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Black Sabbath

Statement on Black Sabbath

by on Apr.15, 2015, under Bill Ward, Black Sabbath

Dear Friends,

I hope you’re well and in good spirits.  I have not made any public statements regarding my relationship with Black Sabbath since February 2012.  Today, I want to address that relationship in this formal statement.  Thank you.

I have neither severed nor discontinued my relationship with Black Sabbath, however, since 2012, the often inaccurate statements about me as a person and as a musician have caused me to be guarded and be especially detached emotionally and spiritually from Ozzy.  His rhetoric above all has brought me the most discord.  The continuing misguided information about me has established a necessity on my part to confront these issues. And now, with the imminent release of a new Bill Ward Band album, and the flurry of rumors about new Sabbath projects, I feel it appropriate to speak in a truthful and an un-cynical way.

There is always speculation about a true, original Sabbath lineup for the next tour or record.  With a sad heart, I have to say I will not participate in any musical undertakings until a righting of the wrongs spoken against me has been achieved.  I must admit, I have little to no expectations of this happening, but in the order of first things first, I’m looking for an honest accountability of all of Ozzy’s statements that I felt were untrue. I would want Ozzy to amend his opinions and exaggerations.  I would want him to be forthcoming about his unrealistic viewpoints.  And because I was chastised publicly, I would want him to amend publicly in his words, and not through an Ozzy representative, the nature of the wrongs.  I would not want to continue on with him without this seemingly impassible dilemma being addressed.  I don’t think previously strong relationships can remain strong after dispute by just sweeping the offensive stuff under the carpet, or by saying a puny sorry, or “oh, that’s all over now.”  It doesn’t work like that for me.  Righting of wrong works, and that’s what I want if I’m ever going to be his friend again.

Still undone and faraway is a “signable” contract.  I would require a “signable” contract before moving one step toward a pathway that could lead to us all playing together again.  I want a contract I can approve.  That’s my truth.  That’s my stand.  I’ve listened to nothing but insults and false remarks, and if as a band or as individuals they wish to continue along the same lines, then any notion of an original Black Sabbath lineup will continue to fade away.

Put simply, it’s up to them.  I have dearly missed playing with them and as people, I have been heartbroken over the loss of who I thought we were.  And now you know where I stand.

Very soon my band, BWB will release a new album ironically called “Accountable Beasts.”  I re- kick-started it in May 2012, and in an off and on journey to record, we have reached our final destination – a good mix, and a well mastered record.  At this time we are putting the final touches on the digital booklet.

There are other multiple projects in different stages of progress, and I hope to bring more definitive news about them as things unfold this year.  I have been very happy writing new songs, playing drums and working with other musicians.  I have been blessed with musical visions and the ability to harness them.  I’m moving into the future with an optimistic outlook.

For our many Sabbath fans, I love you all dearly.  You are extremely special people.  You fucking rock.  I have been in deep regret since January 2012 that a true union was denied.  I’ve remained faithful to you and honest with myself.  Had I not been honest throughout I would have perished long ago.  My hand is within yours, and I am encouraged to know you better.  Stay safe and stay strong.

Now it is time to meet the circumstances of my statement and attend to what else is ongoing and before me.

Love,
Bill Ward

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Interview with DCHeavyMetal.com

by on Apr.20, 2014, under Bill Ward, Black Sabbath, Drum Art, Rock 50

There is an excellent new interview with Bill by Chris over at DCHeavyMetal.com.  It is a wide ranging new interview, touching on many subjects such as new music from Bill (Accountable Beasts), the Absence of Corners project, the 13 album and Black Sabbath, other metal drummers, and the Rock 50 show.  Amongst others.   Check out the full interview here where you can both read a text version, and listen to an audio version.

Bill Ward

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Response To Geezer’s Statement

by on May.20, 2012, under Black Sabbath

Dear Sabbath Fans and Musicians,

I have read Geezer’s statement of May 19, 2012 titled “Heavy Heart.”  Out of respect for the Birmingham gig, I wanted to wait 24 hours before releasing this statement.  There are some points he brought up which I want to respond to.

1)  I had indeed notified Ozzy, Tony and Geezer, well before my first public statement, that I was having contractual difficulties.

2)  I came out into a public forum to be accountable to the fans primarily, and to say at a public level there’s a problem.  The band members stopped talking and corresponding with me some time ago, with the exception of a nice letter from Tony on my birthday.  Prior to that, Geezer and I were corresponding, but that stopped abruptly in late February after I emailed a specific question to him.

3)  In my statement of May 15, I clearly stated I would play Birmingham for free.  That was not a problem – charity or otherwise.

