On May 25, legendary BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi made a very special visit to Birmingham, England’s BIMM Music Institute to announce details of the BIMM Birmingham Scholarship, which will bear his name.
As part of the celebrations, BIMM invited a very lucky group of prospective students to give them a taste of life and the fantastic opportunities available at the new state-of-the-art college, which will open its doors in Digbeth this October. Introducing the £20,250 award, BIMM Birmingham’s executive principal Dara Kilkenny said: “Tony Iommi has agreed to put his name to a scholarship which will be worth £20,250 for one of the applicants, and it could be one of you in this room. It’s available to all disciplines, all degree students. You will not pay any fees.”
Giving his thoughts on the scholarship and how one lucky BIMM student can utilize it, Tony said: “It’s fantastic; I just think that you have to go for it and work as hard as you can. Believe in what you are doing. You have to believe in it, and follow it through. Work as hard as you can. You have to love it and enjoy it.”
After the announcement, Tony sat down with BIMM‘s resident BLACK SABBATH aficionado and ORANGE GOBLIN drummer Chris Turner for an exclusive interview about his life in music and his work with BLACK SABBATH, following the band’s decision to bid farewell after spending a half century and the forefront of heavy metal.
Tony, whose ear-shattering riffs and unique sound provided the blueprint for all metal bands who have followed, shared a wealth of insight and a host of amazing anecdotes about the band’s formation. BLACK SABBATH‘s sound was actually part inspired by horror movies, which explains a lot.
“We were fascinated with horror movies,” he told the audience. “Geezer [Butler, BLACK SABBATH bassist] and I used to go to a ‘Midnight Horror’ night at the cinema. I said to Geezer: ‘It would great if we could write music that to give you the same fear as a horror movie,’ and that’s what started it off.”
On the subject of BIMM, Tony spoke of the opportunities now available to aspiring musicians and the ease of which you can make music nowadays thanks to advances in technology but admits his allegiances will always lie with the warm, fuzzy analogue sound that many are still trying to attain years later. So how does he feel about his riffs being an inspiration to so many bands? “We are proud of it,” he said. “It feels weird, so many bands of the years recognize us as their influence. It’s a great honor.”