It seems Black Sabbath are set to rise from the grave once again.
The legendary heavy metal outfit have reportedly scheduled a press conference for November 11th in Los Angeles, where it’s expected they’ll announce details of a reunion tour and/or a new studio album.
According to various online stories, all four original members of Sabbath - singer Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward - will be at the news conference, which is to be held at 11:11 a.m. at the Whiskey A Go Go and will be hosted by punk rocker and notorious Sabbath fan Henry Rollins.
Lending credence to the stories: On Friday Nov. 4, Black Sabbath’s home page at www.blacksabbath.com was updated with a graphic reading “Black Sabbath 11.11.11.”
Rumours of a Sabbath reunion have circulated for years, but the buzz has grown in recent months, with the various members - who have not toured together since 2005 - indicating they would be open to the idea.
In September 2010, Butler told me he was up for it: “I've always said I'd love to do one final world tour. When we reunited the last time, we really concentrated on America and Western Europe. But the original band has never played Japan. And we only went to Australia a couple of times in the ’70s. Now there are all sorts of new places to play in Eastern Europe and South America. I'd like to do that.”
Osbourne didn't seem equally keen when I spoke to him a month later:
“I bet he would (like to reunite),” Ozzy said with a laugh when asked about Butler’s wishes. “Um, I’m not saying I wouldn’t do it. But not right now. I’ve got another year to finish my tour. And if I do a Black Sabbath tour, he’s got to promise to stop fucking moaning.
Geezer, I love him. But he’s always on about something. He’s like, ‘Ohhhhh.’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, great to see you too, Geezer.’ ”
More recently, it appears that hatchet has been buried. Iommi has been quoted as saying that all four members were interested in reuniting and had even rehearsed at least once, while he has been stockpiling songs for a new studio album — which would be the first Sabbath outing since 1978’s Never Say Die to feature the original lineup.
Stay tuned for more details.