In a recent interview with The Void, former Heaven & Hell producer Mike Exeter has talked about Tony Iommi’s studio routines. He said:
“[Tony and I] got into a routine where we would start putting ideas down [in the studio]. Because he doesn’t wanna play people stuff off his phone; he wants to have a catalog of songs.
So we would start putting ideas down and come up with a drum pattern that would maybe suit a specific riff that we thought might be worth looking at. And then I’d throw some bass on, I’d program the drums, and maybe we’d put some keyboards or orchestration.”
Interviewer asked how Tony wrote his legendary riffs, and Mike responded:
“He writes for himself, but he knows it’s not precious, and he’ll change a riff if a singer needs him to. It was quite interesting.
The dynamic between him and Ronnie was probably the masterclass of my life because knowing their history, it was quite interesting watching them really concentrating on doing as much as possible to make the other one feel at ease.
‘Cause they’ve had a pretty acrimonious fallout over the years, and they’d come back together, and it was so lovely — the feeling was always good. So they were constantly pushing each other, and it was always, like, ‘Oh, do you mind if I change this chord? Will that affect you?’
‘No, no. I can sing that.’ Or, ‘I’ve come up with this idea. Do you think that affects what you’ve played?’ And Geezer would always be there in the middle, going, ‘I really like that. That’s good.’ Or, ‘How about we try that?’ So it was this lovely, quiet environment. And the same thing was happening with ’13’.”
You can listen to the entire interview from below. Click here to source of the statement.