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Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler said in a new interview with California radio station KCAL-FM that the band's new album -- the first in 34 years to feature Butler, guitarist Tony Iommi and singer Ozzy Osbourne -- is also the first that the original members of the band have made while completely sober. Butler explained, "None of us have been drinking or doing drugs or anything. It's a bit more professional in that way. We stuck to a schedule: every day we'd go in at one o'clock and finished at six. Five hours a day and that's it."
Ozzy told us a while back that it took him a long time to realize he could make music without using drugs: "I used to get so frustrated with myself. I mean, I thought that you had to get loaded to make songs. I just thought drugs and alcohol are probably the major inspiration of making music, which I truly believed that because I'd never made a record without using it. And I thought it was that was making me creative."
Asked about the sound of the new album, Butler said, "It's got the feel of the first three albums, back to the basic rawness. The lyrics are about life, death, doom and everything else. You get Prozac with each album . . . "
Butler said that the addition of Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk for recording purposes -- replacing founding drummer Bill Ward -- was producer Rick Rubin's idea, explaining, "Rick suggested Brad because he's more in the vein of Bill Ward. We jammed with him and he sounded great with the stuff, so we went with that. We're sort of back to the way we used to be in the 70s and that's Brad's feel -- a sort of jazzy, bluesy feel."
Butler also revealed that the reported name of the new Sabbath album, 13, may change, saying, "It was sort of a temporary name, so we had something to refer to. It kinda stuck -- but I don't know whether that's going to be the final title or not . . . Originally we were going to put 13 tracks on the album. We ended up doing 16, but I'm not sure what's going to be on the album or what isn't."
The new Black Sabbath album -- the band's 19th overall -- is due out in June.