In a brand new interview with Australian Musician, BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi was asked what advice he would give to young musicians in the day and age when many young bands forgo performing live to seek their fifteen seconds of fame on TV or the like. He responded: “Well, I think that’s it, that’s the key, you’ve got to get out and play live. Unfortunately, the way the business has gone, with TV and these shows, whatever they’re called, I think you need to get out and play live, play to people; you can’t go on and mime and not have all these gadgets behind you. [There is] nothing like being able to actually play. And not just to show off — you have to play from within yourself whatever you feel is good and that’s it. You don’t have to play a million notes a minute guitar-wise — you can go out and play with feeling — and that, to me, is so important. I mean, there’s plenty of great players, but there’s nothing better to me than to hear someone play with great feel. And I think with some of the newer guitar players, that’s where they’ve missed it a bit; they’ve gone for all this fancy stuff. It comes out more emotionally in the music if you play what you feel.”
Iommi said in a September 2015 interview that the band’s current farewell tour, which began in January, is truly its last because he is not physically capable of doing it any longer. Speaking with the Birmingham Mail, Iommi explained: “I can’t actually do this anymore. My body won’t take it much more.”
Iommi, who was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2012 and was treated all through SABBATH‘s extensive 2013 world tour, admitted that he was worried the rigors of the road could bring the disease back. He revealed: “I don’t want that creeping back again, and all the traveling involved in SABBATH tours increasingly takes its toll. That’s why we’re going out on one last tour, to say our farewells. And then it very definitely is the end. We won’t be doing it again.”
The legendary guitarist continued: “Don’t get me wrong, I still love gigging. It’s all the traveling and the exhaustion that goes with it that’s the problem. That side of things has a big impact on me… I love being up there onstage, playing with SABBATH. What I don’t love is all the other stuff necessary to enable that to happen.”
Iommi was also hospitalized last year with back problems, and he still requires blood tests every six weeks to monitor his lymphoma.