album helped Tony take his mind off his illness but he never talks about it,” Osbourne said.

He added that the best thing now is that the band members are together: “It is a lot more fun being sober and enjoying your fellow workers.”

Despite being together so long, Butler said the band is attracting younger fans. “We’ve got older but the audience has stayed the same,” he explained. “And then you get like a few people who are our age and you see all the grey hair glinting.”

For Osbourne, touring now is better than it has ever been.

“It’s all right until I have voice trouble and it takes me a couple of gigs to get over the fact that I’ve been the leader of my own band for 35 years or so and that I have to step back and be a band member. It’s just getting used to it and it has worked out great in the end.” – Reuters

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