4)  My Download fee was not an extravagant amount.  Originally, when Download was part of a full tour, I had asked for a decent fee.  More recently, as we were negotiating just Download/Birmingham and Lollapalooza, I told my attorney that I would accept the proposed small Download fee, but there were other parts of the offer that were unsatisfactory.

I will continue to be honest and respectful towards the band and our fans.  I will also confront any untruths about me, and any fault finding missions aimed at me that come to my attention.

I hope the band and the fans had a good gig in Brum.

Stay safe/stay strong.
Bill Ward

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Statement on Upcoming Black Sabbath Shows

by on May.15, 2012, under Black Sabbath

Dear Sabbath Fans and Fellow Musicians,

I sincerely regret to inform you that after a final effort to participate in the upcoming Sabbath shows a failure to agree has continued. At this time I have to inform you that I won’t be playing with Black Sabbath at the Birmingham gig dated May 19th, 2012, nor will I be playing at Download on June 10th, 2012. Further, I will not be playing at Lollapalooza on August 3, 2012.

It is with a very sad heart that I bring you this news. I am sincerely passionate in my desire to play with the band, and I’m very, very sorry that it’s fallen to this. This statement is even more painstaking to write, as I was particularly excited to play alongside Tony Iommi after the recent treatments he underwent. I wanted that to become a reality. (continue reading…)

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A Message From Bill

by on Feb.17, 2012, under Bill Ward, Black Sabbath

Dear Sabbath Fans,

I wanted to let you know where things are at, from my point of view, as of today, February 17, 2012.

As my statement of February 2, 2012 indicated, I have not declined to participate in the Sabbath album and tour. At the earliest opportunity, I am prepared to go to the U.K. and record, and later tour with the band.

Last week, we sent further communication to the attorney handling the negotiations to try to reach an agreement. At this time we are waiting to hear back. I remain hopeful for a “signable” contract and a positive outcome.

I want to thank everyone who has voiced and posted their opinions, thoughts, support and love through all media, including the newly constructed sites. I applaud your worldwide reaction in support of the original band. And speaking for myself, your intent and truth will always be respected.

While believing in your freedom for expression, keep in mind that Tony, Ozzy and Geezer are still my lifetime friends, and I cannot support comments with an objectifying or derogatory theme toward them or their various representatives.

Many thanks to all of you. You are truly phenomenal.

Stay safe, stay strong.

–Bill Ward

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A Thank You From Bill

by on Feb.04, 2012, under Bill Ward, Black Sabbath

Dear Sabbath Fans,

This is Bill. I just wanted to humbly thank you all. Your support from across the world has given me further strength and hope for a positive resolve. I have been moved and overwhelmed by the thousands of messages. I love you all.

Rock forever,
Bill

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Statement on Black Sabbath Album & Tour

by on Feb.02, 2012, under Bill Ward, Black Sabbath

Los Angeles, CA – February 2, 2012

Dear Sabbath Fans, Fellow Musicians and Interested Parties,

At this time, I would love nothing more than to be able to proceed with the Black Sabbath album and tour. However, I am unable to continue unless a “signable” contract is drawn up; a contract that reflects some dignity and respect toward me as an original member of the band. Last year, I worked diligently in good faith with Tony, Ozzy and Geezer. And on 11/11/11, again in good faith, I participated in the L.A. press conference. Several days ago, after nearly a year of trying to negotiate, another “unsignable” contract was handed to me.

Let me say that although this has put me in some kind of holding pattern, I am packed and ready to leave the U.S. for England. More importantly, I definitely want to play on the album, and I definitely want to tour with Black Sabbath.

Since the news of Tony’s illness, and the understanding that the band would move production to the U.K., I’ve spent everyday getting to or living in a place of readiness to leave. That involves something of a task, and as I’ve tried to find out what’s going on with the U.K. sessions, I’ve realized that I’ve been getting “the cold shoulder” (and, I might add, not for the first time). Feeling somewhat ostracized, my guess is as of today, I will know nothing of what’shappening unless I sign “the unsignable contract.”

The place I’m in feels lousy and lonely because as much as I want to play and participate, I also have to stand for something and not sign on. If I sign as-is, I stand to lose my rights, dignity and respectability as a rock musician. I believe in freedom and freedom of speech. I grew up in a hard rock/metal band. We stood for something then, and we played from the heart with honesty and sincerity. I am in the spirit of integrity, far from the corporate malady, I am real and honest, fair and compassionate.

If I’m replaced, I have to face you, the beloved Sabbath fans. I hope you will not hold me responsible for the failure of an original Black Sabbath lineup as promoted. Without fault finding, I want to assure everyone that my loyalty to Sabbath is intact.

