Geezer Butler Says He Had to ‘Get Used To’ Black Sabbath Being Called ‘Heavy Metal’

Geezer Butler: Stefan Brending,, Lizenz: Creative Commons by-sa-3.0 de,, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons
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Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Bulter opened up about how Black Sabbath got used to their band being called heavy metal during Trunk Nation with Eddie Trunk on SirurisXM. Here’s how the term ‘heavy metal’ stuck and how Black Sabbath’s upbringing played a role in the type of music they played.

In Bulter’s interview, transcribed by Blabbermouth, his response to being asked about his feelings on being considered one of the originators of the heavy metal was:

I got used to it. It’s just a term, like any other. People try and classify all kinds of music – try to put in a a bag or whatever and they come up with all these different things to call it.

I think they called us heavy metal because we were a lot heavier than most hard rock bands that were around at the time. We’d gone one step heavier than anybody else, so they couldn’t call it ‘heavy rock’; they called it heave metal.

The Black Sabbath bassists goes onto say that the environment all members of the band grew up in played a role in the music they played. They grew up in in an industrial area of England “Birmingham was the very first place to have factories in the world, and it was part of the industrial revolution,” Butler says. “It’s always been an industrial part of England. I think that translated into the type of music that we wanted to play.”

Initially the band referred to their own music as heavy rock and according to Tony Iommi in an interview in 2018 with BBC “the term heavy metal came about from a journalist when I came back from America [in the ’70s.] He said, ‘You’re playing heavy metal,’ and I said, ‘No, it’s heavy rock – what’s that?.”

Black Sabbath got used to the term heavy metal.

“At first, we didn’t like being called heavy metal. But everyone like to put you into certain pigeon hols, so we sort of got used to it. And then instead of it being derogatory, it became a whole lifestyle” Butler said in the same interview – and that is exactly how you own being coined an originator of heavy metal.