Sunday, July 2, 2017

Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward addresses reunion split

Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward is addressing his split from the legendary heavy metal band following the completion of the group’s farewell tour earlier this year.

Ward – who chose to sit out the Sabbath reunion in 2012 and the farewell run over contractual issues – says he has come to terms with events of the past five years that saw Ozzy Osbourne’s solo drummer, Tommy Clufetos, join the singer, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler for global concert tours.

"I've gone through a lot of tears," Ward tells Rolling Stone. "I've grieved the loss of three of my best friends. I've grieved the loss of their company, their words, their laughter, their joy, and above all, their music. I've grieved the loss of the fans, and I've grieved the pain of what all this has created."

"I can't afford to have resentment," he adds. "I can't afford to be angry. I can't afford these things spiritually or physically. So I knew I had to be rid of them."

Ward felt forced to defend himself against some the accusations made by the band in the media about his health, including a public exchange with friend and singer Osbourne that became personal, at times.

“I feel very compassionate towards them,” explains the drummer. “I just disagree with them when they send something in the world press and I look at it and I go, ‘You know what, that's not quite accurate.’ Then I have to defend. Because I have to defend, it doesn't stop me from loving them. And when I think about them, I don't think about them with resentment in my heart or revenge in my heart or anything like that. I don't have any of that whatsoever.”

“I'm at peace with those guys,” Ward says of his current status. “If something comes up that I feel is contradictory, I'll always make a statement back in defense of whatever I need to defend. But my general outlook towards them is not of resentment, it's not of fear, it's not of hatred or anything like that. I actually really, really, really love these guys. I wish them absolutely nothing but the very best, I wish them nothing but the best in their lives. Every day, I say prayers and I wish for them health and happiness and just nothing but good things to befall them. I [don't] in any way... have any grudges or any arrogance or anything else. It's been like that for a while.

“At first, I was really upset but I've cooled off a lot. I'm in a different place; I've moved on. But I haven't moved on from the idea of if [they] ever wanted to play again. I've not moved on from that idea. That would be something that would have to be worked out. But if they've moved on from that idea, then that's fine, I'll support that.”

After living through the experience of the past five years, Ward admits he’d still be open to rejoining the lineup if Black Sabbath were ever to return to the concert stage.

“Yeah, I'm open-minded to it,” he says. “It depends what it is and it depends what all it [entails]. But I definitely have an open mind. I'd be stupid not to. Time's moving on; we're getting older. I've loved them guys for a long time now. I love Black Sabbath's music.”

“The End Of The End”, a film documenting Black Sabbath’s final farewell concert in their hometown of Birmingham, UK, will debut in cinemas worldwide for one night-only on September 28.

Black Sabbath formed in Birmingham in 1968 from the ashes of a pair of local acts: Iommi and Ward from Mythology, and Osbourne and Butler from Rare Breed. Originally featuring two additional musicians and billed as the Polka Tuck Blues Band, the 6-piece lineup eventually became a four-piece under the name Earth before ultimately becoming Black Sabbath in August of 1969…and releasing their groundbreaking self-titled debut album just six months later in February of 1970.

See also:

Black Sabbath farewell concert film to debut in cinemas worldwide
Black Sabbath to release The Ten Year War vinyl box set
Ozzy Osbourne reunites with Zakk Wylde for 2017 tour
Black Sabbath may continue despite end of farewell tour
Search Black Sabbath at hennemusic