Geezer Butler Compares Early Sabbath to Coldplay: 'You Like Them, but You Pretend You Don't'

Bassist draws a parallel between the metal pioneers' early stage and the Chris Martin-fronted four-piece.

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You might have thought that metal icons Black Sabbath always had a fan base that took great pride in following and enjoying the work of legendary Birmingham four-piece, but bassist Geezer Butler begs to differ, as he recently drew an interesting parallel between the group's early days and none other than Coldplay.

As Butler told the Telegraph, although the band had achieved great success with their first three records, they were still often labeled as the "rock's lowest common denominator."

"It was like admitting to liking Coldplay nowadays," Geezer explained , "where you like them, but you pretend you don't."

Singer Ozzy Osbourne also had a confession to make, as he admitted that the main reason why Sabbath didn't make a record eleven years ago was his own ego.

"I was riding on this f--king cloud of being television's new megastar for five minutes," the singer said. "I was doing well on my own, so it took me a while to get that balanced out in my head. I mean, it's not Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath. It's f--king Black Sabbath. It's different from me doing my own thing."

As far as the future of Sabbath goes, Ozzy pointed out that everything mostly depends on guitarist Tony Iommi and his health.

"It depends on Tony," Osbourne said. "At the moment, we're doing so many weeks on the road, then he has to go back for more treatment. He's had chemo and radiotherapy, and now he's on a thing to boost his immune system. I really hope it's gone for good. I'm sure it has. But you never know with that stuff."

The riff lord chipped in with a brief conclusion and an ironic chuckle, saying "It's all down to God."

The latest Sabbath studio effort, "13," dropped on June 11 via Vertigo/Universal Records, earning the metal icons their first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in history, as well as the first No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart in 43 years.

