Published May 20, 2010"I was talking to [Mötley Crüe] bassist Nikki [Sixx], the other day and he said, 'Do you remember when we toured together in the '80s?' Well... no," admitted Ozzy Osbourne during a press conference Wednesday (May 19) in Toronto in support of his forthcoming 10th studio album Scream. And that's not all the heavy metal hero admitted to.
"I don't know if I snorted a line of ants up or not," he continues with a chuckle about the realities of his infamous tale about ingesting a trail of critters cocaine-style and lapping up Sixx's urine during a gross-out contest. "I was out of my head and that was a long time ago."
Visiting Hogtown in order to preview the release and allow contest winners an opportunity to ply the Prince of Darkness with their burning questions (the best being what his preferred superpower would be), Osbourne - joined by his inimitable wife Sharon - was candid about everything from the aforementioned drug haze to jesting about having Denzel Washington play him in a biopic, how to make a relationship work and eventually Scream itself.
Touted as the first album not to feature longtime guitarist/Black Label Society leader Zakk Wylde who joined Ozzy's team circa 1987 and brought him back to the forefront via albums such as 1988's No Rest for the Wicked and 1991's No More Tears, Wylde's absence and replacement by former Firewind axeman Gus G. caused a sea of controversy over the past few months, spurring many to believe that not only would Scream suffer from the loss of his inimitable pig squeals but resulted in bitter fallout.
Not true, says Osbourne.
"He's just so busy, he's got his own thing going with Black Label Society," the Ozzman mumbled. "There's no anger there, though. I'm the godfather to his kids, man. Sometimes you just have to move forward but we're still friends."
At that, the Wylde controversy was about the only true mystery cleared up during the two-hour event. Referencing Scream, Ozz and Sharon admitted they really had no clue as to what was going on. After (thankfully) changing the title from Soul Sucka and settling on Scream, the album's entire packaging was thrown into an uproar, forcing them to immediately come up with what we now see: a winged Ozzy holding a flag and pointing into the distance. (Click here to have a look.)
"Everyone hated it," Ozzy laughed about the previous title, which has been relegated to a song. "I had these rap guys saying there was no way I was gonna take their word and my fans hated the idea so I just dropped it."
As for Scream's image, well, it means nothing admits Sharon. "The idea for Soul Sucka was to have Ozzy holding [something], cradling it like a baby but once we changed the title, we had to use something different."
"It really was a matter of [covers eyes, spins hand and points down at table] 'that one.' There. It's done," she laughs. "Whatever. I have no idea what the hell he's doing or looking at, all right?"
Scream is due out on June 22 via Epic Records.