Here's What It Will Take for Drummer Bill Ward to Rejoin Black Sabbath
Also, Ozzy’s bassist weighs in on the recent Ozzy-related developments.
While Black Sabbath is in "ongoing discussions" about a farewell tour, Bill Ward, its original drummer, hasn't been in on the talk. On Wednesday (April 15), he posted a lengthy message on his Facebook page to explain why.
In what he calls his first public statement about Sabbath since February 2012, he calls for an apology from Ozzy Osbourne in order to move forward with the band:
"I have neither severed nor discontinued my relationship with Black Sabbath, however, since 2012, the often inaccurate statements about me as a person and as a musician have caused me to be guarded and be especially detached emotionally and spiritually from Ozzy… And now, with the imminent release of a new Bill Ward Band album, and the flurry of rumors about new Sabbath projects, I feel it appropriate to speak in a truthful and an un-cynical way."
Comments Ozzy made to the New York Daily News in Aug.2013 certainly didn't help matters. "I don't think he could have done the gig, to be honest," Ozzy said. "He's incredibly overweight. A drummer has to be in shape. He's already had two heart attacks. I don't want to be responsible for his life."
"With a sad heart," Ward concludes, "I have to say I will not participate in any musical undertakings until a righting of the wrongs spoken against me has been achieved."
The drummer says he requires a "singable contract" in order to "(move) one step toward a pathway that could lead to us all playing together again."
Earlier this month, Billboard spoke with Blasko, the current bass player for Osbourne's solo live act, who also played on Ozzy's last two solo records. When asked why he feels Osbourne has expressed interest in Ward rejoining, he responded, "If it is a farewell, don't you always want the original guys, as long as they're still alive? As Mötley Crüe goes out and does their farewell thing, you wouldn't want to see someone new in the mix."
Still, he admitted that he's really just one of us when it comes to the inner-workings of Ozzy's original band.
"Any news that I get about Black Sabbath is the same as anyone gets who reads it on Blabbermouth. When there's Ozzy business, they hit me up before: 'Hey, we're doing gigs here. We'll see you at rehearsal.'"
Back on April 9, a Ward-less version of Black Sabbath backed out of a November headlining appearance at Ozzfest Japan. They were replaced by an Ozzy Osbourne solo set.