HEAVEN & HELL - Tony Iommi On Vinny Appice: "We Fired Him"
by Martin Popoff
Reports are pouring in that BLACK SABBATH Mk. II (technically Mk. III, I guess), have turned in a solid sledge of doom, perhaps a mite slow and expected - even safe - but seven ways to Sunday Bloody Sunday, a triumph of experience over expected cynicism.
"Yeah, we're looking forward to it, mate. We've enjoyed doing the record as well," begins Tony Iommi, on the subject of the record's impending release (on April 28th - this writer's birthday, I might add). Walking through the construction of the album, Tony says that the process started o'er at his place, in his well-equipped home studio...
"Yeah, and there we put together the basic 'Breaking Into Heaven' track; that was the first one. But mainly, at my studio, this time, I just put a lot of stuff down on CD, a lot of ideas, and went off to LA with quite a bit of stuff, really. And the idea was, we all thought we would do a CD, Ronnie (James Dio - vocals) would do one, and Geezer (Butler - bass) would do one, of their ideas. So we met up at Ronnie's house, his studio, and just went through the CDs of what we've got to work on, and we picked out a particular riff we wanted to work on, or I might've done half the song, and it just needed some more parts, and then we would start building them up, really, one track at a time. And we were at Ronnie's house for what, about six weeks, I think, so we wrote some new parts, and we'd probably done about six tracks then, at that point."
What would be on the CDs? What would be on Geezer's CD, for example?
"It's just bits of riffs, really. Geezer tends to go in and sort of play riffs, and it might be just 20 minutes of playing. And then you narrow it down to pick a couple of riffs. 'Oh, that's a good one; we'll use that.' That's how he tends to do it. With mine, I tend to work it out more, and pick out ones where I knew it was quite suitable. Whereas Geezer would play quite a few things. And he had quite a few good riffs on it, and Ronnie did as well. It was pretty healthy, to have so much stuff that we could go through and use." Both Geez and Ronnie would ended up playing guitar on their respective demo CDs, with Ronnie, unsurprisingly adding lyric and vocal ideas as well.
HEAVEN & HELL - Tony Iommi On Vinny Appice: "We Fired Him" Page 2