107 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Dammit, I am running out of time to say something clever and win the medal.
    I don't know, I do genuinely enjoy about 3 or 4 Coldplay songs, but a band whose own vocalist says that "our music sucks" doesn't inspire me much trust, though...
    The early Sabbath albums are ****in legendary, I dont know a Sabbath fan that doesnt love them.
    I like coldplay. I'm not ashamed of that.
    There 1st 3 albums were great, after that I thought they went downhill.
    I've liked all their stuff up to the latest album.
    Was their new albums sound a lot poppier or is this just a normal level of distaste for Coldplay?
    When every single has something put for sing along in a live enviroment I think it is. Hurts Like Heaven: ooooohhhh's Paradise: Para,para,paradise Charlie Brown: Oooooh oooh ooh's before all verses/chorus Rihana Tune: More of that. Before that I think only viva la vida song had it, maybe speed of sound(third album 2005 single) as a strech.
    I like Viva La Vida. I think it's pretty good.
    I bought viva la vida during all the hype and thought it was ok, only to set it aside. few years later my friend showed me their early stuff, thought it was great and now viva la vida sounds better to me. though they still aren't exactly my kind of thing
    I thought viva la vida was their best album
    Viva la Vida had some of my favourite songs and really interesting songwriting but the title track was overplayed to death, my favourite would have to be X and Y, amazing title track, speed of sound, and a pervading epic atmosphere that gives me chills.
    I seriously never felt the need to hide my tastes in music from people. Someone says my taste in music is shit, I say the same thing about him/her and that's it, all in good fun. (On a side note, my music taste is just awesome)
    I don't feel bad for liking Coldplay. Actually I don't feel bad for anything I do.
    To explain my comment above, between Zeeppelin, the Beatles, Black Sabbath, the Stones, and I guess I'm forgetting Jimi Hendrix, you have the foundations of almost every rock band
    Aidy Gerrard`
    I was once in an Alt-rock band. Then my guitarist got into Coldplay....I'm no longer in a band.
    Depends, did he pick up Jonny Bucklands style, or Chris Martins songwriting? Or in other words: Did he begin playing tastefull, and subtle parts to supplement your music, or did he begin writing boring, generic songs, using the same chord-progressions over and over?
    I don't pretend to hate coldplay. It was ingrained in me to hat them from an early time.
    I think Geezer's confusing the hate Sabbath got from critics in their early years with the hate Coldplay get from people who like to avoid musically induced comas.
    I'm not surprised by this. Outside of the small little world of guitar players, and guitar players who play heavy music, most people are shocked if you try to say Black Sabbath is one of the most important rock bands of all probably top three or four (Beatles, Stones, Zeppelin, Sabbath?) Coldplay's first couple albums are good albums, and kind of set the tone of 2000's soft, indie, rock music. A lot of bands coming out now would owe to those first two. Not a bold statement to be made.
    I have plenty of friends who don't play guitar, some of which who listen to mostly pop music, who appreciate Sabbath's influence and think they're really cool even if they don't listen to them
    I don't hate Coldplay just for the sake of hating Coldplay. I just honestly can't stand their music. And I'm not ashamed to say that either.
    Think you're taking it a little too personally there lol, he's just quoting a movie.
    In my book, Coldplay have two great albums (Parachutes and A rush of blood to the head), and the rest of their material is basically "meh" with one, or two standout tracks on each album I think the main reasons they're hated among regular music fans is because of bandwagon-hate, caused by that a handfull of songs from them (Clocks, The scientist, Fix you, Viva la vida) have been played to death by radiostations worldwide. And honestly, I can't stand any of those songs myself for the same reason. The reason they're hated by metal/rock fans though is obvious - They're too light, poppy, and whimsical. Also, I also think Geezer is wrong on this - Black sabbath's first albums are amazing, and awesome by any standard!
    The problem with the early Sabbath albums is that back in those days the technology was such that the recordings didn't really do justice to how heavy those songs actually were. If you want proof, go on Youtube and find an old live video of them playing Warpigs.
    I had that coldplay thinh for a little time a (long) while back. Then I looked at the other music and thought "oh what the f-ck, I listen to a lot of wierd sh-t anyways."
    That proves the fact that even the best today's bands, the iconic ones, were among those who 'suck' in their early days. It's always time.
    I guess that means Nickelback will be legendary in 20 years.
    Not every band exactly, but Coldplay, at least, are more talented.
    At least Nickelback try to put interesting material in their songs from time to time, don't get me wrong, they fail, but at least they try.
    I don't mind saying I dislike Coldplay. I find them boring. That is just my own opinion of course but an opinion I will never change.
    Ive always hated Coldplay. If anything im not ashamed to admit that im not a fan of Sabbath, though I do acknowledge the massive influence they have on Heavy Metal.
    Uh no. I don't pretend to not like bands I don't like. And I genuinely do not like Coldplay.
    Nope. Still don't like Coldplay. Love early Sabbath, though. I didn't even mind Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die!. They weren't great, but not absolutely awful. I guess, considering Sabbath's legacy now, it's "easier" to admit to liking their music compared to when they were still relatively new.
    I don't get that way of thinking: not being to like a band as easy because they're new. If you like 'em, you like 'em, and if they suck, you don't. What's so hard about that? Just grow some balls and be straightforward about it... That being said, early Sabbath rules more than anything.
    Hey, I agree. If I like something, I'll be open about it, and if I don't, I'll say I don't. People may get all pissy because you said you don't like their favorite band, or make fun of you for liking something, but who cares, really? Atleast you're being honest.
    I don't mind Coldplay, I just find them really, really vanilla. Their style could be interesting with the level of dynamics and contrast they seem to have but to me they have all the appeal of a painting of a bowl of fruit. They're like if U2 and Radiohead had a really, really boring baby.
    Nickelback is like that too everyone likes them but hates them too
    Beyond Hero, Saving Me, and maybe one other piece I'm not the biggest fan of theirs, but I'm like that with all bands and genres. I like some things, but don't like others, never found my go to group/artist/style. Maybe I'm weird, or an alien or was dropped on my head.
    Didn't know UG was full of homophobes. Liking or disliking a band doesn't make you gay and even if it did, that's not a bad thing.
    You missed the joke. Go watch 40 Year Old Virgin. Then it makes sense :
    I didn't realize quoting a movie, or even making a simple joke, made you a homophobe. Chill the hell out.
    Black Sabbath and Coldplay in the same sentence?!!!! I hope next time is because Ozzy bit the head off the singer. Coldplay are so over rated, sirupy ballads and elevator music, I mean, their most "rocking" song is called Yellow. I rest my case.
    I prefer Coldplay to Sabbath, if I'm being honest. They have some deep cuts, fo' sho'.
    I don't think he meant to compare their music with each other. More likely he compares the circumstancies: the time when Sabbath started and was hated but still secretly liked, to nowadays when bands like Coldplay are hated, but still some may like them even though they don't admit it. I'm not sure, but that's how I understood it. I can't personally stand bands like this Coldplay either. I hadn't honestly even heard about Coldplay until I just checked them from Youtube.
    Wouldn't consider myself a Coldplay fan but they do have their moments and can come up with a catchy melody. Plus the videos to Yellow (if you don't know what's cool about that video watch it all the way through then go back to the beginning) and The Scientist are inspired. Black Sabbath are for sure a great and influential band but again wouldn't consider myself a fan. Not sure if I've ever even heard any of the Dio stuff. 13 is impressive on first listen though!
    I like t.A.T.u., love Limp Bizkit, even like a couple of Nickelback and Puddle of Mudd songs. I think when the genre is right, there's a good chance even bands considered bad can crank out a few decent songs. Never liked Coldplay though, their music is not my cup of tea.
    i hate coldplay because Viva la Vida is a blatant ripoff of "If I could Fly" by joe satch. lol. i hate when bands plagiarize. theres some shitty rapper that stole an opeth riff (clean credence outro riff, i can't remember the rapper). i just wanted to kill someone.
    You should get that checked out, bro...those are SERIOUS anger issues. Wanting to kill somebody because they stole a specific melody played on a guitar is kinda pretty bad.
    I just don't like Coldplay. They're not my kind of music. Other people like them, fair enough, but myself, it's a huge, totally non-overstated, unequivocal, 'no thank you'.
    I don't think it really compares at all... People didn't like Sabbath because they were supposedly boneheaded, their music was dark and heavy and people found it scary and/or depressing. People dislike Coldplay because they're overtly intellectual, pretentious, their music and lyrics are saccharine. I don't see how this compares, they're nearly complete opposites.