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Tony Iommi says “you can never say never” to Black Sabbath reunion

Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi onstage in 2017
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur / Getty)

Tony Iommi was recently asked about the chances of Black Sabbath playing together again and seemed to be open to the possibility, replying “you can never say never”.

The guitarist was discussing the pioneering metal band’s fate following their 2017 farewell tour with the UK's Planet Rock radio (opens in new tab) when he made the comments. 

“You can never say never, can you?,” he says in the interview. ”We’ve known in this band you can never say, ‘That’s never gonna happen again,’ because every time we said that, it has. 

“We never thought we’d get back with Ozzy after the early years. We never thought we’d get back with [Ronnie James] Dio again; we did. So you just can’t say it’s never gonna happen.”

For Iommi, it seems the main point of contention is the rigorous touring demands that come with being part of the Sabbath juggernaut. 

“It’s just the major touring that has come to a stop,” insisted Iommi. “I wouldn’t wanna do 18-month tours again, but that doesn’t say we wouldn’t do any one-off stuff.”

Iommi’s remarks recall those of the band’s original drummer Bill Ward back in October, who acknowledged the limitations of his health, but said he’d be open to contributing in the studio. 

“My biggest contention has been ‘let’s make another album’,” Ward told The Metro. “I haven’t spoken to the guys about it, but I have talked to a couple of people in management about the possibility of making a recording. Which I can do safely, even with Covid around. I can lay track at my studio in Los Angeles. I’m very open-minded about doing something like that.”

Elsewhere, Iommi has been active with Sabbath bandmate Ozzy Osbourne, writing and recording a song for the vocalist’s as-yet-untitled 2022 album.

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Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.