Tony Iommi, guitarist and king of the riffs of Black Sabbath, has taken another step in his passion for Lamborghini and when acquiring a Urus, the super sports SUV of the Italian brand. Along with the leader of the band, Ozzy Osbourne; the bassist Geezer Butler and the battery Bill Ward, Iommi - the only member to have been part of the band uninterruptedly - forged a sound that set the pattern for what would become known as heavy metal.
Since its formation in 1968 in the British industrial city of Birmingham, Black Sabbath has sold more than 100 million albums, has wowed fans on countless stadium tours around the world and influenced successive generations of rock bands. As one of the original architects of the deafening guitar sound that characterizes the heavy metal genre, it stands to reason that Iommi has long been a fan of Sant'Agata's celebrated engines.
Rock stars love cars, but as Iommi recounted in an exclusive interview, his passion for Lamborghini dates back to the band's early successes. “I bought two Espadas in the 70s, one after the other, and then I bought a Miura SV. When the Urus came out, I fell in love with it. It drives well and is comfortable, I was impressed the first time I tried it on a track day. It was cool and responsive! When I accelerated to the maximum I could not believe it: it did not seem normal to me that a car of that size should be so fast. I had to have it. And I've suddenly gone crazy about blue, so it had to be blue. "
Automobili Lamborghini and Black Sabbath also share the ability to stay true to their unmistakable values. While many bands adapted and adjusted their musical approach to the trends of the moment, Black Sabbath maintained a powerful and unaltered identity throughout their epic career.
As Iommi says: “For us, it's about respecting what we do, what we believe in and what we like, from day one to the end. I have never changed my style because it is fashionable. We ourselves have been in and out of fashion, as things around us were constantly changing. But we never got into that commitment and we came back as big as ever, until we filled stadiums again. It was brilliant. "
“We started the heavy metal genre, which inspired bands like Metallica and Dave Grohl's Foo Fighters to find their own styles. Music changes as it evolves, but ours has remained more or less the same, because that is what we do: when you are involved in something and it is part of you, that is what you play. We have improved it over the years, but we have kept the original essence. In the same way, Lamborghini has always sought innovation while always preserving that unmatched power and that unmistakable sound "says the guitarist
A performance, in all its expressions, be it on stage, in the cinema or in a car, has a lot to do with aesthetics and design. For Tony Iommi, the guitar is not only a musical instrument, but also a mechanism to express his art in the form of incendiary live appearances, as well as being an integral part of his image. An example of form following function, as is the case with the Lamborghini Urus, and its supercar siblings, the Hurricane and Fan.
But Iommi has taken his passion for the most expressive of musical instruments even further: “I've always used the Gibson SG, a double cutaway, to get my hands up to the upper frets, but usually they always come standard with 21 frets. That's why I bought a guitar company, so they would make me a 24-fret one. I love being directly involved in the design and adjusting the guitars to my own needs, in terms of handling and sound. "
Iommi is also enjoying the forced rest brought on by the pandemic, and admits it's comforting to be calm for once. It's time to take stock and prepare for when you can hit the road with your Lamborghini Urus.
“I've been flying around the world for 50 years, so I think the days of traveling are over for me. Now it's nice to be in a fixed place for a while, and - I can't believe it - this is the longest time I've been in one place. But when I can travel again, I will drive the Urus to our home in Sandbanks, by the sea in Dorset. "
In the meantime, he keeps busy from home: “I write and record a lot there. And I'm in contact with old friends, like Ozzy. We write every one or two weeks - we're not very good on the phone - and we talk about how long we've been sitting. We never really talk about music or anything important. Because we have been doing all that our whole lives ”.