PATIENT NUMBER 9–released September 9 and marking OZZY’s 13th solo studio album–triumphantly sets new career highs for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy®-winning singer and songwriter. The critically acclaimed album has topped his previous chart entries with record-breaking numbers around the world. In the U.S., the album debuted at #1 on multiple charts: Top Album Sales (Ozzy’s first #1 ever on this chart), Top Current Album Sales (another first), Top Rock & Alternative Albums, Top Rock Albums, Top Hard Rock Albums, Top Vinyl Albums and Tastemaker Albums charts; and at #3 on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart. Globally, the album charted at #1 in Canada (OZZY’s first-ever #1 there); career high #2 entries in the UK, Australia, Finland and Italy; #6 in the Netherlands and New Zealand; #8 in Belgium; and #14 France. Other highlights include #2 Austria, Germany and Sweden; #3 in Switzerland; and #4 in Norway.
Working with producer Andrew Watt for the second time, OZZY welcomed a dynamic A-list featured guests on the album. For the first time ever, Black Sabbath co-founder, guitarist, and riff-master Tony Iommi appears on an OZZY solo album. The record also boasts guitarists Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, and longstanding righthand man and six-string beast Zakk Wylde who plays on the majority of the tracks. For the bulk of the album, Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers held down drums, while the late Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters appears on three songs. Old friend and one-time OZZY band member Robert Trujillo of Metallica plays bass on most of the album’s tracks, with Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses and Chris Chaney supplying bass on a few songs.
Q: How does it feel to have received four nominations for the new album?
OZZY: “I’m honestly overwhelmed. Making this record was a great way to me to get back to work as I continued to heal. It’s pretty great to be acknowledged at this point in my career.”
Q: Between the pandemic and you going through your surgeries, do you think that contributed to making another record so quickly?
OZZY: “Well, the thing was I had all this time–we all did through the pandemic. Instead of lying there and just doing my physical therapy, the record actually got me doing something that I love.”
Q: What was your mindset when you were writing and recording the album?
OZZY: “I was thinking about the times we’ve been living in. There wasn’t much good news. It was a fucking war in Ukraine and the pandemic. The world seemed to be on the brink of a bad thing.”
Q: How do you feel at this point in your career having the kind of notoriety you’ve achieved with this album?
OZZY: “The business forever surprises me. It’s never a safe bet. I’ve done things in the past where I tell myself ‘this is going to be a hit.’ Then it’s gone down the shitter and other things I’ve done…It’s done the opposite. I’m very cheered up by the support.”
Q: The interesting thing about the album is it features top musicians, including some old friends.
OZZY: “Oh yeah. I mean the guitars are Tony [Iommi], Zakk [Wylde], Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck’s fucking phenomenal work, plus Robert Trujillo on bass. It’s turned out better than I ever expected. And having Taylor Hawkins with me in the studio like a week or two before he died was amazing. To think he’s gone breaks my heart.”
Q: It must be special that “Degradation Rules” which features Tony Iommi, was nominated for a Grammy.
OZZY: “Such great news. I mean that song would’ve made a great Black Sabbath track. It’s a very well-structured song. I’ve known Tony since I was 12 years old and I’m glad to say we’ve continued a really good friendship. Tony’s been very supportive of me while I’ve been recovering from surgery. He’s been in constant contact, which has been great.”
Q: What’s the collaboration like with producer Andrew Watt?
OZZY: “He’s a lot better than most producers at collaboration. The fact that he plays guitar, and I don’t, and he works with machines and I don’t, makes it easier. It’s just great working with him. We end up arguing a bit with…sometimes, but not a lot!”