In a brand new interview with Songfacts, UGLY KID JOE frontman Whitfield Crane recalled the time when he served as the fill-in singer for BLACK SABBATH rehearsals during the late ’90s. He said: “I jammed with BLACK SABBATH December 3rd, 4th, and 5th 1997 in Birmingham, England when they were recording those particular dates for a live SABBATH record. They had Thom Panunzio back there with an 18-wheeler truck, with a full-on studio backstage at the NEC. So it was the first of a series of reunion shows that included the original SABBATH lineup — that includes [drummer] Bill Ward.”
He continued: “So when I got there, I was like, ‘Holy shit. This is so awesome — we’re going to see BLACK SABBATH… the real SABBATH.’ And they needed to run daily through soundchecks to get their stuff tight, whether it be the studio backstage or just the players themselves. Their sound is kind of like a jazz band if you think about it, and they needed a vocal cue.”
Crane added: ‘From what I can gauge, Ozzy [Osbourne, BLACK SABBATH singer] was like, ‘I don’t want to sing a whole set and then sing another set.’ And fair enough — I wouldn’t want to, either. But of course, I would. [Laughs] And I got a note on my door at the hotel in Birmingham, that said, ‘We need your help,’ and that included me going to jam with BLACK SABBATH for three days — the full set, on the full PA, on Ozzy’s mic, with the band loud as fuck, in Birmingham at the NEC. That did happen, and what a good trip.”
UGLY KID JOE’s new full-length album, “Uglier Than They Used Ta Be”, was released in North America on October 16 via Metalville/UKJ Records. The CD was recorded at JT Studios and Balance Studios in Louisiana with producer (and UGLY KID JOE guitarist) Dave Fortman (SLIPKNOT, GODSMACK, EVANESCENCE).