Last updated
Geezer Butler in 2013
Background information
Also known asg//z/r, geezer
Origin Houston, Texas, United States
Genres Heavy metal, groove metal
Years active1995–2006
Labels TVT
Associated acts Black Sabbath, Geezer Butler Band, Heaven & Hell, Fear Factory, Anacrusis, Cacophony, Social Distortion, Journey, Bad English, Ozzy Osbourne, Hardline, Killola, Lisa Rieffel, Symatic, Heaven's Flame, Crazy Angel, London Calling, Anger On Anger
Members Geezer Butler
Pedro Howse
Chad Smith
Clark Brown
Past members Deen Castronovo
Burton C. Bell
Mario Frasca

GZR was an American heavy metal band led by Black Sabbath bassist/lyricist Geezer Butler. The band has actually been marketed with three different names on their three releases. In 1995, the band was marketed as g//z/r. In 1997, it was merely geezer, and in 2005, it was GZR. Most fans refer to the band as Geezer, although Butler himself refers to the band name as "gee-zed-R." [ citation needed ] This incarnation of the band is not to be confused with Geezer's previous attempt in 1985 to form a solo band, then known as The Geezer Butler Band - the two bands are completely unrelated.

Black Sabbath British heavy metal band

Black Sabbath were an English rock band, formed in Birmingham in 1968, by guitarist and main songwriter Tony Iommi, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler, drummer Bill Ward, and singer Ozzy Osbourne. Black Sabbath are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music. The band helped define the genre with releases such as Black Sabbath (1970), Paranoid (1970), and Master of Reality (1971). The band had multiple line-up changes, with Iommi being the only constant member throughout its history.

Bassist musician who plays a bass instrument

A bassist or bass player, is a musician who plays a bass instrument such as a double bass, bass guitar, keyboard bass or a low brass instrument such as a tuba or sousaphone. Different musical genres tend to be associated with one or more of these instruments. Since the 1960s, the electric bass has been the standard bass instrument for funk, R&B, soul music, rock and roll, reggae, jazz fusion, heavy metal, country and pop music. The double bass is the standard bass instrument for classical music, bluegrass, rockabilly, and most genres of jazz. Low brass instruments such as the tuba or sousaphone are the standard bass instrument in Dixieland and New Orleans-style jazz bands.

A lyricist or lyrist is a person who writes lyrics—words for songs—as opposed to a composer, who writes the song's melody.


The band's name is derived from the name of its creator: Terence "Geezer" Butler.

Pedro Howse, the guitarist in the band, is Butler's nephew.

Band history

The music is generally of a much harder edge than Butler is known for in Black Sabbath. This is not a surprise, as the vocalist on his first album (Plastic Planet) was Burton C. Bell from Fear Factory, who is known for more driving and harder edged vocals than ever was displayed in Black Sabbath. Before taking on Bell as vocalist for Plastic Planet, Butler contacted Devin Townsend to perform on the album. However, due to Townsend's recent stint with Steve Vai and having had to sing lyrics not written by himself, he was unwilling to enter into another band where he would have no lyrical input. That album also featured Pedro Howse on guitars, as well as Deen Castronovo (of to come Journey fame) on drums. Bell did not stay with the band past the recording of Plastic Planet, due to Fear Factory commitments. In 1996, the band re-emerged with an exclusive track for the Mortal Kombat: More Kombat compilation, entitled 'Outworld' and featuring Anger On Anger vocalist, Mario Frasca.

<i>Plastic Planet</i> 1995 studio album by GZR

Plastic Planet is the debut studio album by GZR, a heavy metal band featuring Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath. The album features Fear Factory vocalist Burton C. Bell.

Burton C. Bell American singer

Burton Christopher Bell is an American musician and vocalist. Bell is best known as co-founder and frontman of the metal band Fear Factory. His singing style mixes clean and shouted vocals with death growls.

Fear Factory American metal band

Fear Factory is an American heavy metal band that was formed in 1989. Throughout the band's career, they have released nine full-length albums and have evolved through a succession of styles, including nu metal, death metal, groove metal, and thrash metal. Fear Factory was enormously influential on the heavy metal scene in the mid-to-late 1990s.

This proved to be a one-time collaboration and Frasca was replaced by Clark Brown from the band Symatic for their second album Black Science, released in 1997. The g//z/r formation did play a few live dates in 1997 behind the release of the album, however this was not a full-fledged tour, most of these gigs were played concurrent to the Ozzfest tour of that year. The band opened for such folks as Bruce Dickinson, who was playing some live gigs at the time. Castronovo recorded, but did not play any of the live gigs. He was replaced on drums by Chad Smith (not to be confused with the Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer with the same name).

<i>Black Science</i> 1997 studio album by GZR

Black Science is the second studio album by heavy metal band GZR. It was released on July 1, 1997 by TVT Records. The cover art for this album is intended to represent the Black Sabbath song "Hand of Doom".

Ozzfest is an annual festival tour of the United States and sometimes Europe featuring performances by many heavy metal and hard rock musical groups. It was founded by Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon Osbourne, both of whom also organise each yearly tour with their son Jack Osbourne. The Ozzfest tour has featured bands of a variety of genres within heavy metal and hard rock, including alternative metal, thrash metal, industrial metal, metalcore, hardcore punk, deathcore, nu metal, death metal, post-hardcore, gothic metal and black metal. Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath have played the tour several times over the years.

Bruce Dickinson English musician, airline pilot, and broadcaster

Paul Bruce Dickinson is an English singer, songwriter, musician, airline pilot, entrepreneur, author, and broadcaster. He is the lead singer of the heavy metal band Iron Maiden and is renowned for his wide-ranging operatic vocal style and energetic stage presence.

After the handful of live gigs in 1997, the band was mostly put on ice, as Geezer was busy with various things Black Sabbath related for quite a while. Geezer eventually got back into the studio with the same lineup that played the live gigs from 8 years previous, and recorded their third album, Ohmwork, which was released on May 9, 2005.

<i>Ohmwork</i> 2005 studio album by GZR

Ohmwork is the third studio album by GZR. It was originally released on May 10, 2005 in the United States and on May 9, 2005 in the United Kingdom. The artwork was done by Lawrence Azarad of LAdesign.


Appears on

<i>Mortal Kombat: More Kombat</i> 1996 compilation album by Various Artists

Mortal Kombat: More Kombat is a compilation album featuring primarily exclusive music from a number of metal, industrial and electronica bands inspired by the first Mortal Kombat film. It is not an actual soundtrack to the movie, however. Cubanate's "Oxyacetylene" had already been released as a single from their 1994 album Cyberia. Babylon Zoo's "Spaceman" had already been released as a single in 1995. Alien Factory's "Higher" later turned up in the second movie, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, and Juno Reactor's "The Journey Kontinues" was later released under the title "Biot Messiah" on the single "God Is God" (1997). Two of the tracks appeared in the animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm: Psykosonik's "It Has Begun" and Sister Machine Gun's "Deeper Down". Track 16 is exclusive to the cassette release and was taken from the EBN's album Telecommunication Breakdown.

Band members

Current members

Former members



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