Watch Tony Iommi Discover What ‘Degradation Rules’ is About
Tony Iommi didn’t know Ozzy Osbourne was singing about masturbation in “Degradation Rules,” one of their collaborative tracks from Osbourne’s new album Patient Number 9.
In the latest episode of the documentary series that follows the making of the record, Iommi is seen reacting to the news. He also responds to a question about making more music with his former Black Sabbath bandmate – something Osbourne has already commented upon.
“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 said in the clip below. “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.”
Asked about the “Sabbath nods” in the music he tracked for the album, he said: “Yeah, definitely. Well, I don’t think I could ever get away from that!”
Interviewer Phil Alexander then asked: “Do you know what the tune’s about?” Iommi said: “No,” and Alexander responded: “It’s – lyrically, I think it’s about masturbation, so ––“ Iommi cut in: “Oh, is it? Oh, I’m glad I played on that then!”
Elsewhere in the episode, Osbourne explained why he played harmonica on “Degradation Rules,” saying it was producer Andrew Watt’s idea. “I’m not a great harmonica player,” he admitted, “but Andrew said, ‘Fucking play it!’ you know?”
Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, who also appears on Patient Number 9, discussed his memories of Osbourne and added that the “Seattle scene, the grunge thing, was hugely influenced by Ozzy and Black Sabbath, and you can hear that in all of our bands.”
Tony Iommi Discusses ‘The Sabbath Connection’