Andrew Watt, Duff McKagan + Chad Smith Worked Up New Ozzy Osbourne Album in Four Days
The talent that has surrounded Ozzy Osbourne over the years is astounding, so imagine getting the call from The Prince of Darkness that he wants to work with you on a new album. That's what happened for Andrew Watt, and in a new interview with Billboard the guitarist reveals how his collaboration with Osbourne for the upcoming Ordinary Man album came about.
Watt, who has become an in demand songwriter and producer in the pop world, comes from a rock background, having previously been part of California Breed, a short-lived project with Glenn Hughes and Jason Bonham. But his time with Osbourne actually started with an idea he got after learning Post Malone had purchased an Ozzy photo that had been hanging up at the Rainbow Bar & Grill in Los Angeles. Feeling a connection between the two acts, he reached out to Ozzy's daughter Kelly to see if the iconic rocker would be into a collaboration with the rock-loving rapper.
Eventually, the collaboration took place, but Ozzy took an interest in doing more music with Watt and tasked him with making a full album specifically for Ozzy.
"I was like, that would be amazing, but can I do this? I picked up the phone and called up Chad Smith," recalled Watt. "I said, 'Dude, Ozzy just asked me to make an album for him. Are you down to do it?' And he said, 'Are you fucking kidding me? When?' Then I called up Duff McKagan from Guns 'n Roses and he said, 'Are you fucking kidding me? When?'"
According to Watt, he, Smith and McKagan worked up their Ozzy album in four days, presented it to Osbourne who called it "cool," then had Osbourne call the next day to ask when they could start writing.
"I sound like I'm making this up, but he comes over the next day, and we made Ozzy's entire album from top to bottom -- all music, guitar solos, all vocals written -- in four weeks," said Watt. "It's the proudest of anything I've ever been, because it brought the 12-year-old kid out of me again. Don't get me wrong, I love the pop music that I make, but this is what I feel like I was born to do: play rock guitar. I got to be fuckin' Randy Rhoads in 2019."
Earlier this year, Osbourne had high praise for his latest work. "I've made a new album and it's helped me get back on track. I was just lying in my own self-pity for months. It's the greatest album I've done," said the singer.
Ozzy added, “If it wasn’t for making this record I would still be on traction, thinking, ‘I’m going to be lying here forever.' I’ve missed music so badly. My fans are so loyal and so good. Up until making the album I thought I was dying. But that got me off my arse.”
The singer concluded of his time with Watt, “The album was all finished in four weeks. I said to Sharon that I didn’t feel like I’d made an album because we haven’t ended up screaming at each other.”
So far, Osbourne has released the songs "Under the Graveyard" and "Straight to Hell," with the latter featuring a guest turn from McKagan's GN'R bandmate Slash. While an official release date has not been announced, Ozzy's Ordinary Man album is expected to arrive in January.