Entries tagged with: Bill Ward
by Doug Moore
Bill Ward (right) with Black Sabbath, before being redacted in 2012
If it wasn't official before, it is now: drummer Bill Ward is the most likable member of the original Black Sabbath lineup. While his erstwhile bandmates are busy photoshopping him out of old band pics and releasing new music of dubious quality with tremendously creative cover art, Ward has been keeping a relatively low profile. He has a solo album, entitled Accountable Beasts, floating around somewhere in the mixing/mastering process, though it doesn't have a release date yet. He also recently participated in a weird but cool visual art project involving colorful, psychedelic performance shots.
Hellbound.ca ran a great interview by Kyle Harcott with Ward today; he comes off as not only thoroughly genial, but quite openminded about newer metal (he did write a Hails and Horns column for a while) and remarkably hard-working for an established player, to boot:
How often do you practice?So there you have it: Bill Ward loves Today is the Day, Krisiun, Celtic Frost, and Cryptopsy. Awesome.
Every day, but that's not necessarily stick practice, I work on rhythms probably two or three hours a day. I work on out-of-the-box ideas, I reinvent ideas. I challenge myself, make it incredibly difficult to perform on some of things I do. For example, when I'm using my keyboards, I write with my left hand, but I play drums on the keyboard with my right, so that one hand has to play all the drum parts - so by the third or fourth hour of doing that, my hands are killing me. I've taught myself new techniques in the bathtub by putting my feet out of the water and tapping the side of the bath - trying to create rhythm against the resistance of the water, which is really difficult to do as well. But by playing and practicing these really hard rudiments, when I actually play stick-to-snare, it all fits much nicer, like, oh, this feels good, when the pedal actually rebounds. These are just little techniques I've built up over the years to be a better player.
What bands excite you as the torchbearers in modern metal?
Oh God, there are so many! Amon Amarth are progressing really well. And I've got to wave the flag for bands like Soilwork, who are not necessarily new, but what they are doing is progressing, and they're playing so fucking well. Same with a band like Devildriver, where I'll be listening and wonder "What are they gonna do next?" I'm blown away by those guys. Another one of my favorite bands is Celtic Frost. I also really like Today Is The Day. And - I know it'll never happen, what with Henke's passing, but I also wish we could have a reincarnation of Disfear.
Do you have a particular style or subgenre of metal that you're drawn to?
Not really - if the music catches my heart and my ears, then that's it. I usually find out afterward what the genre might be called. If it sounds great, I'm going to pick up on it - from Cryptopsy, or Arch Enemy, Krisiun - it's all such good stuff, very dramatic ways of playing. See, it's the energy that turns me on. I have an open mind, and I try to be critical of none of the bands, even if something's not to my personal taste. After all, somebody worked really hard on that music.
There's some diversity of opinion regarding 13, the Bill Ward-less new Black Sabbath album. I personally thought very little of it, but a lot of other music writers (including at least one Invisible Oranges contributor) rated it highly. If you haven't heard it yet, you can stream it in full below in preparation for Sabbath's upcoming North American tour. Dates for that tour, including its March 31 stop at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (tix here), are listed in full below as well.
Black Sabbath at PNC Bank Arts Center in August (more by Greg Cristman)
Black Sabbath, who are currently reunited with Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler all in tow (no Bill Ward though), have a new album out, and went on a tour over the summer which brought them to Connecticut, New Jersey, and other places. It felt a little strange that they omitted NYC, but they've now announced another tour for 2014 which kicks off at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on March 31! Tickets for the Barclays Center show go on sale Friday, November 22 at 10 AM. No openers announced yet, but Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats are opening their November/December European tour. All dates are listed below.
Sabbath are also documenting their 2013 tour with a new live DVD/CD Black Sabbath: Live...Gathered in Their Masses, which will be out on November 26 via Vertigo/Republic. Check out the tracklist below and more info, including different combo pack options, here. Ozzy and Geezer discussed the album at the Grammy Museum last week (11/6), you can watch a video of that conversation here.
In related news, Tony Iommi is receiving a degree honor from Coventry University. Reports BBC:
The founder member of the Birmingham heavy metal band will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts by Coventry University on 19 November.And in more related news, don't give Bill Ward a copy of Sabbath's new album. "I haven't heard anything off that album at all," Bill told Rock Cellar Magazine. "And to be quite honest, I don't care to either. It's too painful. If I want to rip my guts out, I'll put it on."
Iommi will be heading straight from the graduation ceremony at Coventry Cathedral to join Black Sabbath in Helsinki for the start of their latest European tour.
