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Metal Stars Mark 20th Anniversary Of Ozzfest

09/26/2016
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Ozzfest

Ahead of this weekend's Ozzfest meets Knotfest in Southern California, a number of metal stars took a look back at the legacy of the Ozzfest which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

Slipknot's Corey Taylor: "You have to go back to 1999, our first major tour. Ozzfest gave us an incredible opportunity and we were able to really jumpstart our career from there...The great thing about being a part of that Ozzfest was that you were immediately a part of a family. And then when we did it subsequently in 2001, 2004, even the one-off in 2005, it was like coming home. The Osbournes themselves really believed in this band and always have. So when we kind of started spitballing the idea to do Ozzfest Meets Knotfest, in a way it was for us to kind of put together something amazing for the fans, but also to pay respect, as an homage pay a little bit back to a festival that really helped make this band what it is and to give a little nod to a brand that, to this day, when you say to a metal fan, 'Ozzfest,' they know what that means. It means excitement, it means something for our genre, it means something strong, it means bringing together a family-and that's kind of what Knotfest is trying to do, but we wouldn't be able to do that if we hadn't first come from Ozzfest."

Megadeth's Dave Mustaine: "I got to go on one of Tony Iommi's morning walks that were part of his exercise routine, and we talked as if we had known each other for years. I gave Ozzy a Frank Sinatra golf club I'd gotten from Frank's tournament in Palm Springs and he hugged me, which was supposed to be a very sacred thing with the Prince of Darkness. Most memorable was a talk I had with Sharon about the aggregate of all metal musicians and how we are all 'salt of the earth' as she called us. We laughed that there was only one who had been born with a silver spoon in its mouth, and I felt truly blessed to be her friend. I'm really looking forward to this show and the remaining shows with Black Sabbath."

Metallica's Robert Trujillo: "What a huge honor to have been a part of Ozzfest. I was there from the very beginning back in 1996, and witnessed the birth of a Rock 'n' Roll movement launching so many great bands as Ozzy has always done. I remember System Of A Down when they were rolling in a beat-up RV being held together by duct tape, always ready to conquer and kick ass! But my biggest honor was improvising a spontaneous move called the 'Crab Walk' with my hero Mr. Ozzy Osbourne in Phoenix, Arizona in '96. From Black Sabbath to Slayer to Slipknot to Tool to Pantera to Meshuggah etc. (Oh yeah, Metallica, Dallas 2008), always a historic moment and what a f***ing party! Thank you Sharon and Ozzy. Happy 20 years Ozzfest."

Korn's Jonathan Davis: "I've always had the best memories of Ozzfest. We were one of the first bands on it...I think we played 2003 or 2004. Sharon had us come out and we played and it was awesome. It was such an awesome festival, like a big, dark, crazy traveling carnival circus thing going on with a bunch of rock bands. We really did it up right. I think it was an amazing experience. It's always fun to see Ozzy every night. And he always had all the best bands. That was the year Ozzfest was Korn and Manson and that always is interesting. Me and that guy, crazy stuff happens when we get together."

Lamb Of God's Randy Blythe: "In 2004, my band played Ozzfest for the first time, and my liver will never be the same. We were one of the three headliners on the second stage, and while the main stage acts that year were pretty spectacular (I mean, where else were you going to see the original Black Sabbath lineup, Judas Priest and Slayer all on the same stage? It will never happen again!), the second stage that year had such a savagely familial vibe--we were all out for blood, and we were all in it together. Epic cook-outs nightly, stolen golf-cart wrecks, the infamous Shirts-off Crew that would bum-rush security and just take over whatever area we felt like (several of us bear S.O.C. tattoos from that tour), wild after-parties--it was completely and utterly off-the-freaking-meat-rack INSANE. I got 'called into the principal's office' a few times (translation: I did something crazy/offensive/freakishly stupid on festival grounds and got yelled at by Sharon Osbourne), I got chased by police for taking Hatebreed's four wheeler rooting onto some residential street and escaped into backstage just in the nick of time, I woke up every morning felling like hammered sh*t in 100 degree weather then immediately went on stage to play some of the most fun shows of my life; it was a fine time to be a younger man. I think Ozzfest '04 may have taken a few years off my life, and that's OK--it was the time of my life. I wouldn't wanna do it again--hell, I couldn't do it again (it would kill me)--but I don't regret a second of it. Thanks Ozzy & Sharon for the memories. It was truly an honor and a blast. OZZZZZZZZFEEEEESSSSSSSSTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!"

Deftones' Stephen Carpenter: "My memory of Ozzfest: getting to tour with all original members of Black Sabbath. Never thought I'd see them play live, let alone get to do two tours with them. The first being just earlier that same year. What a privilege! Also, having to come on right after Slayer, damn!! Being a fan of them and knowing how their fans react to newer bands, it was a bit daunting at first. Had to buckle down and give that thought no mind and just rock! Made a lot friends on that tour, thank you Ozzfest!"

Zakk Wylde: "The Ozzfest is the hard rock fraternity gathering granddaddy of them all!!!"

Nikki Sixx: "Ozzy gave Motley Crue it's big break taking us under his wing for our first big arena tour and then later we were asked to rejoin our friend on Ozzfest. We are so proud to be part of the history and legacy of Ozzy and Ozzfest. Ozzfest has been one of the biggest and proudest moments for all rock music."

Judas Priest: "A full on relentless total assault of the senses! The rest is a blur of hails and good times with our fellow screamers shredders and pounders both onstage and off!"

Anthrax's Charlie Benante: "Well...We were on tour with Ozzy and we had a night off in Buffalo. I was going down to the restaurant and as I'm walking in, Ozzy was walking out with his assistant. He sees me and puts his hands on my shoulders and shakes me and says, 'Have you tried the wings? They're fabulous!'"

Killswitch Engage's Mike D: "In 2003, there was change in the air, Nu Metal was dying, and Ozzfest was the catalyst. Before the start of tour, we were told, 'If you are not on the main stage, do not expect to sell a lot of shirts.' Much to everyone's surprise, we sold out our entire six-week shirt order in the first three days. That was when we knew that the tide turned and a new breed of metal had arrived. Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, Sworn Enemy and Cradle of Filth had taken over the second stage, and made it their own."

Soulfly's Max Cavalera: "I have lots of kickass memories from Ozzfest! Lynn Strait running buck naked through the dressing rooms and surprising Sharon...my son, Richie, singing Bleed...the making of the Primitive video...our kids stealing golf carts with the Osbourne kids and running wild...Sharon and Ozzy made history with Ozzfest!! It was the ultimate traveling Metal circus!!! We all became family! F*** Lollapalooza!!"

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