After waiting for over 20 years, metalheads will finally be able to see Penelope Spheeris' unreleased Ozzfest documentary, We Sold Our Souls For Rock 'N' Roll. The film chronicles the 1999 edition of the festival, featuring interviews and live footage with some of the biggest names in metal, including Black Sabbath, Slipknot, System Of A Down, Godsmack, Rob Zombie, Slayer and Static-X, to name a few.
In a recent interview with The Metal Voice, Spheeris confirmed that the film will finally be released after Sharon Osbourne, Ozzy's wife and manager, decided to go ahead with it. Spheeris said that she is "so excited" to finally share the film with the world and that she believes it is a "historical document" of the metal scene in the late 1990s.
"I did go to the Motion Picture Academy Museum in August because they screened 'We Sold Our Souls For Rock 'N' Roll' recently, which is a movie that I did with Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne 20 years ago. And it was never released. And it has Black Sabbath, original Black Sabbath, and Slipknot, Rob Zombie, System Of A Down, it's got Godsmack, Fear Factory, blah, blah, blah, blah, 10 bands in it, with Buckethead playing guitar in a cemetery. And it's a great film. And Sharon says she's going to release it now. After 20 years." Spheeris revealed.
The film was originally screened at several film festivals over 20 years ago, but it has never been officially released due to music copyright issues. However, all of that seems to have been squared away at this point.
We Sold Our Souls For Rock 'N' Roll is particularly notable for its behind-the-scenes footage, which gives viewers an intimate look at the lives of the musicians involved. Spheeris said that she spent three years working on the film and that she "put her heart and soul into it."
"It's like you are going on tour on the Ozzfest and you're seeing all these bands. I went on a tour bus and went to, like, 30 cities and filmed all the 10 bands. And I respect the bands. Slayer is in the movie. Whatever city we went to — like, for example, San Francisco, we were there. And I went, 'Oh, where can I film Slayer? Ah, Alcatraz.' Okay. 'Oh, Slipknot. We're in D.C. Where can I film Slipknot? Ah, the National Monument.' So you see Slipknot walking around at the National Monument in front of Abraham Lincoln. I put them in different locations and I went backstage with all the bands and Ozzy; I did a lot of stuff with Ozzy backstage." she added, describing how the film was made.
“I worked three years on that movie and it never got released. I used to wake up in the morning, lay in bed, and cry for half an hour before I got out of bed because I never got the movie released. And now, I mean, it's a historical document at this point of 1999 Ozzfest."
Spheeris, best known for her documentaries on the Los Angeles underground scene and the film Wayne's World, went on to say that the documentary is her second-best documentary, behind The Decline Of Western Civilization III, but there’s no exact release date for the film yet.
"I don't know exactly how and when the film will be made available, because I hesitate to bother Sharon right now. She's got a lot of things on her plate right now. I am gonna get in touch next week, though, and do whatever I can to help her get the movie out."