Robert Cavuoto of Guitar International recently conducted an interview with BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward. An excerpt from the chat follows below.
Guitar International: There are so many stories about why you are not playing with SABBATH on the [“13”] CD as well as with them on tour. Can you set record straight on why you didn’t join in with the reunion?
Bill Ward: [laughs] I was offered a contact and I couldn’t sign it. As for some of the stories — I would never, ever show up for a commitment that I could not do physically. So that should answer that one. In the statement that I did last year, I was quite clear that I came to the end of the road and promised myself and my family that I would never sign a contract that was not workable. It was one of the toughest decisions that I ever had to make. Because I absolutely and without question wanted to play. I haven’t left the band. Everybody thinks I have left the band. I didn’t walk out; it wasn’t like that at all. I just didn’t sign the contact and life took its own course.
Guitar International: Ozzy [Osbourne, BLACK SABBATH singer] said he still loves you, and hopes next time around you will be there. Do you think there is any truth to that?
Bill Ward: I have a complete open mind to the idea. All the nicety and placations in the world will mean nothing unless I get the right contract.
Guitar International: I heard that they wanted you to come out to play on a few songs each night.
Bill Ward: I’m the drummer in BLACK SABBATH so I want to do the entire show. I play all or nothing. Playing partially would kind of be aligning to my demise in SABBATH and minimize me. I’m the drummer in SABBATH and quite capable of doing the job.
Guitar International: What advice would the Bill Ward of today give to the Bill Ward in the early days of BLACK SABBATH?
Bill Ward: Never, ever, ever, ever give away anything that you signed in a contact. Never sign it off, never sell it! Whatever belongs to you, hold on to it with all your heart and soul because it could be a calamitous situations in the future. That would be the first thing, because that’s the most primary thing. But I would also say that you have to stay true to your heart and make a stand and sometimes you have to make a very painful stand. 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. That was absolutely punishing to go through. Tony [Iommi, BLACK SABBATH guitarist] was sick and I wanted to be with Tony. It was a very hardcore decision to make.
Read the entire interview at Guitar International.