Tony Iommi Working on Black Sabbath Film Documentary, Other Projects
Black Sabbath may have officially called it quits, but Tony Iommi remains as busy as ever. The veteran guitarist recently revealed that he’s been mixing material from the final shows staged by Sabbath in their hometown of Birmingham, England—with an eye toward releasing a live album and a film documentary. The swirl of activity is especially remarkable given that Iommi spent much of the past five years battling—and defeating–lymphoma.
“My job at the moment is to have a listen to what we’ve done,” he tells NBC News, adding that he has no plans to stop making music. “I’m certainly not retiring from playing and doing stuff. But I think since my illness I’ve had to look at things differently, think sensibly. I feel fine, but I still go for checkups and tests…. At the moment I’m okay.”
Iommi added that he has “bags of riffs” that he may use on a solo album. Meanwhile, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has also been busy composing a choral piece for the Birmingham Cathedral. Titled “How Good It Is,” the composition was inspired by Psalm 133—although Iommi professes no allegiance to a particular faith.
“It really wasn’t anything to do with religion,” he says. “I don’t follow any religious path …. it just seemed like a nice thing to do. It was really nice to work with a choir and to do something for our city.”
The track, which features cellist George Shilling, the Birmingham Cathedral’s boys’ choir, and Iommi himself on acoustic guitar, was played at the Cathedral for the first time in January. “This is a most wonderful gift Tony offered to the Cathedral,” said the Very Reverent Catherine Ogle, speaking to the Birmingham Mail. “He has a huge fan base in the city.”
Iommi adds that completing a project outside his usual sphere of familiarity was especially gratifying. “I enjoy the challenge of doing something most people wouldn’t expect from me,” he said.