Black Sabbath Former Frontman Tony Martin Says He “Can’t see a reunion with Tony Iommi”
There’s no accounting for taste, especially in music, considering the mixed receives of the 1995’s album of Black Sabbath, “Forbidden,” got in the past. And the regarded metal band’s former frontman, Tony Martin, talked about that album which he also appeared on, as he also talked about his possible future plans with Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, saying he “can’t see a reunion” with him.
While it has almost been three decades after the release of the Black Sabbath album “Forbidden,” the thoughts on the album have always been indecisive. Although there are many people who actually like it, the album is often looked down upon by the press while also everyone thought it was going to be the band’s final record at the time. But however, the original members of Black Sabbath united again and released “13” in 2013, turning the attention from “Forbidden,” eventually.
And recently, the former lead singer of Black Sabbath, who is also the second longest-served member of the band, showed up in an interview and talked about their album “Forbidden” along with a few other things. During his appearance, Tony Martin also touched on Tony Iommi and their possible future works, after being asked, as well.
So, Tony Martin started reflecting on their album “Forbidden” with Black Sabbath as it is also known that he is actually among the people who dislike the album, after being asked whether he changed his mind or not.
“No, it’s still shit. To me, anyway. I can’t enjoy it. I mean… I have to tell you the background to it really. When we started that album, we didn’t know it was going to be called ‘Forbidden’ at this point. It’s just us writing songs in the studio. And at that point, we were still quite good friends really. And everything was quite good. And the songs are going okay.
Then we had a call from Black Sabbath’s management to say they were going to try this rap idea with Ice T.
I didn’t think that would work and Cozy Powell didn’t think it would work. And so we had this meeting, and they said we are doing it. It’s just like, you know, ‘How do we get you guys to fit in?’ So okay, well, we’ll try. Ice T sent his guy Ernie C. Nice guys. Really nice guys. Nothing wrong with them, fun to work with and funny.
But the rap thing, the rap thing… I mean, they’re obviously thinking Run DMC, you know? But it’s Black Sabbath. And Cozy Powell kept saying ‘I don’t know how this is gonna turn out.’ And they were trying to tell him how to play drums. Like, you do know who he is, right? It’s Cozy Powell.
So anyway, they’re trying to get him to do this rap rhythm thing. Cozy Powell wasn’t digging it, I wasn’t digging it. And then they said, ‘Well, Ice T is gonna sing something.’ And I said, ‘Okay, sing what?’ ‘Well, we haven’t decided yet.’ Is he singing a song, a line a word? What’s he singing? And they said, ‘Well just keep going. We haven’t decided, we’ll make a decision at the end.’
So we’re writing these songs. And I’m still asking, ‘What am I doing? Am I writing this thing? Am I singing on this?’ ‘Oh, well, we haven’t decided yet.’ Or, you know, ‘Just keep going.’
So even in the recording studio, I’m actually in the studio, and I still don’t know if I’m going to be on the album or if somebody else is singing it. Because they wouldn’t tell me. Okay, now I can’t concentrate. I can’t sync my voice. I couldn’t really make it work the way I wanted it to work.
So for me, ‘Forbidden’ is shit because of the background surrounding the thing. I’m fully expecting to be fired again. I’m thinking ‘This is not good.’ There’s something going on, you know. I just couldn’t concentrate.
For that reason, ‘Forbidden’ is a lost album to me. And I wish I had the chance to resing it because I could do a much better job, I think. But now, there are people that love it out there. And they find something – you’ve just said – that really worked for them. And I’m going ‘How can you like that?!’,” said Tony Martin and continued talking about the people who love the album as the interviewer declared he really loves “Forbidden” and it marked his childhood.
“Now I have to go ‘Okay… So people like it, so… Well, right, then.’ Okay, then. That’s it, then!’
So I have this very distant appreciation, which is not really appreciated. It’s a memory of uncertain times. I didn’t think I performed it well, but I didn’t perform it well because of the stuff that was going on around the band. And then that kind of went out on tour. And that bad feeling never went away, really. And so, like the band started to really come apart from there.
But what can I tell you… ‘Forbidden’ is one of the Black Sabbath albums that I was on, for good or for bad. There was another album afterward, ‘The Sabbath Stones,’ which makes six albums. But that was a compilation. I think there was a couple of Ronnie [James Dio] tracks on there or something, I can’t really remember. So yeah, 11 years.
I mean, they must have liked my voice. They kept asking me to sing. I think just the gapping between us and the distance, the whole management thing.
I had a manager Geezer Butler had a manager, Tony Iommi only had three managers. It was a little bit like Spinal Tap, you know, with all the managers in there. And it was like, ‘Speak to my manager.’ Oh, God, really? Okay. So that goes across, and then they speak to the other member of the band, and then they say something, and then they go to their manager and it comes across… Can’t you just talk to me? I’m just standing right here. But it was hard. It was.”
After giving his opinions for their 1995’s album with Black Sabbath, Tony Martin also continued talking about the chances of Black Sabbath albums being remastered and a new project with Tony Iommi.
“I can’t see a reunion with Tony Iommi. He did say that there was a possibility that we could write some new material, and then maybe add it to a release of some kind. But then the phone went dead for months and months,” started explaining Martin.
“So I called him and he said, ‘Okay, come around to the house and I’ll talk to you about it.’
So I went down to his house, and he said, ‘We can’t do it.’ So why not? ‘Because we can’t release anything new under the Black Sabbath name, the Black Sabbath name now is only for the original members.’ So Ozzy, Geezer, Tony, Bill… But he said maybe we can find some songs that we didn’t use back at the time or something that we recorded at the time. We could possibly use that.
So I found a couple of things. And I sent it off to him, but then the phone went dead and I haven’t spoken to him for a long time. But today… I got a phone call today. You’re one of the first people to hear this. Black Sabbath’s manager, Tony Iommi’s manager, called me and said they now have got a record deal for the Tony Martin era. So that means that they can go ahead and rerelease the Tony Martin albums,” gave the good news Tony Martin, although there wouldn’t be a possible reunion for them with Black Sabbath as he revealed, as well.
“IRS and EMI and those labels. They were all working together in their own territories at the time. But yeah, not the ‘Eternal Idol’ album. That one’s owned by somebody else. But certainly, the other Tony Martin albums now can be re-released. So that’s exciting news. But a reunion? No, it can’t really happen. I mean, even when they did a reunion with Ronnie James Dio, they called it Heaven & Hell,” explained the former singer of Black Sabbath.
In above all, Tony Martin fronted Black Sabbath initially from 1987 to 1991 before he came back again in 1993 to stay until 1997, becoming the band’s second-longest-serving vocalist after Ozzy Osbourne. And after his departure, Tony Martin has also worked on many other projects with other famous names such as M3, Misha Calvin, The Cage, Giuntini Project, and Phenomena, as he has also been promoting his new album “Thorns” nowadays, which was just released on January 14.