Despite working on two tracks (No Escape From Now and Degradation Rules) on Ozzy Osbourne's new album Patient Number 9, it turns out that Tony Iommi wasn't entirely briefed on the true meaning behind all of the songs. In fact, up until recently, he had no idea that Degradation Rules was about masturbation.
Following the release of Patient Number 9 - which debuted at the top spot on the US Billboard albums chart and in the second position over in the UK - Osbourne announced a three-part docuseries which captures the making of the record.
In the latest episode, which is out now, Iommi is informed of the track's NSFW significance, and is also questioned on his professional relationship with Ozzy - namely on whether they'll be making more music together.
“I think we’ve got a different way now – we’ve got more relationship going over the last couple of years than we’ve had for a long time… because we’ve become freer now,” Iommi explains.
“There’s not the Sabbath thing there that we’ve got to do. We’re in contact virtually every week. It’s just different now to how it was, and it’s been good. It’s been really good.”
Then, the guitarist is asked by interviewer Phil Alexander: "Do you know what the tune’s about?", to which Iommi responds "No."
"It’s – lyrically, I think it’s about masturbation, so ––“ Iommi interrupts: “Oh, is it? Oh, I’m glad I played on that then!”
It was also recently revealed to Kerrang! by Ozzy that much-missed Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins was responsible for one of the more suggestive lyrics on the track.
“You know what Degradation Rules is about?” the former Sabbath vocalist asks. “Masturbation. Sticky little magazines. A toss-pot."
"There’s a line in there, ‘Red Tube rules!’ which is an [ode to] the free porn website. And, do you know who suggested that? The drummer, Taylor Hawkins, who died recently."
Watch the Tony Iommi interview below