Tony Iommi Has ‘Loads’ of New Material He’s Ready to Record
Tony Iommi has plenty of new material ready to record.
"Loads," in fact — if the Black Sabbath guitarist has his way.
That's how the iconic musician put it to Guitarist in a recent interview. First shared online Wednesday (April 1), the chat found the entertainer discussing his new Gibson signature guitar — the Tony Iommi "Monkey" 1964 SG Special Replica — while delving into his classic technique and looking toward the future.
Asked if the fresh instrument will inspire some more tunes from the musician, the guitarist referenced the mountain of around 500 riffs he's been sitting on. And, barring some apprehensions regarding recording personnel, the Black Sabbath shredder said he's ready to lay some of them down in the studio.
"Well, that's the million-dollar question," Iommi replied. "I've got loads of stuff. I keep saying to Ralph [Baker], my manager, 'I want to put it down properly,' but the engineer I've used for years, Mike Exeter, has gone on to do other things… I'd like to put some stuff down, but it won't be a touring band."
Still, the guitarist has gotten affirmation to move forward. When Iommi provided Queen guitarist Brian May with a stockpile of his latest guitar riff ideas, the "Bohemian Rhapsody" rocker urged him to release them.
Iommi explained that May "came over and I gave him four or five CDs of riffs, and he's going, 'You've got to do an album with these, just put them out like that.' I said, 'No, I don't want to do that. I'm going to do them properly.'"
But while the musician may not have his preferred engineer available, the Black Sabbath co-founder knows a thing or two about overcoming obstacles. After all, Iommi came to lead the "Paranoid" metal legends after losing the tips of his right hand's middle and ring fingers in an accident when he was 17.
"I've always had determination," Iommi shared. "I have to try and make something work and go against all these people who say, 'You can't do it.' The same with my accident: they said, 'You won't be able to play anymore.' And I just wouldn't accept that. I thought, 'There's got to be a way.'"
While listeners await some new tunes, revisit 10 of Tony Iommi's best riffs.
See Tony Iommi in the Top 66 Hard Rock + Metal Guitarists of All Time