He has sold more than 80 million records worldwide during his career.
Iommi said was "a great honour" to receive the doctorate.
He added: "I'd like to thank everyone at Coventry University for my nomination and look forward to meeting them at the ceremony."
All dates are listed, along with the DVD/CD tracklist and a recent live video, below...
Black Sabbath fans at Lollapalooza 2012 (more by James Richards IV)
Following Bill Ward's 2012 statement on his absence from the Black Sabbath reunion (which does include original members Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler), Bill just recently commented further on some of his reasons for this. In an interview this week with Guitar International (via Metal Hammer), Bill said:
I was offered a contact and I couldn't sign it. As for some of the stories - I would never, ever show up for a commitment that I could not do physically. So that should answer that one! In the statement that I did last year, I was quite clear that I came to the end of the road and promised myself and my family that I would never sign a contract that was not workable.Ozzy also just discussed Bill's departure in a recent teleconference (via M Live):
It was one of the toughest decisions that I ever had to make. Because I absolutely and without question wanted to play. I haven't left the band. Everybody thinks I have left the band. I didn't walk out; it wasn't like that at all! I just didn't sign the contact and life took its own course.
I'm the drummer in Black Sabbath so I want to do the entire show. I play all or nothing. Playing partially would kind of be aligning to my demise in Sabbath and minimize me. I'm the drummer in Sabbath and quite capable of doing the job.
Writer: I got to ask about Bill Ward, and I wonder when is the last time you spoke to him and what would you say are the odds that he'll be back into the fold in the near term?The Bill Ward-less Black Sabbath are currently on tour with Andrew WK (DJ) in support of their reunion album, 13, and that tour rolls through NJ this weekend for a PNC Bank Arts Center show (8/4) on Sunday, and then hits CT's Mohegan Sun Arena on Thursday (8/8). Tickets appear sold out for NJ, but there's a few left for CT.
Ozzy Osbourne: We would love to have Bill back in the fold, but unfortunately it didn't work out and we knew we had to deliver an album because we had kept people waiting for like 35 years, so we all just got on the boat and unfortunately, Bill had some discrepancy about something or other, but we'd love to have him back and work something out.
Writer: Have you spoken to him since negotiations broke down?
Ozzy Osbourne: No. I've been so busy doing this project and working in the studio, we just couldn't stop. I wish him no harm. I still love him a lot. We all do. You know, it'd be great to have him back, but we felt if we pull the plug on this one people would have gone oh, it's never going to happen, you know. Because we tried, and we were speaking about it for a long time.
Updated dates are listed, along with the video for "God Is Dead?" from 13, below...
Black Sabbath @ Lollapalooza 2012 (more by James Richards IV)
Black Sabbath announces:
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND (January 13, 2013)--Today, the 13th of January 2013, rock legends BLACK SABBATH have announced the title of their new album, 13, which will be released this June (exact date TBA). The original BLACK SABBATH--OZZY OSBOURNE (vocals), TONY IOMMI (guitar) and GEEZER BUTLER (bass)--have recorded the album primarily in Los Angeles and were joined at the sessions by drummer Brad Wilk (Rage Against The Machine). Produced by Rick Rubin (seven-time Grammy winner, two of those as Producer of the Year), the album will be released on Vertigo (worldwide) and Vertigo/Republic in the U.S. 13 marks the Grammy-winning, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees' return to Vertigo, the band's original label; it's the group's first studio album together since 1978's Never Say Die! They have sold over 70 million albums together.Not surprisingly but sadly, drummer Bill Ward is nowhere to be found in the announcement. The initial list of 2013 tour dates, including Ozzfest in Tokyo, is below...
In advance of the album's release, BLACK SABBATH will head to New Zealand, Australia and Japan for live performances (see below for tour dates). Additional tour plans will be revealed in the coming months.
