Tony Iommi on Final Black Sabbath Tour: ‘I Can’t Actually Do This Anymore’
If you have any doubts that Black Sabbath's recently announced final tour will be their last trek, guitarist Tony Iommi makes it very clear in a new interview that it is indeed the end of the road for the metal godfathers.
In an interview with the Birmingham Mail, Iommi says that his battle with lymphoma continues to take a toll on his body. "I can't actually do this anymore. My body won't take it much more," explains Iommi. "All the traveling involved in Sabbath tours increasingly takes its toll. That’s why we’re going out on one last tour, to say our farewells. And then it very definitely is the end. We won’t be doing it again."
He adds, "We've been doing this for getting on for 50 years now. It's about time we draw the line, don’t you think? It's been great but it’s time to stop now. Don’t get me wrong, I still love gigging. It's all the traveling and the exhaustion that goes with it that's the problem. That side of things has a big impact on me."
Iommi was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2012, and though he has found himself in remission, he continues to get blood tests regularly. "Yes, we may fly in luxury, stay in the very best hotels, ride in the most comfortable limos but there’s still a physical cost to touring. Even when we build in rest breaks – I have to have blood tests every six weeks – I find it tough going."
The guitar legend says that more dates will be revealed in addition to the North American and Australian legs announced a few days ago, as the tour will likely last roughly a year.
As for a new Black Sabbath album, Iommi says there are no definite plans as of yet. "I’ve been busy writing songs ever since the 13 sessions,” reveals Iommi, referring to the band's 2013 album. "At that point we thought there might be another Sabbath album. But that's up in the air now so I don't know when or where they might appear. The tracks are ready, though."
When asked about the chances of estranged drummer Bill Ward participating in the final tour, Iommi replied, "That depends on Bill. We met up again six weeks ago and we got on great – but it’s down to Bill. Our plans as they stand are to tour with Ozzy, Geezer Butler, myself and Ozzy’s drummer Tommy Clufetos, who did so well on the last tour."
As previously reported, Black Sabbath's final tour kicks off with a North American leg that begins Jan. 20, 2016, in Omaha, Neb. See the band's current itinerary here.
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