Bill Ward rules out touring, but not a new album with Black Sabbath

Publish Date
Tuesday, 16 March 2021, 10:31PM
Getty Images

Getty Images

Co-founding Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has cast doubt on the possibility that he'll ever reunite with the band onstage.

Given the events of the past couple of years, another Black Sabbath tour might seem like a pipe dream, but for the first time ever Ward has suggested that he would be the weakest link in the chain.

While Black Sabbath remains close to his heart and mind, Ward told Eddie Trunk that his endurance at the drum kit is long gone.

"I'm not done with the Black Sabbath legacy," he said with a laugh. "I haven't been done. I was made done, but I'm not done. So, the others might be done, but I'm not. But being realistic about that, as far as touring with Black Sabbath, I don't have the chops, and I don't have the ability to drive a band like that on stage. I have to be back to 60 years old to be able to do that."

Ward, now 72, was excluded from Black Sabbath's final studio album, 13, and its 'The End' tour after a dispute with management over his contract. One of the issues reportedly raised was whether Ward was healthy enough for the job. (Ward was hospitalized with a heart issue some months after Sabbath completed the tour.)

Still, the lack of closure on account of Ward's absence has never sat well with fellow co-founders Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Ozzy Osbourne. There's even been talk of exploring a one-off performance in 2022 for the Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Black Sabbath's hometown of Birmingham, England.

Ozzy seemed initially determined to find a way to play at least one more show with Ward, but the singer waffled on the feasibility as he battled a string of severe health problems in 2019 from which he's still rehabbing.

While Ward doesn't think he can tour, he believes he could get in good enough shape to record.

"I would love to do a studio album with Sabbath, with all the original members," the drummer said. "I'm just saying that — I'm just floating that out there."

He cautioned: "I haven't talked to anybody about that or anything else. But I'm not done. So, the other three might be done, and I respect that, but no, I'm not done. I think as long as we all exist [laughs] and we're still breathing in air, I think we have every possibility of making some great music together."

Despite having to cancel his own solo tour, Ozzy has continued working on solo material. His twelfth solo album, Ordinary Man, arrived in early-2020 and he's reportedly well into a follow-up.

Butler and Iommi, too, have both expressed intension in recent months to record solo material once the pandemic allows.

This article was first published on iheart.com and is republished here with permission