Original BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward has told U.K.’s Metro in a new interview that he is “in contact” with the other members of the band, nearly five years after they completed their final tour without him. “I talked to Ozzy [Osbourne, SABBATH singer] two nights ago,” he said. “A lot of things have crossed between us and there’s new boundaries that I’ve had to build, but I don’t think any less of them. I’ve been working with Tony [Iommi, SABBATH guitarist] since 1964 when I was 16 years old. They’re my brothers and I love them.”
As for the possibility of him reuniting with SABBATH again at some point in the near future, Ward said: “As far as I’m concerned, the book’s never closed with SABBATH. I’m writing like a demon, I’m living life.
“My biggest contention has been, ‘Let’s make another album,'” the 73-year-old added. “Nothing live necessarily, because I’m looking at what I can realistically do. The way I play the drums, it’s becoming tougher as I get older. I haven’t spoken to the guys about it, but I have talked to a couple of people in management about the possibility of making a recording. Which I can do safely, even with COVID around. I can lay track at my studio in Los Angeles. I’m very open-minded about doing something like that.”
Bill was on board for the SABBATH reunion when it was first announced 10 years ago, but backed out soon after. The drummer later claimed that he sat out the recording and touring sessions because of unfair contractual terms, although the members of SABBATH have hinted in other interviews that he wasn’t physically up to the task.
All four original members of SABBATH were present when the band announced its reunion in late 2011. But Ward split from the group in 2012, citing an “unsignable” contract, and Ozzy, Tony and bassist Geezer Butler carried on with their Rick Rubin–produced “13” LP and extensive international touring without him.
This past March, Bill admitted to SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk” that he no longer had the “chops” and the “ability” to perform with BLACK SABBATH. “I have to be back to 60 years old to be able to do that,” he said.
“I would love to do a studio album with SABBATH, with all the original members,” he continued. “I’m just saying that — I’m just floating that out there. 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.”
Ozzy told The Pulse Of Radio during SABBATH‘s last tour that Ward was not in shape to participate. “Bill Ward has got the most physically demanding job of the lot of us, ’cause he’s the timekeeper,” he said. “I don’t think personally he had the chops to pull it off, you know. The saddest thing is that he needed to own up to that, and we could have worked around it, whether we had a drummer on the side with him or something.”
It was rumored that SABBATH wanted to bring a second drummer on the road to share duties with Ward, something that Iommi confirmed in 2017 during a question-and-answer session about SABBATH‘s “Ten Year War” box set.
In February 2017, SABBATH finished “The End” tour in Birmingham, closing out the quartet’s groundbreaking 49-year career.
“The End” was SABBATH‘s last tour because Iommi — who was diagnosed with lymphoma in late 2011 — can no longer travel for extended amounts of time.
In 2015, Ward released his first solo album in 18 years. Titled “Accountable Beasts”, the record can be purchased on iTunes.
In November 2017, Ward‘s band DAY OF ERRORS released its first two songs, “Day Of Errors” and “Blaspheming At Creation”, via iTunes, Spotify, Amazon MP3 and Google Play. Two more tracks, “Dark” and “Ghost Train”, followed in 2019.