Geezer reveals Tony has written two Sabbath songs after lymphoma diagnosis – and vows band’s engines are up and running

Black Sabbath

Up and running: Iommi, right, with Sabbath

Tony Iommi isn’t letting his cancer get the better of him, says Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler.

Instead, the iconic guitarist has written two new songs since being diagnosed with lymphoma at Christmas, and is continuing work on the band’s first original-lineup album since 1978.

Iommi, Butler, frontman Ozzy Osbourne and drummer Bill Ward decided to move their recording operation from the US to the UK to make the guitarist’s health battle easier. He’s now receiving treatment for the form of cancer which attacks the immune system, and early indications suggest he’s responding well.

Butler says: “We got the engines back up and running at Tony’s home studio. Far from being down and depressed about his diagnosis, Tony had already written the music for two new songs.

“I must say it’s given us all a kick up the rump – it’s great to hear him churning out those riffs again, assuaging the ‘demon C’.

“Takes more than that to stop Tony. Can’t wait for you all to hear our workings – it has been great working on this stuff.”

Butler says goodwill messages from across the world have encouraged them all: “It really does help, not only Tony, but us as a band. It raises up our spirits and restores our faith in this tarnished world.

“Sabb fans are good people. Time and again you have proven your faith in us and boosted our endeavour.”

The band still plan to release the untitled album, produced by Rick Rubin, later this year. Despite Iommi’s illness the UK’s Download festival yesterday said they’ll appear as planned at the June event. They earlier cancelled a planned headline slot at Coachella in California in April.

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