Journalist and musician Barbara Caserta of Italian web radio Linearock.it recently conducted an interview with legendary heavy metal guitarist Tony Iommi (BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN HELL) about WHOCARES — the renewed musical union between Iommi and DEEP PURPLE singer Ian Gillan — as well as Tony‘s other projects and future plans. You can now listen to the entire 21-minute chat using the audio player below.
On the one-year anniversary of Ronnie James Dio‘s (BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN HELL, RAINBOW, DIO) death:
Iommi: “I can’t believe how a year has gone by so quickly. Since Ronnie‘s passing, there was a lot of grief and a lot of upset because we shared a lot of life together. Being in the same band together, we got very close, and we were very good friends. And when somebody goes that quick, it’s very much of a shock, and I can’t tell you how sad the whole thing’s been. And it took a long time to even, sort of, let it go. And, of course, now every year it will remind us of Ronnie. But he’s got a great legacy and his fans loved him. That’s what he would have wanted; he always lived for his fans, for every one person out there. And he was a true genius, really, and a true believer in what he did. And he would never let the fans down, and that’s a great thing about Ronnie… That’s one of the great things about Ronnie. So, yeah, he’ll be absolutely greatly missed.”
On his future plans:
Iommi: “I’ve got a lot of things in the can, but I can’t talk about that at the moment. I am doing my autobiography now [entitled ‘Iron Man: My Life With Black Sabbath And Beyond’], which comes out at the end of this year. I’m also doing [music for] three movies. It’s gonna be three altogether, but I’m doing one first and then we’ll take on another one next year or whenever. But I’ve signed up with a producer for three films. So that’s something else that’s gonna keep me very busy. And I’ve also got another project that I’m writing at the moment. I’m doing a lot of writing.”
On how he imagines himself in 10 years:
Iommi: “Dead. [Laughs] To be truthful… [Laughs] I would like to be here, I would love to be here. I really enjoy what I’m doing. I’m enjoying my time of life; I live where I’m at. I don’t have the pressures that I had 20 years ago or 30 years ago. I enjoy being able to play when I want to play now. And it’s great because it loosens your time to be able to write more music and we’ve not been doing constant touring like we were years ago. So it’s been good. I am looking forward to going on another tour — I would love to do that, and I will be doing that next year. But, at the moment, it’s been good being able to be at home and do the other things. Doing this book has been one thing that’s been quite opening for me, because I didn’t wanna do a book as such, but I did start off doing it and now I can read back and it shocks me, to be honest, when I read it. ‘Oh, my God, did I do that? Was it like that?’ Seeing it in writing makes you really realize some of the things that you did. It’s part of the past and part of what made us who we are today. So that’s been interesting doing that.”
WHOCARES will release its debut CD single in North America on June 27 via Eagle Rock Entertainment. The single will be made available in Europe on May 24 through earMUSIC. The digital release for both territories will be May 6.
The single features two brand new studio tracks “Out Of My Mind” and “Holy Water”, which will raise funds for the rebuilding of a music school in Gyumri, Armenia. The CD single will also contain the video clip of “Out Of My Mind” (see below) and a 40-minute documentary that shows Gillan‘s and Iommi‘s involvement with the Armenia cause over the years.
Both Gillan and Iommi have spent a lot of time in Armenia, fallen in love with the country and the people and have dedicated a lot of work to a nation still shocked after the earthquake that struck Armenia on December 7, 1988.
The collaboration of Gillan and Iommi, who have worked together before on the SABBATH album “Born Again”, is in itself an incredible news for all rock and metal fans and will be the best of surprises to get to know who is completing the band: None other than Jon Lord (“Mr. Hammond”, partner with Gillan on all the DEEP PURPLE classics), IRON MAIDEN drummer Nicko McBrain, ex-METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted and HIM guitarist player Mikko “Linde” Lindström are also featured on the two new songs.
“Out Of My Mind” recording lineup:
* Tony Iommi (BLACK SABBATH) – Guitar
* Ian Gillan (DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH) – Vocals
* Jason Newsted (METALLICA, VOIVOD, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM) – Bass
* Nicko McBrain (IRON MAIDEN) – Drums
* Jon Lord (DEEP PURPLE) – Keyboards
* Mikko “Linde” Lindström (HIM) – Guitar