Legendary producer Rick Rubin spoke to Newsweek about his last 30 years — and how he's about to make history by having two consecutive chart-topping records by two different acts: BLACK SABBATH's long-awaited reunion album, "13", and Kanye West's "Yeezus".
Speaking about his collaboration with BLACK SABBATH, Rubin said: "I always request that artists overwrite. Write as much as possible — and then we can narrow down — because you never really know. The best song you write might be No. 25, not No. 12. For every SYSTEM OF A DOWN record, we've recorded probably 30 songs to get the 12 or 14 that are on the record. The same with [RED HOT] CHILI PEPPERS.
"An artist who has made a lot of records, sometimes they're not really up for that. It was a little bit of a struggle with BLACK SABBATH, for example. We never got up to 30. But they probably wrote more than 20. We probably recorded 16. And there are eight on the album. I just think they'd never done it before. But it made sense to me because in the past they were on a roll from album to album, and now they haven’t been a band together in 35 years. The idea that after 35 years the first 10 songs you write are perfect is unrealistic.
"Back in the day, BLACK SABBATH was essentially a jam band. That’s how they wrote. And they had gotten away from that. They were used to making demos: here's a click track, here's where the guitar riffs are. But what made BLACK SABBATH BLACK SABBATH was the way each of them interpreted what the others were playing. Those reactions create tension — they create the band's sound… My goal was to get BLACK SABBATH back to performing together — to jamming — because they are experts at it."