Raskaan rockin legenda Black Sabbath on parhaillaan ”The End” -nimisellä jäähyväiskiertueellaan, joka päättyy helmikuussa kahteen konserttiin yhtyeen kotikaupungissa Birminghamissa. Elokuussa syöpänsä taltuttaneen kitaristi Tony Iommin mukaan kiertämisestä aiheutuva fyysinen rasitus on hänelle liikaa, mutta uuden musiikin julkaisemista hän pitää vielä mahdollisena. Iommi on nyt antanut Fozzy-yhtyeen vokalistina ja show-painijana tunnetulle Chris Jericholle tämän ”Talk Is Jericho” -podcastissa haastattelun, jossa hän kertoo Black Sabbathin saattavan soittaa tulevaisuudessa vielä yksittäisiä keikkoja. Iommi kertoo:
”I don’t wanna stop playing. Just for me, it’s the touring now. There’s gotta be a day when you’ve gotta go, ’Look, we’ve done it for fifty years now’ — it’s almost fifty years — it’s time to re-look at it again now.”
Iommi paljasti myös epäröineensä, pystyisikö hän enää ikinä esiintyä livenä sen jälkeen, kun hänellä diagnosoitiin lympfooma eli imusolmuke syöpä vuonna 2012. Iommi kävikin hoidossa koko 2013 soitetun viimeisimmän kiertueen ajan. Hän kommentoi:
”It was difficult, ’cause we actually wrote [BLACK SABBATH’s comeback] album [’13’] and recorded through that as well. I thought at that point, ’Well, this is it. I’m not gonna be around this time next year.’ That’s really what I thought. And I thought, ’Let’s get it done.’ And everybody really pulled, and I think they all sort of felt a bit like that.
”We worked [on some of the recordings] at my house, at the studio, because I was having treatment, [and] I had to stay; I couldn’t fly [so] I had to stay in England. So everybody came and we worked at my house and put the stuff together.
”In between writing, I’d gotten treatments, and I had to go every day for radiotherapy. So it was quite a lot of stuff. I’d lost a lot of weight, and it was awful, really. But they just carried on as normal. ’Go on and have a lie down, if you feel like it. We’ll carry on,’ or, ’Well do it tomorrow.’ They tried to all [be] understanding. And we managed to do it. And then I was still going for a different treatment while we were touring — every six weeks, I’d have to go for another treatment. So we’d done the tour. We worked it out around then. I had to have that for a year. So we worked it out in blocks. When I’d come back [home], I had the treatment, and I had to wait to feel better to go out on the road again. But it sort of worked.”
Iommi kertoi myös sairautensa osallisuudesta ”13”-albumin materiaaliin:
”I think it made the music a bit more intense as well, because feeling that… ’Oh, God, this could possibly be the last time we do an album and play. Or maybe not even be on a tour,'” he said. ”So it was very emotional for everybody, I think, at that time, ’cause nobody knew what was… Well, we never know anyway, but it was just that feeling… And then, of course, when we went to record the album, and [producer] Rick Rubin wanted to do it in his studio in L.A., I had to come over, and we did the same again — we’d record for a bit, and I’d have to go back to England, have a treatment, wait there for a month and then come back to carry on recording. We had to work around it.”
”The End” -jäähyväiskiertuetta hän kommentoi seuraavasti:
”It feels almost… I don’t think it’s sunk in on some cases, and in other places, it has,.
”When we did Australia early on, it was, like, ’This is the last time I’m gonna be here as this band.’ And it sort of sunk in then. And it’s getting to be like that now, because this will be the last time [we’re playing these places] on this tour. But, yeah, to know that this is sort of the final thing, it’s a bit weird, really. And we’re not making a big thing of it on the night; we [will just] play and come off. But I think eventually, as it gets closer, it’s suddenly gonna go, ’Bang.'”
Kysyttäessä mitä hän aikoo tehdä kiertueen viimeisen keikan jälkeen, Iommi vastasi:
”I’m wondering, because it’s gonna be such a weird thing, because BLACK SABBATH’s always been my life, ever since Day One, and everything’s fell by the wayside to BLACK SABBATH — all the marriages and everything — over the band, basically — because I’m always out working and always doing this, always in the studio. So it’s gonna be pretty weird that last show. I don’t even know how anybody’s gonna feel. It’s gonna be strange. And after that, who knows? ’Cause I’ve been asked this: ’What are you gonna do after this?’ Well, I don’t know. [Laughs] As long as it’s not world touring, I’m all right. It’s just the traveling that gets me now. Since I was ill, it really does affect me now.”
Lisäksi hän vahvisti vielä haluavansa jatkaa soittamista, vaikka Black Sabbath ei enää lähtisikään kiertueelle:
”Shows here and there are fine.”
”It’s just the constant ’You’ve gotta be here for a month, and there for six weeks,’ and we’ve done it for that long now. It was only when I got ill, that’s when I stated getting vulnerable. Before that, I could do anything. But it just showed me when I was diagnosed, I suddenly felt deflated and lost a lot of confidence. And they’re going, ’You shouldn’t be flying, really.’ And, ’You shouldn’t be doing this, you shouldn’t be doing that.’ So that’s what brought that about — the end of this, really, because the constant touring does eventually get to you.”
Kysyttäessä suoraan uskooko hän yhtyeen soittavan tulevaisuudessa yksittäisiä konsertteja, Iommi vastasi:
”I wouldn’t write that off, if one day that came about. That’s possible. Or even doing an album, ’cause then, again, you’re in one place. But I don’t know if that would happen.”
Koko haastattelun voit kuunnella täällä.