Ozzy Osbourne Slams Being Labeled As ‘Metal’

Even though he was present when metal music first emerged, Ozzy Osbourne finds it difficult to fit in when it is classified as such. He discussed his career and voiced unease with the term “metal” artist in a recent interview with SPIN. Ozzy stated, “I don’t think my music belongs on the same label as more extreme metal bands.”

“Well, I’ve never felt comfortable about that title that they put on me – ‘metal.’ Because Ozzy Osbourne plays heavy, but the bands that are (considered metal) are heavy, and we’re all put in the same category. When you get pigeonholed with a certain (genre), it can be very difficult to do something a bit lighter or an acoustic track or whatever you want to do. Back in the day, it was always just rock music. It’s still just rock music.”

Ozzy Has A Problem With ‘Heavy Metal’ Tag Too

Ozzy, who doesn’t see himself as a metal musician, has criticisms regarding the term “heavy metal.” He contends that there is no musical definition for the phrase “heavy metal.” When asked how it felt to be regarded as the father of metal in a 2013 interview with CNN, Ozzy Osbourne said that he was at ease being called a “Rock” or “Heavy Rock” band. He answered,

“I have never ever ever been able to attach myself to the word ‘heavy metal‘ — it has no musical connotations. If it was heavy rock, I could get that, but the ’70s was kind of like a bluesy thing, the ’80s was kind of bubblegum-frosted hair, multicolored clothes and the ’90s was kind of grungy. People come up to me and say, ‘Your Sabbath work was a big influence on me.’ I could go, ‘Oh, yeah, I can see that,’ but other bands… what part of that is inspired by us? Some of it is just angry people screaming down a microphone!”

Osbourne Doesn’t See Himself As One Of The Fathers Of Heavy Metal

Osbourne does not consider himself to be among the heavy metal genre’s pioneers. Furthermore, he doesn’t think Black Sabbath developed metal music at least not by themselves. When asked about the idea that Black Sabbath developed heavy music, he responded as follows in an interview with Metal Hammer in May:

“If people wanna believe that, it’s great, but I don’t go around like, ‘Oh, I’m the singer in Black Sabbath, I invented this or that…’ With Black Sabbath, it was a great camp to be in. Tony Iommi was the law. He was the guy. I’ve never yet met a guitar player that can play such demonic riffs.”

Regarding the notion that Black Sabbath founded metal music, he modestly responded and mentioned the bands that had an impact on Black Sabbath. Ozzy stated:

“It’s a nice thought that Black Sabbath invented heavy metal, but we were very influenced by The Who, Led Zeppelin, Kinks…”

See the entire special report, with an interview with Ozzy Osbourne about heavy metal and his impact by Jack Black and Kyle Gass, here.




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