Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler Discusses Ronnie James Dio’s Passing
Keith Carman of Canada’s Exclaim! recently conducted an interview with legendary heavy metal bassist [lastfm]Geezer Butler[/lastfm] ([lastfm]BLACK SABBATH[/lastfm], [lastfm]HEAVEN & HELL[/lastfm]). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Exclaim!: Is there any real status update on [lastfm]BLACK SABBATH[/lastfm]/[lastfm]HEAVEN & HELL[/lastfm] at present?
Geezer: Not really. We’re all just on hold since [[lastfm]HEAVEN & HELL[/lastfm] singer] [lastfm]Ronnie James Dio [/lastfm]passed away. We did a tribute concert for his cancer fund a bit ago and that’s about it. We’re just wondering what to do next.
Exclaim!: Condolences to everyone involved. It was a pretty big shock to metal.
Geezer: Yeah, everything was going so well and then that happened.
Exclaim!: Were you in the band braced for it at all? It seemed as if he was going to pull through and then all of a sudden…
Geezer: It was one of those things when he was responding really well to treatment and everyone was feeling positive again. The tour was going ahead again and Ronnie felt up for it; was looking forward to the tour. About six weeks before that, it came back with a vengeance and hit him really hard.
Exclaim!: It doesn’t seem that people realize how you’ve not just lost a band mate but a friend as well.
Geezer: Absolutely. It’s really difficult because it’s obviously never happened to us before. It’s difficult to know what to, especially at our age. We’re not sure. Do we start all over again? We’re just gonna see how it goes. That’s the thing. He’s a very close friend of mine as well as someone I work with. It’s a big part of my life gone.
Exclaim!: Do you really feel like you’d have to start over again?
Geezer: Well, getting a singer in and that kind of thing; the right person. It’ll sort itself out eventually, I suppose.
Exclaim!: In the meantime, maybe you can work on your solo stuff. It’s been a while since you put out a G/Z/R album.
Geezer: It’s been a really tough year so music has been very much on the back-burner ’cause of Ronnie. I’m gradually getting back to… I’ve got so much of my own stuff I’ve done, it’s gonna take months to sort through it all when I wanna start up again. It’s such a backlog. Once you establish a direction in your mind it makes it a lot easier but I need that. Once I get that, I’ll just play through it all.
Exclaim!: It’s all waiting for you when you’re ready though.
Geezer: Yes and I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what I can come up with in the next few months. I’ve had some stuff lying around for a while so within the next month or six weeks, I’ll take that, work on some new material and while we’re sorting out other things, there’s nothing stopping me from writing my own stuff. I’ve got plenty of inspiration.