BLACK SABBATH’s GEEZER BUTLER: ‘The Music Industry Today Is Unrecognizable From When We First Started’

Australian Rock & Metal Institute recently conducted an interview with legendary BLACK SABBATH bassist Geezer Butler. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Australian Rock & Metal Institute: BLACK SABBATH recently wrapped up the first leg of the massive 2016 “The End” world tour and by all accounts it was a riveting success. Has it met your expectations?

Geezer: It has more than met my expectations. The response from our audience has been incredible. The gigs have been fun to do. I think people are extra responsive because this is the last time they will see us live; it is almost like a party feel to the shows.

Australian Rock & Metal Institute: How does it fell to be hanging up the boots after nearly five decades?

Geezer: We all feel that it’s the right time to finish SABBATH. None of us ever thought we would still be around after all these years, and we owe it to our fans to go out at the top rather than grind ourselves into the ground. I feel we are playing better than ever, but it is better to end while we are still good at what we do rather than let age diminish our capabilities.

Australian Rock & Metal Institute: What do you think is the main difference between the music industry today and when you first started?

Geezer: The music industry today is unrecognizable from when we first started. I think it is harder than ever to break through the success barrier, especially for rock and metal bands. It is very hard to make a good living out of music for new bands, especially with the access to Internet these days, having so many people posting their videos online. Downloading songs from the Internet has made it almost impossible to make money from recordings and live shows. The Internet has taken the surprise out of gigs. When we first started, if you wanted to see us, you had to go the gig, and if you wanted to hear our music, you had to buy the vinyl record or cassette tape, plus if you were successful you could get backing from your record label. These days, what record labels are left are reluctant to gamble on new bands, especially non-pop related acts.