Ozzy Osbourne is back with a real ‘Scream’

With most of the tunes on “Scream,” co-written with Churko, Ozzy laments, “My thing is the lyrics. With lyrics I have a problem, because I’ll start something, I’ll get into something, but then I have to get out. So what I do … Kevin and I will bounce things back and forth. For instance, I think it was ‘Let Me Hear You Scream,’ it was written seven times.” That song is the first single; it debuted in the Top Five on the Mainstream Rock Chart and Top Ten on the Active Rock chart, and was featured in an episode of “CSI: NY.” “There’s a bunch of other sets of lyrics. One day I will release all the other verses!”

Explaining his iconic style and musical freedom, Ozzy explains, “Being Ozzy Osbourne and stuck behind the Satan image and crazy guy, it restricts you to what you can do. This album, to me, has some Sabbath vibes in there, some Ozzy vibes, and some up-to-date things, but not too much.”

When the topic of music and the direction the industry is taking comes up, Ozzy insists, “Well that’s a good question, because I’m f**ked if I know. There are times when I walk around with my head in my rear end.”

He recalls, “I was out on Sunset (Strip) a while ago with Sharon, where there’s a bookshelf, where I always get the British newspapers. And I said, ‘Let’s go to Tower Records and see if they’ve got the new Sheryl Crow record.’ So I go in, and it’s empty at, like, 3 o’clock, 4 o’clock in the afternoon. I said, ‘Do you have the Sheryl Crow?’ And he said, ‘Yeah I’ve got lots of them; how many do you want?’ I didn’t understand what he was trying to get at. Then the following week, it was gone. That’s what’s happening. Everyone’s gone from reality to unreality in the respect that they all want to sit in their f**king houses now on their computers. So everybody has gone inward into their cave, if you like. We have to go to the f**kin’ JC Penney and all that s**t and to coffee shops now to buy music, which is kind of sad. It’s probably a similar thing when silent movies went over to talkie movies. All of the sudden, it kind of disappeared.”

On the other hand, Ozzy lends a sympathetic tone to musicians today. “I was also shocked to find out what young bands have to do now when they get signed to a record company. They take part of their publishing, their concessions, their gig money. It’s, like, ridiculous.” He reflects, “At the same time I’ve been so lucky to have my career. I’ve had such good fortune. I’m just plodding on, you know. People say, ‘Are you retiring?’ But the thing is, I’m not getting any younger. And if the crowd starts to thin, diminish, then I’ll see it as a sign that it’s time to hang up my microphone. I don’t want to go from arenas to bars, you know?”

To his massive amount of fans, and to himself, retirement’s not in the cards, as Ozzy remains as relevant today as he did when he first started playing music more than 40 years ago. As far as the reason for his longevity, Osbourne responds, “I don’t know. I don’t particularly want to know. But I’m glad. I was thinking if somebody like Journey, or somebody like that … I mean, they used to fill football stadiums. Some bands end up playing in small clubs. I can’t do that.”

And for artists with staying power, Ozzy cites one of his musical inspirations. “I always have been, and still am, a Paul McCartney, Lennon, Harrison and Ringo Starr, Beatles fanatic,” he enthuses. “McCartney. I mean, this guy’s sixty-f**kin’-six, man, and he still gets those notes. I mean, I have a problem getting them notes. He motivates me.”

“I met Paul McCartney on a few occasions, and Ringo Starr. Not the others. And, unfortunately somebody got the one, sadly. I remember where I was. Exactly where I was, when it was, what time of the day it was. I was in Wales. I was writing and rehearsing and Sharon calls me up and says, ‘You’ll never guess what happened.’ She says, ‘John Lennon got shot last night.’ My world just f**kin’ stopped. It was like when Kennedy got done, you know. But a f**kin’ guy like Lennon … it just stopped my world.”

He ponders, “I mean, I never saw them play. How great would it have been if they hadn’t shot Lennon and he hadn’t died such a horrible death? If they’d ever gotten back together, they would have taken over again.”

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