Ozzy Osbourne's advice on how rock stars should treat young bands is wholesome as heck

Ozzy Osbourne
(Image credit: Mick Hutson/Redferns/Getty Images)

Despite being one of the single most famous (and, indeed, infamous) stars metal has ever produced, you'll struggle to find much rock star arrogance in Ozzy Osbourne. He remains the ultimate heavy metal everyman: a working class lad who remembers exactly where he came from and what it means to claw your way up the ranks of rock 'n' roll.

In 2017, when Avenged Sevenfold's M Shadows exclusively interviewed Ozzy for Metal Hammer, the Prince Of Darkness discussed his attitude towards bringing younger bands out on tour, and why there should never be room for egos on the road. 

"For every tour, even now, I’m not one of these guys that reads the riot act to support bands," he explained. "I don’t say, ‘You can’t be there, you can’t do that.’ I look at it like, it’s a show, it’s not about being on the ‘A Stage’ or ‘B Stage’, it’s just a fucking show. It’s best to be nice rather than be an asshole. To be an asshole you’ve got to have a good memory!"

When Black Sabbath embarked on their final UK tour that year, they brought along California rockers Rival Sons as support - and Ozzy made sure he kept his touring motto for those historic dates, too.

"The band we’ve got on this last tour, Rival Sons, they’re a good bunch of guys," he noted. "I always greet them and tell them that if there’s anything they need, just ask us. They don’t know what we’re gonna be like. In the old days, headline bands would have the lights turned right up for their supports [to try to sabotage them] and all that kind of shit. I didn’t like that. If you can’t stand the heat, get off the fucking stage, you know?

"You just treat them like people!" he continued. "Otherwise you end up with war, and touring’s a battle enough without that. Just because you’re the opening act, it doesn’t mean you’re not important. I remember when we toured with Kiss, and it was dead for us! All the audience were dressed up in makeup! But it was fun, and if it’s not fun, don’t do it. If you don’t like this gig, get a day job!"

Words, as ever, to live by. A new Ozzy Osbourne album is expected at some point this year.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.