Ozzy Osbourne will release his new solo album Ordinary Man on February 21. The album features guitarist Andrew Watt, bassist Duff McKagan (Guns N' Roses), and drummer Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chickenfoot). While it's not Ozzy's usual band, he tells Kerrang! he had a blast recording with the guys and they all (seemingly minus McKagan) got matching tattoos to remember the sessions by.
There’s something else, too. This episode of Ozzy’s life reminded him of what good mates he’s got. When asked to be involved, nobody – Duff McKagan, Chad Smith, Slash, Post Malone – needed asking twice. Of course you want to jam with Ozzy, not for the glory, but because he’s Ozzy: The Man; Ozzy: The Lovely, Warm-Hearted, Kind Bloke. Showing us his hand, he reveals the bat tattoo that he got after recording. Andrew, Chad and Kelly all have them as well, a mark of the importance of friendship during the most trying of times (“It’s very Ozzy, innit?” he beams).
Osbourne explained that the whole album process went so organically, that he didn't even have time to call Zakk Wylde to be on the album.
Partly, this is down to the way it was made, in that at first he wasn’t really making a record at all. A decade since his last solo album, Scream, it’s actually refreshing that Ordinary Man has come about almost as an afterthought, without a giant battle plan or campaign in place. Because, truthfully, the idea was simply to “have fun”, as Ozzy puts it, without any obligation to have a hit, or even necessarily release the results. Quite simply, he, Andrew, Duff and Chad would get together to jam, with Ozzy taking the day’s results home to spend his evenings thinking about lyrics. It wasn’t until their days jamming “to see what we came up with” had borne enough fruit to make a record that it clicked that they’d made one. So fast did things happen, in fact, that the idea of Zakk Wylde joining on guitar – a man for whom Ozzy declares a huge amount of love when his name is mentioned – didn’t come up, because, “we didn’t know we were making an album”.
Even the guests on the album feel like things that simply happened because the wind was blowing in a certain direction, all done quickly while the idea was hot, and then straight onto the next thing. It was, Ozzy says, exactly what was needed. When he talks about the record, he instantly becomes visibly happier and more excited, and the mischievous twinkle reappears in his eyes.
“We’d bounce the fucking melodies around until something came up, and we’d just go with it,” he enthuses. “It was fun. And it was so fucking good to be doing something. Because I’d be lying in bed going, ‘That’s it, I’m never gonna walk again,’ and this got me doing something and feeling good. And it was simple, it felt more like recording a fucking jam session. It’s not like a Pink Floyd thing where you’ve got to take a tab of acid to enjoy it – just crank the fucking thing. Go for it!”
Read the full interview here.