"I’ve never felt comfortable about that title" Ozzy Osbourne explains why he doesn't like being called metal

Ozzy Osbourne
(Image credit: Ross Halfin)

Ozzy Osbourne has revealed that he has never been completely au fait with the idea of being the Godfather Of Metal. In fact, as he sees it, he doesn't really see himself as a full-on heavy metal artist at all, despite his former band Black Sabbath being widely regarded as the inventors of the genre.

"Well, I’ve never felt comfortable about that title that they put on me – ‘metal'," he explains in a new interview with Spin. "Because Ozzy Osbourne plays heavy, but the bands that are [considered metal] are really heavy, and we’re all put in the same category. When you get pigeonholed with a certain [genre], it can be very difficult to do something a bit lighter or an acoustic track or whatever you want to do. Back in the day, it was always just rock music. It’s still just rock music."

Elsewhere in the interview, the Prince Of Darkness discusses his feelings on reality TV - a format which he and his family were instrumental in making popular courtesy of their legendary early-00s TV show, The Osbournes

"Well, it’s really interesting because people love the Kardashians," he says. "They took it one stage further. They saw what we did and said, ‘That’s a good idea,’ but they organized themselves. What they do now is kind of scripted reality. It’s not raw. It’s not the real, real reality. With our show, what you saw was what really went on. It wasn’t contrived. It wasn’t scripted. Because at the end of the day, every season, my wife would sit us all down and go, ‘Alright, what do you want to do? Do you want to do another season or not?’ After the third year, the [production crew and MTV] started to ask us to do things that we wouldn’t normally do. At that point, I lost interest in it.

"I mean, what they call reality TV now is really not reality," he adds. The first season when we did The Osbournes and it got picked up and everybody went Osbournes mad, we would go out and [film] in the streets, and there would be pedestrians and regular people just walking by. They’d just [have those people sign a waiver to be on the show], but by the second season, they wouldn’t just sign the waiver. They’d want money for it. People wouldn’t just sign up anymore."

Speaking to Metal Hammer recently about the insane success of The Osbournes, Ozzy admitted that the show's popularity even took him by surprise.

“It all started off as a spin-off of that MTV show, Cribs,” he recalled. “Our episode of Cribs was the most watched on replay, so some producers approached us with the idea of doing it as a full show set in the house. It all went from there. We’d never really planned on being the next big TV family, but it grew on its own steam and went crazy. I’m not particularly planning on doing a re-run of it, but if something happens, it happens!”

You can hear more from Ozzy on The Osbourne's newly resurrected podcast, which is out now via all your usual podcast platforms. 

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.