Tommy Clufetos has cut his teeth playing with Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, and more. The talented and beloved drummer recently appeared on The Eddie Trunk Podcast and looked back on playing in Black Sabbath on the band’s final tour in 2016 and 2017.
Clufetos first started to play with Black Sabbath to fill its original drummer Bill Ward’s place back in 2012, but he didn’t take part on their album 13. After in April 2013, Tommy Clufetos came back to Sabbath for their North American tour. He continued with Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath with the first show at the Barclays Center in New York till the final one in London. In 2015, Clufetos played with Ozzy Osbourne including Ozzfest Japan and others, and followed beginning rehearsals with Sabbath for their farewell tour titled “The End.” He has also thus featured on Sabbath’s DVD ‘The End’ as well.
How guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler acted during the trek and rehearsals
During the conversation, Ozzy’s drummer Tommy Clufetos replies to the question about how guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler acted during the trek and rehearsals and explains how they presented their demands.
“English people are much different than Americans. Americans are much like, ‘Do this, do that.’ They say absolutely nothing. Absolutely, really, nothing. You’re expected to do your homework. And I did do my homework. I do always do my homework, that’s the only reason I’m able to claw and try to survive in this business,” reflects the talented drummer his first impression about them and continues. They gave me a list of like, ‘Here are 50 songs,’ 50 Black Sabbath songs, which they probably only play 16 or 17 of them, which was basically every track they ever did with Ozzy. So I learned them all, and then when you show up and you know everything, it’s just a process of chipping away at the stone and going over.
The difference in the Black Sabbath stuff – those drum parts Bill Ward came up with, it was very unorthodox from any other style. So on top of digging into the music, I had to dig into his playing and what made him ‘him’ because all four of those guys had their unique counterpoint to make a whole of that music.”
As he goes on, you can really see how much respectful and loving approach he has for the fans that he tries to shape his music according to them but not just for himself.
So I really had to do justice to that or attempt to do justice the best that I could, to make people, when we went out on tour, hear what they wanted to hear. That was my goal.”
His thoughts for Ozzy Osbourne and their future
As the conversation gets deeper, Tommy Clufetos is also asked about Ozzy‘s health concerns and whether will they be able to tour again or not in the future.
“I know Ozzy’s making a new record now, and I know he said he’s gonna go back out and play, and if they say he’s gonna go back out and play, then that’s what he’s gonna do,” starts answering Ozzy’s drummer. It turns out he wasn’t a part of the new record. No, I didn’t play on the last record, and I’m not playing on this one. I believe his producer, they got all that covered.”
The last record mentioned here is 2020’s ‘Ordinary Man,’ which featured Chad Smith of RHCP on drums. Afterward, he also answers the question about if Black Sabbath has seen the end after all or will they play ever again.
“I’m the last guy to know anything. I mean, they said it was the end, it’s the best question from ‘End of the Beginning’, ‘Is it the end of the beginning, or the beginning of the end?’ Right? Nobody knows.”
Never say never
Eddie Trunk also tells that he had talked to Tony recently and found out that he’s getting ready to put out a reissue of ‘Vol. 4’ and the Dio stuff. As Trunk describes them saying you can never say never, it’s so in their blood, Tommy Clufetos continues him and says,
“How do you stop it? You don’t, you can’t, you literally can’t stop. If you’re able to do so, you know, everybody needs a break and everybody needs time for perspective, to go home to their families and do this, but I’m never gonna stop, I’ll tell you that, “Clufetos says with showing off his love for music and all.
“I can’t stop – it’s what I do, and without it, you’re just piddling around. So nobody can stop, especially when you can still do it with greatness.”
You can hear the whole conversation of Tommy Clufetos and Eddie Trunk here.