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Ozzy: I won't hide my voice

Ozzy Osbourne can live with his voice letting him down on stage – and he’d much rather run that risk than “hide behind a machine.”

The Black Sabbath singer tries to stay away from modern technology at all times, and says he’s not impressed at the way it’s affected his work.

Ozzy tells Consequence Of Sound: “My job is to get the audience having fun – but now you don’t have to do that. I saw that Michael Jackson hologram on TV today. That was scary, that was. I said to my wife, ‘I could just send my hologram on tour.’”

He continues: “You can’t be just a live band. A friend of mine said recently, ‘Nobody knows their craft any more; nobody is an artist. They just do it on machines now.’ On the last Black Sabbath tour one of the support bands was going on, and I remember thinking to myself, ‘They sound really good.’ And they were lip-syncing to machines. That ain’t cool, you know – that’s phoney.”

And he refuses to be tempted to resort to technical backup, even if his voice isn’t at its best. “Not many people sound like me, and I’m not saying they want to,” he says. “I love doing things at my own pace. Some guys are going on the stage with two left feet, but that’s life.

“I don’t hide behind a machine to make everything sound wonderful. I sometimes have to say to the audience, ‘Hey! I’m trying. I’m a bit of an oldie – but I’m trying!’

“I remember a gig in New York; on the way to the show, I don’t know what happened, but my voice just disappeared. I got on the stage and I croaked out this noise, and I didn’t want to carry on. They tore the roof off. They were just so happy to see me. There’s something human about that, you know?”

Ozzy released compilation album Memoirs Of A Madman in October. Black Sabbath plan to complete one more album and tour before splitting – which could feature original drummer Bill Ward.

Martin Kielty

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.