Tony Iommi is responsible for some of the most influential heavy metal riffs ever written. But he's got plenty more in the tank, apparently.
In a new interview with Neil Jones of Planet Rock (transcribed by Blabbermouth (opens in new tab)), the Black Sabbath veteran reveals that he's got around “four or five hundred” riff ideas recorded on his phone.
“I've got so much stuff, I just wanna get started on getting it together now,” he says. “It's getting around to doing it – that's the thing... The pandemic put a bit of a block on it, really.
“I was working it out and the engineer was coming over and we were getting through some things. But then when that happened and you couldn't have anybody in the house or in the studio, it put the kibosh on that for a bit. And then I started getting involved in other stuff. And it's just kicking back on again. I've got to get back into getting these things down properly.”
Jones follows up by recalling the story of Kirk Hammett losing a phone that contained 300 riff ideas during the recording of Metallica's most recent album, Hardwired... to Self-Destruct, to which Iommi responds: “I heard that. That must be awful. Somebody will nick my phone now. [laughs]”
For those wondering what the Tony Iommi interview was all about yesterday. Here ya go. New music to accompany… yes, a new fragrance called ‘Scent of Dark’. https://t.co/SlOj7Zktcr #blacksabbath #tonyiommi pic.twitter.com/PFgBgWTj60November 25, 2021
Hammett later conceded that the lost riffs probably weren't that good after all.
“What I do now when I write something, if I can’t actually remember it just by picking up my guitar, it’s probably not that good,” Hammett said back in 2017.
While it remains to be seen whether any riffs from Iommi's vast collection will ever surface, the guitarist has been pretty busy as of late.
Earlier this month, Iommi revealed that he's written a song for Ozzy Osbourne's upcoming album.
And last month, he released his first new music in eight years, Scent of Dark – accompanied, bizarrely, by his own fragrance.
On why he felt the world was ready to smell like Tony Iommi, the guitarist explained: “It's something I've always been interested in, ever since the early days of products like Brut and Old Spice, which I'd always get given from Christmas. Once I started touring the world with Sabbath though, I started discovering different sorts of fragrances from other countries and began collecting them.”