Bill Ward Opens Up About His Black Sabbath Reunion No-Show
For original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward, there’s a simple explanation as to why he didn’t record or tour with his bandmates. “I was offered a contract, and I couldn’t sign it,” he said in a recent interview. He refutes suggestions that he wasn’t physically up to the task.
“I would never, ever show up for a commitment that I could not do physically,” Ward told Guitar International. “So that should answer that one … It was one of the toughest decisions that I ever had to make, because I absolutely and without question wanted to play.”
The drummer is currently promoting a new collection of artwork called ‘Absence of Corners,’ 18 pieces constructed with drum sticks and other percussion instruments that produce light. Images were then captured to make the movements seem like a painter’s brushstrokes.
Ward says he’s open to coming back in the future if the contract is right, but he won’t be a part-time drummer. “I play all or nothing,” he said. Ozzy Osbourne originally suggested that Ward wasn’t in shape to perform. In May, the Prince of Darkness told Mojo about “500,000 bits of paper” Ward had stuck all over his kit during rehearsal.
“We looked at Bill, and he couldn’t remember what the f— we were doing,” recalled Osbourne. “But he didn’t come clean and say, ‘I can’t cut this gig, but can we work something out, guys, where I’ll come on but with another drummer backing me up?’ Or, ‘I’ll come and play a few songs.’ That would have been cool.”
“Playing partially would kind of be aligning to my demise in Sabbath and minimize me,” Ward told Guitar International. “I’m the drummer in Sabbath and quite capable of doing the job.” Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine has been filling in for Ward.
The drummer pointed out that while the decision not to play on the band’s new album, ’13,’ and current tour was agonizing, he had to make it. “I hated the fact that I’m not on the tour and I couldn’t play Birmingham, and all the young fans that wanted to see me play,” he said. “That was absolutely punishing to go through.”