blacksabb2013 Black Sabbath have spoken Classic Rock about their current relationship with estranged drummer Bill Ward, and whether we’d see another new album from the metal legends.

“I haven’t spoken to Bill, but to be honest, I don’t actually know how to reach Bill these days because he doesn’t have the same phone number as I have for him,” says Tony Iommi. “I see people saying, ‘Why don’t they talk?’ But it’s not that simple. The only way I can reach Bill is by e-mailing his secretary, and then she speaks to Bill. It’s not as easy as picking the phone up. I e-mailed him the other week, because he’d been in the hospital and wasn’t that well, but that’s as far as it’s got at the moment. I’d like to talk to Bill — me and Bill have been friends for many years — but it’s not happened recently.”

“I don’t talk on the phone to anybody because I’m horrible on the phone as we didn’t have one in our house forever,” adds Geezer Butler. “But I’ve exchanged a few e-mails with Bill, just to see how he is. We all still love Bill, and we desperately wish that it had worked with him, we really do, because that’s the true Sabbath, the four of us. But we tried, and for some reason, it didn’t work, so you have to get on with life. When I’m in touch with Bill, I don’t mention the album or tour or anything. I wouldn’t do that.”


14 Responses

  1. Are they still talking about this, i love Sabbath, my all time favorite band in the world, but the bottom line is you guys fired Bill, because you thought he couldn’t bring his A game anymore, let it go, and tour shut up about it already.

  2. From what I read when this happened, it was all about them not giving Bill a contract he felt was fair. I am sure that Sharon was not going to let the money be split 4 ways. So Bill was probably left with the scraps, similar to what Gene and Paul did with Peter and Ace during the reunion years. What these people don’t understand is that they would make more money with all original members.

    1. It depends who owns the rights to the band and the name. In KISS’s case, Gene and Paul bought out Ace and Peter when they left. That was done at Ace and Peter’s choosing. Gene and Paul then kept KISS going through some pretty lean years until the make up came back on. Ace and Peter were then employees of Gene and Paul’s and they accepted whatever they got paid. I don’t blame Gene and Paul for that business move. In Sabbath, Iommi is lord of all things Sabbath. He’s been there through absolutely every good and bad time in the band. Sharon can’t tell him what to do, but she can use Ozzy as leverage. Bill has been an inconsistent ‘member’ of Sabbath since the end of the 70’s. He is worth whatever they felt he should be paid. If he doesn’t like the amount, he can do what he’s doing now and making substantially less than what he was offered.

  3. Everyone has their opinions about the ins and outs of what happened with this reunion. Bill was the first to come out and say that the contract wasn’t fair. It was probably split up that Ozzy would get a good chunk because his manager/wife think he is the one that most fans want to see. Geezer and Ozzy write a good part of the lyrics(mostly Geezer) and Tony is the riff writer. Like most drummers, Bill was left as the last guy (and least respected). Drummers are constantly considered as the least important factor. So, his part of the paycheck was probably less. Strange considering that producer Rick Rubin wanted drummer Brad Wilk to sound and drum like Bill Ward on the album. Then Ozzy comes out and says that Bill can’t cut it as a drummer etc. If you look at how Ozzy’s management has treated his backing musicians in the past(Bob Daisley, Jake E.Lee, Lee Kerslake, Carmine Appice) it shouldn’t be any question what the issue was.

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