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Tony Iommi on Touring with Black Sabbath Again: ‘I Think It’s Better Than it Was 40 Years Ago’

Tony Iommi
Mary Ouellette,

When the original lineup of Black Sabbath reunited, no one was quite sure how long it would last. But now with their new disc ‘13’ under their belts and a world tour underway, it seems like the return of Black Sabbath could have some staying power, providing everyone remains healthy.

After being diagnosed with cancer in 2012, guitarist Tony Iommi has battled the disease to return to playing form and is truly enjoying playing live with Sabbath again. In a new interview with, Iommi talked about what it’s like to step onstage with Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler again after all these years. “It’s a great feeling,” he shares. “You can’t beat that feeling of walking onstage, especially with your old mates, you know. I think it’s better than it was 40 years ago.”

So why is it better you may wonder? “I think when it comes back to the original guys again, it feels really comfortable,” says Iommi. “You do get — it comes along with age, I suppose — anxieties and different other things. But when you get onstage and start playing, it all settles down.”

When asked about the future of Black Sabbath and if they would continue to make new music, Iommi was less forthcoming, and with good reason. “I don’t know. It’s a question that’s been asked a few times,” he recalls. “I don’t really have an answer for you. At the moment, we’re playing it — because of my [cancer] treatments and stuff — I can’t commit to doing another two years, or anything like that. I have to play it as it comes now.”

With all of that in mind, Iommi did offer up some hope for the future, explaining, “While I’m doing it, I’m really enjoying it. If the rest of the year goes well, then we’ll look at it and see if it’s possible to do another album. It would be very nice to.”

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