‘Heavy Metal’ Was a Sarcastic Phrase Not to Be Taken Seriously, Says Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler


Black Sabbath's Super Deluxe Edition of "Vol. 4" will feature remastered songs off the original album, unreleased live tracks and more.

Black Sabbath, “Vol. 4,” cover art – Story by Charles Ken, cover art courtesy of Vertigo

“Heavy metal” is an endearing terms today, but originally, it was kind of taken as an insult

Metalheads love to talk about their love for heavy metal, but as it turns out, the terms was pretty much a joke at first. In a recent interview, Black Sabbath bass player Geezer Butler said that “heavy metal” was a sarcastic phrase to describe loud metal music before it became an actual genre name.

Black Sabbath are often considered the godfathers of heavy metal, so the comments are especially interesting. As he recalls, the phrase “heavy metal” was used as a sort of insult when the band was touring America in the early-1970s and Black Sabbath kind of took it from there. It’s hard to believe that “heavy metal” was ever considered a negative term, but it all started with some random comments from a random spectator.

“When we were on tour in America — I think it was the second tour in the [United] States — I read this review, and the guy said, ‘This isn’t music; it sounds like a bunch of heavy metal being smashed together.'” Geezer said in a new interview with radio personality Eddie Trunk. “Somehow that got over to England, and from then on it was like the sarcastic thing they used to apply to us — ‘this isn’t music, it’s a load of heavy metal being smashed together.’ And for some reason we got stuck with it.”

Heavy metal usually describes a loud, heavy mix of distorted guitars, towering guitar solos and emphatic beats. In addition to Black Sabbath, some bands known for their heavy metal sound include pioneers Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, as well as Judas Priest, Motorhead, Saxon and

Listen to the full episode of The Eddie Trunk Podcast featuring Geezer Butler via the Spotify player below.



Posted by Charles Ken | Metal, Music, Rock News