Jake E. Lee believes bassist Phil Soussan was partially instrumental in getting him fired from Ozzy gig
Red Dragon Cartel guitarist and former Ozzy Osbourne and Badlands axeman Jake E. Lee was recently interviewed by Jimmy Kay for Canada’s The Metal Voice and spoke about his time with Ozzy Osbourne.
On why he was fired after the Ultimate Sin album and tour, Lee opined (as transcribed by The Metal Voice with slight edits): “It was a combination of reasons. First, me and Ozzy never clicked on a personnel level, there was never any conflict or arguments but we never bonded or clicked on a personnel level. Ozzy did not get my sense of humour. It’s very dry and sarcastic. But he got that bond with Zakk Wylde later on. Second, me and Phil Soussan (bassist) did not have a good relationship. Also when we were writing for the third record I felt a little constrained musically because there were parameters you have to write in for it to fit with Ozzy and basically it has to be metal and I was getting a little bored with that I was trying to push it musically. Last I know at the same time, Randy Castillo (drummer) told me that Phil wanted to be the main songwriter because the song “Shot In The Dark” that he wrote was the big hit on Ultimate Sin and Phil Soussan was whispering in Ozzy‘s ear, ‘We don’t need Jake. We will just write a bunch of hits now.’ As far as Phil is concerned, I know he was partially instrumental in getting me fired. He lasted after in the band after I was out maybe three months before he got fired. I saved his ass prior twice on tour because of his stage antics and Ozzy wanted to fire him and I talked Ozzy out of it. So the fact that Phil helped me get fired in the end and then he only lasted a couple of months. Karma, Karma Motherfucker. “
In terms of why he did not get writing credits for the Bark At The Moon album, Lee advised: “I was young and back in those days there was little information about how the music business works and I trusted people. I was told from the beginning I would get my fair share of the writing credits and publishing and I took them at my word which was a mistake but it was never about the money. When I first joined the band I’m pretty sure I got paid about $100 dollars a week but it would incrementally go up because they weren’t sure about me. Then it doubled and it would keep doubling and so on until I proved myself and I didn’t care. I went from having no money and no band to being in Ozzy. I didn’t give a shit about the money and I didn’t even give a shit about getting paid on Bark At The Moon album. I just wanted credit. I remember I was going to get $5000 to record Bark At The Moon and get writing credit and publishing. But when I finally got the contract, they threw in another $10,000 to make up for the no having writing and publishing. In regards to not having publishing on that song “Bark At The Moon”, just low balling, for my portion would have been $250,000 just for that song not having publishing on it. Which means there was about $250,000 that Ozzy got that instead of me. It’s a lot of money but I am not bitter about it.”
In regard to how much Ozzy contributed to the writing process for Bark At The Moon, Lee advised: “Ozzy was not there too often in the writing sessions but Ozzy was really good at melodies, Ozzy would pop in when we were working on songs, ‘Bark at the Moon’ for example, we would work on the songs and Ozzy would pop in towards the end of the night and he was amazing at how fast he would come up with a melody. The melody would just come to him. He didn’t have to work on it. He never did work on it. He heard the music, he grabbed the mic and he had a melody and a catch phrase on what we could build on. He wouldn’t have any lyrics, just hum and Bob Daisley would write the words.”
You can listen to the interview with Jake E. Lee with The Metal Voice below:
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