This time six years in the past, you’d be forgiven for pondering you’d by no means hear of Andrew Watt once more.
The younger guitarist had bought himself embroiled within the mire that was Glenn Hughes’ profession on the time. The previous Deep Purple and Black Sabbath singer and bassist had performed a major position within the collapse of the supergroup Black Country Communion in 2013. Quickly afterward he introduced California Breed, that includes BCC’s drummer Jason Bonham together with new discovery Watt, who was 23 on the time. They launched their self-titled album in Could 2014. Then every thing started to go fallacious.
“We are not any extra … one other factor we couldn’t hold collectively,” the group announced on social media on Jan. 15, 2015. To some, it wasn’t a shock – Bonham had bowed out the earlier yr, and whereas no full clarification was provided, media quotes instructed some stage of discontent behind the scenes. Following up, Watt posted a quick remark, saying: “I put every thing I had into this band. All I can say is I used to be in it for the lengthy haul. This isn’t the top – it’s actually the start.” Not precisely a line that wasn’t heard earlier than, nevertheless it seems Watt proper on the cash.
Quickly after that, his profession started to skyrocket, and he shortly turned an enormous title on the pop scene, writing with, performing with and producing pop stars together with Justin Bieber, Post Malone, Miley Cyrus, Dua Lipa and lots of others. He additionally recorded as a solo artist. Rock followers might have missed out on that Grammy-winning artistic explosion as a result of he was now merely credited as “Watt.” For them, it could have been much more of a shock when his lengthy stroll again from the California Breed wilderness resulted with him masterminding Ozzy’s Osbourne’s life-saving 2020 album Ordinary Man.
Watch California Breed’s ‘Sweat Tea’ Video
“Life-saving” is literal, as Osbourne himself admitted. The challenge started after he had suffered severe health issues that made him a prisoner at house; simply as he started to get better, the coronavirus made everybody prisoners of their houses. “The album has saved my life,” he stated outright. “Earlier than I began work, I used to be simply mendacity there pondering, ‘Poor previous me.’ The album bought me away from bed. … It was the most effective drugs I might have, as a result of it stopped me excited about how I would find yourself a cripple.”
Atypical Man was a pure development from Watt’s first encounter with Osbourne, which got here by way of Malone. After discovering the pop star was a fan of the Prince of Darkness, Watt told himself: “I gotta make a tune for Put up and Ozzy. … I’ve stated insane shit out loud earlier than, and this was a type of occasions.”
The ensuing observe, “Take What You Need,” turned a mainstream hit. “Which means, in 2019, there’s a fucking metallic tune on pop radio with a tapping guitar solo and Ozzy Osbourne,” Watt, additionally a longtime Osbourne fan, reported proudly. “And that’s the coolest shit to me in your complete world.”
Watch Video for Put up Malone Feat. Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Take What You Need’
Osbourne’s album was written and recorded shortly with help from Duff McKagan and Chad Smith, each of whom have been interested in Watt’s constructive vitality. Guns N’ Roses bassist McKagan, who is aware of a factor or two about troublesome artistic collaborations, noted: “We might by no means written collectively, and you already know that may go sideways in a sizzling second. However it didn’t.”
In December 2020 Watt instructed Guitar.com that since he “grew up within the Napster era,” he “had so many various kinds of music in entrance of me.”
“My favourite rock music will not be good; it has holes,” he defined. “You needed to know easy methods to play your instrument to make these superb Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Smiths data.” He stated that whereas writing pop, hip-hop and rap tracks concerned completely different emphasis, it was all the time “essential to really feel actual.” His compositions “all begin with guitar, even when the ultimate tune doesn’t have a guitar,” he added, noting how he had performed in blues dives throughout New York Metropolis.
“What’s cool about rock ‘n’ roll is that it turned a lot greater than a style,” he mirrored. “You should utilize it as an adjective. It’s the one style you should use as an adjective, like, ‘Have a look at that individual, they’re so rock ‘n’ roll!’ It’s an perspective and a vibe. That a part of it is extremely a lot alive at present.”
For an individual who’s solely 30 years previous, and given his current previous, it could appear silly to counsel he’s already peaked. So whereas working with Osbourne is a excessive level in his profession thus far, there’s prone to be extra of the identical. “It was a real dream,” the producer stated. “If you look again on a profession in music and being blessed sufficient to be a musician, it’s these sorts of moments that can actually stick. I’ve spent a lot time with somebody I idolize. Ozzy’s like a member of the family now.”
Watch Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Atypical Man’ Video
Work continues on a follow-up to Atypical Man, though Watt himself suffered a well being setback when he caught COVID-19, from which he’s nonetheless recovering. Nonetheless, he mirrored: “Ozzy was very sick once we began the primary album, recovering from his neck surgical procedure, and this album gave him one other lease on life. It was the primary time I’d ever been concerned in one thing musical that was about one thing better than the music. It saved this man’s life. I reached my childhood dream of having the ability to make rock ‘n’ roll with the precise individual I wished to make it with.”
Again in January 2016, Watt vowed to “proceed the search to convey rock ’n’ roll again to the folks which might be hungry for it.” He delivered. For many who fear rock crossovers have spent an excessive amount of time crossing away and never steering towards the style they love, Watt affords hope.
With blues in his training, the Beatles’ “Blackbird” as considered one of his favourite songs and a Bob Dylan quote as personal motto – “Should you ever really feel actually caught, play your favourite tune for an hour time and again” – it’s no marvel he’s held in such excessive regard.
Watch Andrew Watt Carry out ‘Excessive’