billward300 Original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward admits that he could not bring himself to listen to the band’s latest album, 13, and switched off the opening track after less than a minute.

He bowed out of the band’s reunion with Ozzy Osbourne ahead of recording sessions last year, stating that he had not been offered a “signable” contract. After considering a series of replacements, Sabbath recorded 13 with Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk. The resulting album went all the way to No.1 in the charts.

But Ward tells Rock Cellar, “The only thing I’ve heard from 13 is maybe forty seconds of the first song. Then I turned it off. I just said, ‘I can’t listen to this any more.’ I haven’t heard anything off that album, and to be quite honest I don’t care to either. It’s too painful. I wish them all the luck – well, they don’t need luck, but I wish them all the best in the world. But I can’t listen to it; it’s too close to home. If I want to rip my guts out I’ll put it on.”

He accepts there have been some positives from the drama, reflecting, “The fans have been brilliant. I feel like I’ve got a real close contact with them – I’ve never reached such a point of having such closeness with everybody. I’m getting letters from all over the world and they completely support me. I’m forever grateful that they’ve reacted in a really positive way. It’s been a huge endearing experience.”

Ward continues, “It tears me up. Even as I’m talking now I’m not far away from a tear.” But he insists: “I had to follow my heart under the most difficult circumstances.”

Ward revealed that he has a new album called Accountable Beasts in the works, as well as, his fine art project called Absence of Corners which was released on August 1st.

additional source: classicrockmagazine.com


  1. Follow his heart, signable contract……geezus, he had no contract and it was the group’s heartfelt decision: he couldn’t hack it.

    • bill wilson says:

      Im with you there!!! if he cant sign it I dont get why he cant send it right back to them and tell them to re-do the fkg thing and send it back so he can sign it….this doesnt make any sense

      so the band says “oh he didnt send it back? I guess we need to find another drummer” wow 40-50 yrs in the band and this is how they communicate? makes no sense at all but i only know what he states above…it makes nooooooooooooo sense at all.

  2. Oh here we go again…

  3. He quit! He needs to stop crying.

  4. Taskerofpuppets says:

    Eddie you should have Bill come in and play house drums on TMS. IT would be fantastic. Bugger off Oz & Sharon!

    • Why does everyone kill Ozzy and Sharon on this issue and completely let Tony and Geezer off the hook? Do you really think Ozzy and Sharon control Black Sabbath? Sharon manages Ozzy, not Sabbath. I’m no fan of Sharon Osbourne, but it gets tiring listening to people bitch specifically about those two, and think that Tony and Geezer have nothing to do with this. Its actually disrespectful to the two guys who created and kept Sabbath alive all these years to now think they have no influence on what happens and think Sharon just took control over Sabbath. Got news for you, that never happened.

  5. Mike Anderson says:

    I’m happy Bill said no to Ozzy and Sharon. Someone had to stand up to them and say it was not right to be working for peanuts, when he had as much to do with Black Sabbath’s success and history as any other member. Hell Ozzy probably deserves less for being such a mess in the late 70’s, and getting himself fired. Sharon ruined this tour and the CD for me. I didn’t listen to it. I wanted the whole band back, and 13 wasn’t the whole band.

  6. He never quit, the paycheck and job was there in ’80 & ’12….Tone’: Uh Bill, it isn’t gonna work bro.

  7. OK. This is getting weird now.TEARS HIM UP! TOO CLOSE TO HOME! He passed on a project. The end. Good luck. That BUCKCHERRY album up above is great. I just got it.

  8. He never passed on it…..the other three passed on him cause he couldn’t handle it.

  9. the truth of the matter is that bill’s chops weren’t there to appear on the new recording. That’s the REAL reason he did not participate. This “contract” nonsense is made up “story” going to the media.

  10. Sorry Mr. Ward, I have you beat–I turned 13 off after 1 second. The album is complete garbage–regardless of who is drumming.

  11. Correct. He never was offered a contract…..he had nothing even to record let alone gig on a Sabbath scale.

  12. Bill has done what 4-5 tours since 1980. He is one of the most mysterious rock stars out there. For such a talented,influential rock drummer his candle burned out at a young age. I just hope he comes back with vengeance with his new album.

  13. Bill Ward wanted to play the tour but didnt, because the record company wanted him to do the tour and pay him in peanuts! These elitists that control the music industry are notorious for underpaying the lesser known band members like Bill Ward in this case. There was negotiation and they were not willing to pay him what he wanted and IMHO what he deserved. I love B.S. but dont like the new album and shocked at how it debuted at #1. Hmmm I wonder if Ozzy and Sharon selling their souls to the record co. had anything to do with this being #1???? And I really would have admired the band if they would’ve backed their bandmate and supported Bill Ward! If it would be the original four members of Black Sabbath performing live and on the recording, I would’ve been all over it. Without him, its just not Black Sabbath without him. Instead I have already forgot about it BS.

  14. Roger Moon says:

    Bill Ward doesn’t get it. The drummer is the least important component of a rock band. By far! Does he really believe he is as critical as Ozzie or Tony? Somebody got smart and realized this. 13 is a good record. The fact that he says it isn’t is proof that he is just a bitter old man!

    • Well, as much as I love Ozzy, it seems the only thing he contributed to Sabbath was his voice. Butler wrote all of the lyrics, and Ward, I believe, contributed to the songwriting.

      Again, I love Ozzy and do not mean to sound like I am slagging on him, but the truth is, he was, and is, a very lucky chap. He was always surrounded by talented musicians who did all of the heavy lifting for him, and as the frontman, he gets, and got, most of the glory.

  15. Roger Moon says:

    Yep. That is the way it goes. The front man usually gets the kudos. But Ozzy’s voice was the perfect counterpoint to the Sabbath sound. A tenor against low minor key music. Emotion against darkness. It was the the perfect blend.

    • Speaking of front men, while Halford is my idol, and his voice is one of the best, if not the best, I tend to have way more respect for songwriters. Writing and composing a song, let alone a great song, is a very arduous feat.

Speak Your Mind