Butler explained to Eddie Trunk in a recent interview how he came to start Deadland Ritual with longtime Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens, singer Franky Perez and former Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum.
The newly established band released its debut single, "Down in Flames," late last year and announced two festival gigs this coming summer.
"I retired after the last Sabbath show," Butler told Trunk. "I just traveled and did everything that I wanted to do when I was retired for a year. And then I got fed up watching the TV every day, and I started writing stuff again, 'cause that's what you do. I've been doing it for 50 years, so it's in your blood. You can't just stop, especially when it's your hobby as well."
Butler says he had initially been writing for his solo project GZR when the fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Sorum got in touch with a band opportunity. The bassist says he prefers collaborating to the solitude of composing solo.
"It's what I've known since I started when I was 16," Butler explained. "I was in a band. When you're doing solo stuff, it's just you writing stuff. There's nobody to bounce off, and I really missed that."
He added that the members of Deadland Ritual all live near one another, which allowed them to write and record without planning sessions "months in advance" or getting management too involved.
"If I feel like writing a song today, I call up Steve, go around to Steven's house and we try something."
Deadland Ritual will make its live debut at Download Festival in Donnington, England, the weekend of June 14 - 16 before heading to Hellfest in France on June 22.
Sorum told Rolling Stone in the fall that the band plans to perform a setlist of original material and deep tracks from the band members' "collective past."
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