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As previously reported, the four original members of Black Sabbath—Ozzy Osbourne, Toni Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward—scheduled a press conference for 11:11 AM PST today. Now, we’ve learned that the seminal metal musicians have announced their decision to reunite under the classic Black Sabbath moniker for a world tour and new album produced by Rick Rubin in 2012.
Scene reporting and photos contributed by mxdwn reporter Aisha Humphrey.
As the long-awaited press conference began sharply at 11:11 AM, the four original members of Black Sabbath took the stage along with host Henry Rollins and the legendary Rick Rubin shortly thereafter to announce their reformation. That reformation will result in a world tour and new album produced by Rubin in 2012.
So far, Black Sabbath is confirmed that they are slated to headline the UK’s Download festival along with their aforementioned worldwide arena tour. The upcoming album, which currently remains untitled, will see a release sometime next fall.
As far as why they’re reuniting, Ozzy and guitarist Tony Iommi agree simply that “it’s time” for Black Sabbath to play again.
“[It is] great to be in a room and play music together,” said Iommi. “When we play together, it’s a real magical thing because no one sounds like us,” he added.
Black Sabbath with producer Rick Rubin.
The decision to go with Rubin as album producer was similarly natural, with Ozzy saying that Rubin was the most enthusiastic about working with the band.
“Rick kept phoning us up every five minutes,” said Ozzy. “He was the obvious choice.”
The upcoming album will serve as the group’s first in 33 years, with the last release being 1978’s Never Say Die!. That gap doesn’t seem to have affected the group’s dynamic much, as the new record is coming along well by Rubin and Butler’s accounts.
“We’ve been working on developing material and we’re halfway into the writing process. It’s inspiring hearing what’s coming out,” said Rubin of the record’s progress.
“The stuff that Tony’s making is absolutely brilliant and we know that this time. It’s really gonna happen,” said Butler.
Details regarding the tour are still somewhat slim, but Ozzy did confirm that no tour support is currently lined up.
“Not Alice Cooper, that’s for sure,” he quipped.
Black Sabbath reunited.
This is not the first time, however, that the original lineup of Black Sabbath has come together after their famous breakup. The 1990s saw an initial attempt, but recording sessions (still then with Rubin) were put off in favor of finishing Ozzy’s solo album at the time. Ultimately, the band decided to go back on hiatus.
Check out a promo video for the announcement below: