“We used to boil all our strings so all the crap would come off them. We couldn’t afford to buy new strings”: Geezer Butler explains how Black Sabbath managed to make ends meet as emerging heavy metal pioneers

Bassist Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath performs on stage at Hammersmith Odeon, London, January 1976
(Image credit: Erica Echenberg/Redferns/Getty Images)

Having quite literally pioneered heavy metal, Black Sabbath are one of the most influential bands to ever make music. However, as is the case for many groups, their journey to the top wasn’t an easy ride, and the band was plagued by severe financial struggles in their early days.

Geezer Butler joined Matt Pinfield on New and Improved to discuss such hurdles, and revealed some of the lengths Sabbath had to go to in order to operate – one of which involved reusing old battered bass guitar strings.

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Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.