Ozzy Osbourne on Rick Rubin: 'I Thought he Was F--king Nuts'

The singer also blamed producer for excluding drummer Tommy Clufetos from the new album recording.

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Legendary Black Sabbath vocalist Ozzy Osbourne admitted being off to a bit of a rocky start with producer Rick Rubin prior to recording sessions of the metal pioneers' latest album "13."

During a recent Spin interview, Ozzy remembered how baffled he was by Rubin insisting on listening the group's eponymous debut effort, just to fully get his drift a few weeks later.

"I remember going to [Rubin's] house, and he was going on about the first album. I was like, 'What the f--k's the deal, man? Why the first album? We've all done a billion albums since then.' He goes, 'You're not a heavy metal band. The first one was a blues album.' And I go, 'Yeah.' And he goes, 'That's what I'm looking for.'"

The singer was befuddled. "I said, 'A blues album?! You want us to do a blues album?' I didn't know what the f--k he was on about. I thought he was f--king nuts. But I got the f--king punch line three weeks later. It wasn't that he wanted a blues album so much as he wanted the blues feel from us."

Ozzy also admitted being angry at Rubin for the way drummer Tommy Clufetos was treated. According to the vocalist, the bands touring drummer was on hold after the departure of Bill Ward and was dealt with very unprofessionally.

"We had Tommy on hold," Osbourne said. "And it just didn't work out. The way it was dealt with was wrong, because you can't keep people waiting for nothing. We were going to use Tommy at the beginning, and Rick was against it. And then it turned out that it wasn't dealt with professionally and I got a bit pi-sed off. Anyway, Tommy's doing a great job on the road with Sabbath."

One of the interview highlights also includes Ozzy calling the new record "far superior" to the last Sabbath record featuring him on the vocals, 1978's "Never Say Die."

"With 'Never Say Die,' we were down on our luck. We were just a fucking bunch of guys drowning in the fucking ocean. We weren't getting along with each other and we were all fucked-up with drugs and alcohol. And I got fired. It was just a bad thing," the singer said. "With this album, if we never do another thing together, I can rest my head on the pillow and say it went full circle."

Osbourne then remember the time he was touring with Metallica as his support act, reminiscing a few interesting moments from the road.

"I remember before Metallica got super big, they opened up for me on one of my tours. They were playing old Black Sabbath on the CD player. I go to my assistant, 'Are they taking the pi-s?' And he'd go, 'No, you're their idol.' And I'd go, 'What?' "And I remember their manager asked me at the end of the tour if I would mind coming on and jamming 'Paranoid.' I'm like, 'Are you f--cking joking?' I'm always the last one to get the f--king punch line. So this album, I can honestly rest my head and say, 'We pulled it off.' The only sad part is Bill never came around."

"13" dropped this Tuesday (June 11) via Vertigo/Universal Records as the nineteenth effort in the Sabbath opus. According to Billboard, the album is projected to sell well over 120,000 copies and quite possibly earn the four-piece their first chart-topper in 43 years.

