Black Sabbath have confirmed that the group has hired a substitute drummer for the band’s upcoming shows, following word from Bill Ward that he will not be joining them.
Sabbath’s Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler have released the following message:
We have decided not to make any detailed comment on Bill's latest statement. There are two sides to every story. We have been working hard at rehearsals making excellent progress after Tony's treatments and we have engaged a substitute drummer for the forthcoming shows. See you at Download.
The Sabbath team have not publicly announced yet who will be joining them on drums; the group’s first show is this Saturday in Birmingham.
On Tuesday, Ward posted a lengthy letter online explaining his attempts to work out a fair contract with a mystery Sabbath band representative, his readiness and willingness to be a part of the group’s reunion this year, and his disappointment that the band he started will be playing their hometown of Birmingham without him.
“I sincerely regret to inform you that after a final effort to participate in the upcoming Sabbath shows a failure to agree has continued,” wrote Ward. “At this time I have to inform you that I won’t be playing with Black Sabbath at the Birmingham gig dated May 19th, 2012, nor will I be playing at Download on June 10th, 2012. Further, I will not be playing at Lollapalooza on August 3, 2012."
“It is with a very sad heart that I bring you this news. I am sincerely passionate in my desire to play with the band, and I’m very, very sorry that it’s fallen to this,” continued the drummer. “This statement is even more painstaking to write, as I was particularly excited to play alongside Tony Iommi after the recent treatments he underwent. I wanted that to become a reality. ”
Read Bill Ward’s full statement here.
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