Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi says touring is a struggle, throws album into doubt

Iommi has been battling lymphoma since 2011

Black Sabbath‘s Tony Iommi has told his hometown newspaper The Birmingham Mail why there will be just one last tour, as well as talking about Bill Ward’s possible inclusion and the chances of a follow-up to ’13’.

The forthcoming ‘The End’ tour – confirmed last week – has been billed as Sabbath’s last, and Iommi’s words give some insight into why.

“I still love gigging. It’s all the travelling and the exhaustion that goes with it that’s the problem,” Iommi explained. “That side of things has a big impact on me. Yes, we may fly in luxury, stay in the very best hotels, ride in the most comfortable limos, but there’s still a physical cost to touring. Even when we build in rest breaks, I have to have blood tests every six weeks. I find it tough going.”

He continued: “It’s about time we draw the line, don’t you think? It’s been great, but it’s time to stop now.”


According to Iommi, a new album is also far from a certainty.

He said: “I’ve been busy writing songs ever since the ’13’ sessions. At that point, we thought there might be another Sabbath album. But that’s up in the air now so I don’t know when or where they might appear. The tracks are ready, though.”

Iommi also commented on drummer Bill Ward, who’s had an ongoing spat with Ozzy Osbourne recently, and has been the subject of debate surrounding the tour line-up. Whether he’ll be included, the guitarist admitted that it “depends on Bill. We met up again six weeks ago and we got on great, but it’s down to Bill.”

The final farewell tour was announced last week, with dates outside of America, Australia and New Zealand yet to be announced. Iommi has stated that the tour will last approximately one year in total. It gets underway in mid-January.