Way back in December 2021, Tony Iommi revealed he had four or five hundred unused riffs on his phone that had the potential to help form his first studio album since 2005’s Fused. Alas, due to the pandemic, any potential plans he had were put on indefinite hold.
Thankfully, despite this initial hurdle, it looks as though the wheels are finally in motion for a long overdue Iommi solo record.
Speaking in a New Year’s video message published to his YouTube channel, the Black Sabbath electric guitar legend confirmed he has been busy writing and recording potential ideas for a Fused follow-up, and that he's had a new studio built for the task.
“I’ve been writing and recording; I’m having a new studio built too, which I’m really pleased about,” Iommi teased. “Well, actually, the studio is built, and it’s almost ready to go; I’m just waiting for some equipment. Because of the war [in Ukraine], it's sort of stopped some of the parts coming through. But we're almost there.”
Not only that, the riff lord also revealed work on the actual album itself will commence very soon indeed: “In another couple of weeks, I think I’ll be ready to go in and start work in there, which I’m really looking forward to – writing another album.”
As such, it looks as though 2023 is going to be another busy 12 months for the Gibson SG-wielding hero, who was active both in the studio and onstage throughout both 2021 and 2022.
After sharing his first solo single in eight years, Scent of Dark – which was accompanied by a fragrance, of all things – in November ‘21, Iommi then teamed up with his Black Sabbath bandmate Ozzy Osbourne for the latter’s latest solo album, for which they recorded the Sabbath-esque Degradation Rules.
Following the track’s release, the pair then teamed up for a triumphant surprise performance at the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony in their home city of Birmingham, where they performed Paranoid and Iron Man.
In his New Year’s message, Iommi reflected on the historic performance, saying, “It was very nerve-wracking because I was on my own, and normally I play with Sabbath. But this time I was playing with an orchestra, a choir and a couple of singers.
“It was very different for me without Sabbath,” he added. “And to be playing a live show like that, I was a bit nervous.”
Iommi also took the opportunity to pay tribute to his late guitar tech Mike Clement, who passed away last year.
“[Mike had] been with me for 33 years and he was a real lovely man,” Iommi reflected. “I relied on him. He knew exactly how I had all my equipment and what to do if anything goes wrong. He was such a wonderful man and I was so sad that he’d gone.”
Iommi didn't reveal a timeframe for the upcoming album, so head over to his YouTube channel for further updates.