So here I am. I lay my truth down before you. I’m good to go IF I get a “signable” contract. I don’t want to let anyone down, especially Black Sabbath and all the Sabbath fans. You know I love you. It would be a sad day in Rock if this current situation fell to the desires of a few.

My position is not greed-driven. I’m not holding out for a “big piece” of the action (money) like some kind of blackmail deal. I’d like something that recognizes and is reflective of my contributions to the band, including the reunions that started fourteen years ago. After the last tour I vowed to never again sign on to an unreasonable contract. I want a contract that shows some respect to me and my family, a contract that will honor all that I’ve brought to Black Sabbath since its beginning.

That’s the story so far.

Stay safe and stay strong.

I love every single one of you.

–Bill Ward

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Bill talks about early days of Black Sabbath

by on Jun.09, 2010, under Black Sabbath

Bill recently spoke to the New York Daily News regarding the early days in Black Sabbath.   Check out a few samples of what Bill had to say:

Forty years later, I remember very well when [guitarist] Tony Iommi, [singer] Ozzy Osbourne, [bassist] Geezer Butler and I first arrived in the United States. We were on a TWA jet and we flew to New York at night. I will always remember seeing the Manhattan skyline and I was absolutely in awe.

I knew that we were into something different, and I really loved what we were into, the sound and the religious and political imagery, but I didn’t speculate much about it at the time. I just thought, “Wow, whatever this is, I love it, I want to be into it for the rest of my life.” We came up with an aggressive message. It wasn’t necessarily a new message, but it was a new aggressive message.

Quite honestly, I thought I would be dead by 25. You can’t even imagine being 62, which is what I am now. Sadly, those days have been over for us for a long, long time. And so, the best I can do after a gig is usually get in my bus and try to have a sandwich or a cup of tea. That’s pretty much the heaviest partying I do now.

Check out more by reading the entire interview at this link.

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Ronnie James Dio

by on May.20, 2010, under Black Sabbath

My wife and I have sent our condolences and have felt very sad with the news of Ronnie’s passing.

We wish to extend our positive thoughts and love to all those who loved Ronnie, and we salute him as a singer, performer, songwriter and arranger.

We plan to make no further statements and prefer to remain private at this time.

–Bill Ward

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London Times Article Disclaimer

by on Mar.03, 2010, under Black Sabbath

London Times – Black Sabbath 40th Anniversary Article Disclaimer

I’ve just finishing reading the London Times article for Sabbath’s 40th Anniversary of the album Black Sabbath, dated Saturday, February 13, 2010.  The interview I did for this piece was with journalist Will Pavia, and at the time, I felt it was a good interview.  My interview with Will was then added to the broader article written by journalist, Chris Ayers.

The headline of the article reads (partially) “their seminal album began as a gimmick, and they would rather be remembered as a hard rock band.”

Besides this unflattering headline, I’m particularly pissed off about the following, and I quote: “…Bill Ward ….told the Times.  Although it started as a gimmick, he said, ‘it matured into something that was almost waiting to arrive.’”

The way these sentences are constructed gives the impression that I called Sabbath a “gimmick,” or that I agree with the statement “it started out as a gimmick.”

I want to make it very clear to my fellow band members, musicians and our beloved Sabbath listeners worldwide, the word “gimmick” NEVER came out of my mouth.  I don’t own it – I’m not the source of the word “gimmick.”  There isn’t anything ‘gimmicky” about Sabbath as far as I’m concerned.

I consider the article roughshod at best.  It’s sad that on our 40th Anniversary a more supportive and heralding composition could not have been written.  There IS a nice picture of the band and a nice picture of Oz with Sharon and Kelly.

I thought the light-hearted, or sarcastic look (depends on your point of view) at how to headbang, titled “Headbanging for Beginners,” was more slagging than anything else.  I’d like to remind whoever put that segment together that headbanging was a true phenomenon that began during the 60s and was a fulfilling form of expression and reaction to the music playing.  “Unison” headbanging mushroomed in 1969 and has remained intact up until today.  For me, it is a personal communion with every single fan. It’s positive energy; it’s healthy; it’s true love, even if, as the writer quirked in “Position 4,” I quote, “Keep body bent over after song to adjust balance and avoid collapse.  Experience sore neck and two-day headache.”

Even if the writer’s being “ha ha” about the segment, he or she is ever so slightly making a derogatory statement, in my opinion, about what most in Metal consider “sacred ground” and/or “sacred personal identity.”

Come on London Times.  Sabbath is homegrown British – one of Britain’s great bands, loved all over the world.  Perhaps if you can’t meet the occasion with a more positive headline, at least get this right:  Tommy Iommi (sidebar insert) is not Sabbath’s guitar player.  However, TONY Iommi is… 40 years, guys, and counting.

Respectfully,
Bill Ward

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