Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler Wanted ‘God is Dead?’ to Be Named ‘American Jihad’
Black Sabbath have made a huge impact this year with the release of ’13,’ Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler‘s first album together in 35 years. The lead single, ‘God is Dead?’ was inspired by human atrocities such as the 9/11 attacks and suicide bombings by religious extremists. In a new interview with Ozzy and Geezer, it was revealed that ‘God is Dead?’ had the alternate title ‘American Jihad.’
‘God is Dead?’ will go down as a definitive track for metal in 2013, but the Nietzschean title wasn’t Geezer Butler’s first choice. “The first single off the new album is called God Is Dead? – I was in a doctor’s office and there was a magazine in there with that line on the cover,” Ozzy tells Shortlist. “I thought, ‘Yeah – people flew planes into the World Trade Center because of God, there’s all this f—ing s–t going on in the world in the name of God.’” Geezer responds, “Ozzy gave me that line, and I wrote the lyrics. I wanted to call the song ‘American Jihad.’”
“F— that,” laughs Ozzy. “I’m the guy at the front singing it; I would have had a f—ing army after me. ‘And now we’re gonna play… ‘American Jihad.’ [makes gun sound, mimes slumping down dead]. In the early days [of Black Sabbath], there was a lot of backlash from religious groups … I was sent letters written in blood. In my house I must have 25 f—ing bibles, each with a marked-up passage that [the sender] wanted me to read.”
Ozzy and Geezer also spoke about stage invaders, how Ozzy wasn’t a good enough thief to choose a life of crime and even meeting former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. “I was at a charity do a while back, and Tony Blair’s looking over at me,” begins Ozzy. “This was when the Middle East thing was going on – we’re sending boys over and they’re coming back in f—ing boxes. He comes up, and I thought he was going to say, ‘Would you mind going out to play to the troops?’ but he said, ‘I was in a rock band once, but I could never quite get the chords to ‘Iron Man.” Are you f—ing kidding me? Is that all you’ve got to say, you d–khead?”
Check out the full interview with Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler at Shortlist.