Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward says he needs an apology from Ozzy Osbourne over remarks in recent years before he considers any conversations that might lead to a reunion of the groundbreaking UK metal band.
Ward declined to participate in the group’s 2013 album, “13”, and tour over a contractual dispute; the group recorded the project with Brad Wilk of Rage Against The Machine, while Ozzy’s solo drummer, Tommy Clufetos, handled live dates for the tour.
Last fall, Ozzy said he hoped Ward would return to the lineup as the band began planning their final album and world tour.
Now, in an extended official statement, Ward says Osbourne must amend and apologize comments he made during the “13” process that suggested the drummer wasn’t capable of performing at the level needed for a Black Sabbath reunion.
“I have neither severed nor discontinued my relationship with Black Sabbath,” explains Ward, “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. His rhetoric above all has brought me the most discord. The continuing misguided information about me has established a necessity on my part to confront these issues.”
“There is always speculation about a true, original Sabbath lineup for the next tour or record,” continues the drummer. “With a sad heart, I have to say I will not participate in any musical undertakings until a righting of the wrongs spoken against me has been achieved. I must admit, I have little to no expectations of this happening, but in the order of first things first, I’m looking for an honest accountability of all of Ozzy’s statements that I felt were untrue.
I would want Ozzy to amend his opinions and exaggerations. I would want him to be forthcoming about his unrealistic viewpoints. And because I was chastised publicly, I would want him to amend publicly in his words, and not through an Ozzy representative, the nature of the wrongs. I would not want to continue on with him without this seemingly impassible dilemma being addressed.”
Ward feels a healing with Osbourne must take place before he can even begin to address his concerns over contractual issues he said were unworkable as presented for the “13” album and tour.
“Still undone and faraway is a ‘signable’ contract,” says Ward. “I would require a ‘signable’ contract before moving one step toward a pathway that could lead to us all playing together again. I want a contract I can approve. That’s my truth. That’s my stand. I’ve listened to nothing but insults and false remarks, and if as a band or as individuals they wish to continue along the same lines, then any notion of an original Black Sabbath lineup will continue to fade away.
“Put simply, it’s up to them. I have dearly missed playing with them and as people, I have been heartbroken over the loss of who I thought we were. And now you know where I stand.”
Read Ward’s full statement at billward.com
Last month, Ozzy’s manager and wife, Sharon, announced Black Sabbath would play their farewell show as part of Ozzfest Japan this fall – a story first broken internationally by hennemusic – but later issued a statement saying that the singer would appear in the band’s place without providing any explanation for the change.
The situation led guitarist Tony Iommi to issue an update in response to speculation about his health as the possible reason behind the cancellation.
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Search Ozzy Osbourne at hennemusic