Geezer Butler: ''13' Is First Sober Sabbath Album'

Black Sabbath bassist also notes that the title might not stick.

Ultimate Guitar

Back in the day, Black Sabbath were noted for their hard partying excesses, and indeed, it was those overindulgences that led the original line-up to splinter. So to be back in the studio after 30 years apart, and to be completely sober, has been a different experience to the band.

As Classic Rock notes, bassist Geezer Butler had the following to say, when talking to KCAL FM:

"None of us have been drinking or doing drugs or anything. Its a bit more professional in that way. We stuck to a schedule: every day wed go in at one oclock and finished at six. Five hours a day and thats it."

"Its 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..."

Geezer has also revealed that the title, "13", was a temporary name for the album, and may not stick for the final release:

"It was sort of a temporary name, so we had something to refer to. It kinda stuck but I dont know whether thats going to be the final title or not."

The album was also not going to be called "13" because of the year, according to Geezer, but because of the number of songs on the album: "Originally we were going to put 13 tracks on the album," Butler says. "We ended up doing 16, but Im not sure whats going to be on the album or what isnt."

He also notes that it was Rick Rubin's suggestion to have Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk play on the record: "He didnt want a typical heavy metal drummer on the album because it's not really a heavy metal album. It's more heavy rock.

"Rick suggested Brad because hes more in the vein of Bill Ward. We jammed with him and he sounded great with the stuff, so we went with that. Were sort of back to the way we used to be in the 70s and thats Brads feel a sort of jazzy, bluesy feel."

56 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Drugs may have hurt their playing but as you can clearly see it may have helped them in the past when picking album names
    "Original" Sabbath have a sorry history with record labels changing album names at the last minute. Paranoid was supposed to be called War Pigs, Vol. 4 was supposed to be called Snowblind so hopefully they'll step in again and change it from 13 which sounds bad to me.
    The album was also not going to be called "13" because of the year, according to Geezer, but because of the number of songs on the album: "Originally we were going to put 13 tracks on the album," Butler says. "We ended up doing 16..." Very Spinal Tap.
    Danjo's Guitar
    Rick Rubin produces fricken everyone and their moms. And I do wish Bill could have been involved. Still looking forward to see what they come out with.
    Yeaah.. Still bummed about Bill.
    Same... You know who else is in the vein of Bill Ward? BILL WARD! lol Having that said, this will be awesome and I can't wait!
    "Its got the feel of the first three albums, back to the basic rawness." Anyone else notice that whenever bands haven't released anything good (or anything at all) in a while, their new album always "is like our really early stuff," "gets back to the basics of when we started," etc?
    Yeah, and in most cases it fails miserably. I hope this will be an exception
    This should be exception to that practice. I mean, Tony couldn't write a bad riff even if he wanted to \m/.
    Yeah, and usually the new album that was supposed to sound like the old albums doesn't sound anything like the old albums.
    I just hope it isn't the usual Rick Rubin over-under-produced sound. If that makes any sense. It's as though he goes out of his way to make a record sound like crap, instead of leaving it alone to create a natural rawness.
    Agreed. So, many of the albums he has produced end up being so loud and as a result heavily compressed thus losing that natural rawness, like Death Magnetic and By the Way (you can really hear the heavily compressed bass track during the chorus of "Don't Forget Me" totally destroys the chorus as a result).
    I am hoping that it is not compresed like Metallica and that Rubin brings them back to that sound and feel of their first few albums... Like he did for Cash and recently Neil Diamond... Yes ... I fuucking mentioned Neil... His album from Rubin was damn good and it brought him back to the singer-songwriter he
    This album is gonna be sick! I hope they release the 3 extra songs. I always find a bonus track to be my overall favorite track on an album.
    "You get Prozac with each album..." Funniest thing that I've heard all day.
    I don't like that Rick Rubin called this new album heavy rock. It's BLACK SABBATH. They are heavy metal. They started it all. I am excited to see Brad Wilk on drums though. Never would have guessed they would go with him of all the drummers out there.
    Sheep Shagger
    Bill was a jazz drummer -- not a metal drummer. Tony was a blues guitarist before the band changed their name from Earth to Black Sabbath. Heavy rock is the perfect description of the band's early sound.
    Darn you Sheep Shagger! You posted what I wanted to say. You are right though. Tony played blues while Bill was in jazz bands.
    When bands like Black Sabbath and Cream reunite after years of sobriety, it seems like they just aren't what they used to be. Not that I have low expectations but I'm not expecting the album to be as crazy and off the walls as their past work.
    Thats probobly for the better. I wonder if theyll make a snowblind or sweetleaf?
    Maybe they will do some drugs just to pick the name. Then quit again.
    Sober? That doesn't sound very promising, but the bit about the drummer definitely did. A modern metal drummer wouldn't fit Sabbath at all.
    No drinking or drugs? This is going to sound terrible. Le sigh, sabbath, le sigh.
    Brad Wilk....of Rage? He's Jazzy, and Bluesy...and...Rappy? I mean, good for him for getting work, I think the Rage guys are way too talented to just sit around... but I dunno, that's like Lars quitting and Metallica getting Linkin Park's drummer...just doesn't seem like it's gunna fit.
    Wilk is the perfect Ward replacement. Rage's music is all riff based anyways, and he knows how to work with that and add the appropriate feel to the appropriate riffs. Glad they went with him over some modern-metal double bass drummer (Nothing wrong with that, but it would've made this Sabbath album sound like a recent Ozzy release).
    I personally like Tommy Clufetos. When I saw Ozzy live with him, he, Blasko, and Gus G nailed Rat Salad (and several other classic Sabbath tunes). The drum solos was awesome. I swear Tommy is probably the closest thing to being Bill Ward's reincarnation and one can get.
    I disagree with most of what you say, but that is a very funny comment about Linkin Park's drummer.
    ''s not really a heavy metal album' just killed any enthusiasm I had for this release. Dammit, Dio why did you have to die?!
    Not sure whether to downvote or upvote this. One one hand, I agree. Dio shouldn't have died, and Heaven and Hell should still be making music. On the other hand, what's wrong with it being more "heavy rock" and less "heavy metal"?
    Yeah, the sound of this "bluesy drumming" that they mention sounds awesome. Sabbath had so many funky blues elements to their music. I am glad to hear that they will still incorporate this.
    In my opinion, the best drummer to replace Bill would be Brann Dailor from Mastodon. He's a pretty fill-based drummer,just like Bill.