53 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Sure, Rubin did a good job, ...but the guy who transcribes Ozzy interviews is the real hero.
    If I'm not mistaken, he's the same guy who transcribes Pearl Jam lyrics when Eddie doesn't understand what he's saying.
    You sir win the internet for the week. Also, it's hilarious that it goes back and forth between cutting out the swearing, and not.
    Ozzy: "Aaaaa I fou e w's FULLKEN nuts". Translation is "'I Thought he Was Fucking Nuts'
    am I the only one who read all the quotes hearing Ozzy's voice in my head?
    No because we're all deaf and have never heard Ozzy Osbourne talk before.
    You should have said "Yes" because if we were all deaf, than he would be the only person hearing it. Your sarcasm fails with errors....
    He's a good producer and all, but he doesn't fit with Metallica, idk. I didn't like Death Magnetic's sound. I hope he handles Metallica's next album like he handled "13", you know, gave it a ...and justice for all feel.
    How come some of the f-cks are blanked and some of the other ****s aren't!?
    When you're censoring Ozzy, something is gonna slip through the cracks - it's like damming an ocean with popsicle sticks
    I thought the album was a solid release from Sabbath. For a reunion album, my expectations were realistically low, but I thought they pulled it off. Only complaint was how generic a lot of the lyrics were. I found myself finishing half of the lyrics in my head on first listen... Glad Wilk was on the album though, and not Tommy. Wilk is a much more appropriate drummer for them. I just wish he was also on the tour.
    Rick Rubin's a f*cking genius, got my copy of the album yesterday. Not a single minute of that album is wasted, go buy it now!
    >It wasn't that he wanted a blues album so much as he wanted the blues feel from us. That's all about Rick Rubin BTW, he's very good producer. If you don't believe it, listen to "13."
    He manages to get a good vibe and feel from the music, although the actual tone of the instruments is too compressed to me. the guitars on 13 sound too similar to death magnetic(amp+effects wise, not the actual riffs).
    What you (and most of the public) are forgetting is that is not Rick's fault! He hasn't touched a mixing board in years. He more or less is just there to help the band get in the zone. There is a totally different person that comes in and mixes the album. If you want to blame someone, blame Andrew Scheps.
    I think there is much more dynamic feel from all the instruments on "13" than it was on Death Magnetic... But I still get headache if I listen to "13" too loud (which never happens with other music).
    Yeah, I can still hear some significant audible distortion just because it's so compressed.
    Concrete Jesus
    I think he gets the best out of whomever he is working with. I think Death Magnetic is great. I have seen and heard people complain about the sound, but I like it anyway.
    ..or the beastie boys, or system of a down, or slayer, or jay Z Infact, people give him a hard time because they didn't like death magnetic, ONE album he helped do. He's a GREAT producer.
    RUBIN RUBIN RUBIN. You do realise that these musicians are naturally talented. and none of them need him. I wish he would go away now, he is annoying me.
    That's why people bring him in. He let's bands be themselves and critiques the songs afterwards. He saved Metallica by not being around when they wrote the album. It wasn't like Bob Rock, who was essential in the song writing process.
    Cliff Burnstein gave them all the critique in the world. Even Lars dad told them when they'd made a shit track. EVERYONE told them to listen to the old stuff and make something METALLICA from it, they said NO, NO, NO. They never listened, all Bob Rock ever did was what he was told, and as one of the best mixers on this earth, he did a good job of it. Rick Rubin 'replaces' Bob Rock and suddenly their opening track has remnants of Battery in it and it for some reason is the best Metallica record since Justice. Well, no, actually, it isn't. LISTEN TO THE GUITARS. Nothing like some overcompressed digital chugging is there. The guitars on Load and ReLoad sound amazing. It's James who wanted to make it heavy metal blues. Not Bob Rock. Fact is. They don't need Rubin. Brock Lesnar could have mixed DM better than that sycophant they used.
    Unfortunately, I got a lot of the "been there done that vibe" from this album and like Sabbath already did it all. End of The Beginning sounds like "Black Sabbath"(the song). they have some new stuff, it's good but I was a bit disappointed.
    I felt the same way. I'm not overly impressed with the music on the album. It seems like they tried way too hard to be themselves.
    So you would prefer they try really hard to not be who they are? That makes no sense. It's impossible to win with people, really. If they would have done something completely off the wall and new, people would have pissed on them for changing it too much. When they play with the same vibe and feel they did in their prime, they're "boring."
    I think he's saying that "being yourself" isn't something you should have to "try" to do. It should just happen.
    How that could ever be deciphered is beyond me. They wrote music directly in line with their history...exactly what you would expect to hear from Sabbath. Perhaps they didn't "try" to be themselves at all (the thought of that is mind-boggling and makes no sense) and just wrote typical Sabbath, because that's how they write.
    I can't stand Rick Rubin. He's making tons of money for something that isn't hard to do, is actively ruining music by enforcing the loudness war even though it's already over (they found the limit, it's a brick wall of sound that is entirely unnecessary), and then people dump praise on him. Hate to break it to you, but you didn't do a good job on an album if you just left the settings from the last album you produced on. He probably didn't even produce it all. He probably got the mics set up and the band recorded and then BAM it's automatically mixed the same as every other album he's done.
    i loved the new Sabbath songs but it feels that the mixing could have been better. i dont really like rick rubin he sucks at doing his job