"At the request of Bill Ward, through his attorney, so as to not give the public the wrong impression about his involvement in the current Black Sabbath lineup, we have temporarily removed Bill Ward's images from the main pages of the blacksabbath.com official website. In accordance with Bill Ward's attorney's request, we are doing so for the duration of the forthcoming shows." -- BLACK SABBATH
I feel sad to see the Sabbath reunion becoming a bit of a soap opera on the internet. It has been a very tough year for us as a band, having announced our reunion plans, only for Tony to be diagnosed with lymphoma, leaving us no choice but to postpone the proposed Sabbath tour, and then for Bill to go public on his site about an un-signable contract. None of us knew how Tony was going to respond to his intensive chemo therapy, and radiotherapy. Ozzy and myself flew to England to be with Tony, and on his "good" days, we'd meet at his home studio and put ideas together for the upcoming album, all sitting down together, no drummer involved, just 3 of us quietly putting together ideas. We thought that when we had enough songs together for a full band rehearsal, we'd move back to L.A and put the whole thing together with Bill. Unfortunately, to our surprise, Bill issued a statement on his site saying he'd been offered an un-signable contract. He hadn't told any one of us he was having contractual problems, and frankly those things are worked out between our representatives, and never between the four of us let alone in public. We had the idea of keeping just one show in this year, hoping that Tony would be well enough for that show, and that things with Bill would be sorted. As you may expect, a one off show at Donnington Festival (Download) costs an absolute fortune to stage, involving over 50 people, transport, air fares, hotels, meals, agents, promotors, accountants, lawyers etc, so none of us, expected to make much money from it- it was a one off Sabbath show for the fans, before we go into recording the new album. Apparently, this wasn't acceptable to Bill's representatives, they wanted an amount that was so unrealistic that it seemed to have been a joke. So we resigned ourselves to doing Download without Bill, hoping he'd change his mind and at least make a guest appearance. We started rehearsals a few weeks ago with Tommy Cluefetos, the drummer who will be on the Ozzy and Friends Tour. Brilliant drummer and good bloke. It was decided we'd better do a warm up show, to break the ice since we haven't played together live. The O2 Academy was available in Birmingham, where we were rehearsing, so we decided on that, and to make a donation to Help For Heroes Charity, since we'd be ironing out any glitches we may have. Then Bill put out a further statement saying he'd been ready to play the Birmingham show , but he was expected to have to do it "for free"- well, I think that's basically how you raise money from gigs for charity - you play them "for free".Whatever the story, it still seems questionable that they cropped Bill out of old pictures! Most importantly though, I hope Tony is healing quickly and feeling good.
All I am saying [again] is that there are two sides to everything. I do hope to play with Bill again some day. For whatever reason; it wasn't meant to be this time. Bill's made his decision, and I have to respect that. Hopefully this painful year will be worth the wait for the new Sabbath album and end in joy and happiness for all.
"We have decided not to make any detailed comment on Bill's latest statement. There are two sides to every story. We have been working hard at rehearsals making excellent progress after Tony's treatments and we have engaged a substitute drummer for the forthcoming shows. See you at Download." --Black Sabbath, 5/17/12
Dear Sabbath Fans and Fellow Musicians,Read the rest of Bill Ward's note below. Hopefully they can come to terms for some later dates.
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.
We were saddened to hear yesterday via Facebook that Bill declined publicly to participate in our current Black Sabbath plans...we have no choice but to continue recording without him although our door is always open... We are still in the UK with Tony. Writing and recording the new album and on a roll... See you at Download!!!Burn! Well, that sucks.... in my estimation, Bill Ward is crucial to Black Sabbath. Stay tuned for more fun... they do say the "door is always open."
The above statement (in a Facebook post!) comes in response to the public statement that Bill Ward made about not wanting to sign their contract.
Things got a little worse for the reunited Black Sabbath who are already struggling with Tony Iommi's ongoing battle with lymphoma. The band, who is reportedly working on new material and are scheduled to begin touring in May, received an open letter from original drummer Bill Ward who is unahppy with the band's insistence that he sign an "unreasonable contract" (again). He swears though that his "position is not greed-driven." and that he's "not holding out for a 'big piece' of the action (money) like some kind of blackmail deal." Read it in full below...
THE most closely guarded secret in rock music can be revealed - the original Black Sabbath line-up is getting back together.Update: Tony says this is not true.
Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward have begun rehearsing for a tour and new studio album.
In June this year vocalist Ozzy and guitarist Iommi wrote new material for a record that will be released next year.
''We're really looking forward to it and I think the stuff we've been writing is really good,'' said 63-year-old Iommi. ''It's more back to the old original stuff.''
He added that the reunion has been kept under wraps for some time....
Iommi said his only concern about the current reformation was the health of drummer Bill Ward who in the past has suffered a heart attack.
''He hasn't been 100 per cent. He had an operation a few months ago, so we'll see how he is.'' -[Birmingham Mail]
Black Sabbath last reunited with Ozzy in 1997 for Ozzfest. They stayed together until roughly 2006. More recently the Dio lineup was back together as Heaven & Hell, though that came to a sad end when Ronnie James Dio left this plane back in May 2010.