Australia's Heavy magazine recently conducted an interview with UGLY KID JOE frontman Whitfield Crane. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On ORCHESTRA OF DOOM, which finds Crane teaming with the 35-piece Philharmonia Australia to celebrate Ozzy Osbourne's 71st birthday by homage to BLACK SABBATH and other rock classics:
Whitfield: "ORCHESTRA OF DOOM is a 35-piece orchestra, an all-analog orchestra, scored by Andrea Basstoni, this Italian cat who's probably the most badass conductor and composer in the world today. The difference between ORCHESTRA OF DOOM and perhaps some other orchestral offering is it's all analog. When I say that, we don't have Marshall stacks. We don't have any electricity. It really has that essence of opera, or like a cool thing that sometimes… Like, I've seen METALLICA, they're going to do that again in September, but they're playing electric, or SCORPIONS. That's a beautiful thing, that's a beautiful happening. But there's electricity involved. The fact that ORCHESTRA OF DOOM, it was a suicide mission I did in Verona, Italy I did a year or two ago that worked. The girth of it is BLACK SABBATH, Ozzy era, and Ozzy Osbourne's solo stuff, like 'Diary Of A Madman' and 'Blizzard Of Ozz'. All that stuff is so orchestral and so beautiful. It really is something I've never seen or heard before."
On whether Crane needed the blessing of Osbourne to do the first orchestral shows in 2016:
Whitfield: "No, but I'll tell you a funny story. I probably should have done that considering I know that camp really well. I didn't even think about it. All of the sudden, about two weeks before the show, I get a call from Jack Osbourne. I'm all, 'What's up, Jack?' He goes 'How's it going?' I go, 'It's going pretty good.' He goes, 'I heard you're doing a BLACK SABBATH orchestra.' I go, 'That's true, what's up?' He goes 'Mom [Sharon] wants to send you something.' And I said 'Oh… uh, what does she want to send?' He says "I'm not telling you? I said 'Is it good?' He said, 'I'm not telling you.' Oh shit. I gave the address. I really love that family. I hope I wasn't disrespectful. I didn't know if I had done something wrong because I'm not that way. Anyway, the day before the show, a box appears, a mail box from Sharon Osbourne, it's a big box. I'm like 'Holy shit!' I opened the box and I'm opening it and it has all kind of BLACK SABBATH t-shirts and hoodies and all kinds of great stuff. Then what it has that brought a tear to my eye, it had all the things Ozzy needs before every show. It had Ozzy's thermos; Ozzy's special honey that he uses for his voice; it had Ozzy's special cologne. It had every idiosyncratic thing to make a singer's head straight. But this particular singer happened to Ozzy Osbourne. It was in a really nice handwritten note from Ozzy that said he was so excited for me and all the family signed it. I probably should have asked, but I was pleased with that was the reason. They're a great family."
On Ozzy Osbourne's reaction upon hearing ORCHESTRA OF DOOM:
Whitfield: "I had pieces of this orchestra, we filmed it all. This was all done, as in the sense it had already manifested, then I went back to Northern California to visit my family and BLACK SABBATH was playing in Oakland. So, I went to go see SABBATH. We went and watched soundcheck and Ozzy told me to come back and say hi. He was, like, 'What's up with the orchestra, man? Tell me about it.' I showed him clips of it and it freaked him out in the best way. He was so touched. Then he looked at me all puzzled with his rad Ozzy stare. He looked at me. You couldn't pay for this, but he's all puzzled. He goes, 'Orchestras don't jam, man!' I never really thought about it. Guess what? He's right. Orchestras don't jam. So Big Dave looks after Ozzy. During the SABBATH set that day, there's a drum solo, it's a great drum solo, but during that drum solo, I think the SABBATH guys get a rest and Ozzy goes in his little tent stage left and Big Dave sits there with him and sometimes Ozzy talks to him and sometimes not. Sometimes Ozzy wants a water, whatever, whatever Ozzy's thinking. But this particular show after I had shown him little snippets of the ORCHESTRA OF DOOM backstage on the iPhone, he looked at Big Dave. Big Dave looked at him, 'What do you wanna do, boss?' He looked at Big Dave, 'Have you seen what Whit's done to the music?' He was so excited. Ozzy Osbourne is without a doubt, one of my heroes. I genuinely love that dude. I love what he's done with his music and how it's affected me, so to make him feel good, it was really nice to hear that. I was, like, 'Rad, I affected him in a positive way.' Everything this thing seems to touch, it kind of has that thing. I'm not saying that because I am involved in it, I'm saying that sometimes a creative happening has something about it. I don't know if maybe the word 'magic' is too strong, but there's something special about this."
ORCHESTRA OF DOOM will perform at Australia's Melbourne Palais Theatre on December 3, and Sydney Darling Harbour Theatre on December 7.
Pre-sale tickets were made available from Ticketek and Ticketmaster on July 19.
Crane recently confirmed that he and his UGLY KID JOE bandmates are planning to set aside time at the end of the year to begin on the follow-up to 2015's "Uglier Than They Used Ta Be".