Entries tagged with: Black Sabbath
photos by Greg Cristman
2013 has come and gone but we still have a couple year-end posts to go. Greg Cristman shot a whole lot for us last year -- everything from metal to synthpop and all points in between -- and he picked his 25 favorites from '13 which are in this post.
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.
by Wyatt Marshall
Cancer Bats are in the midst of the previously discussed tour with Red Fang, Indian Handcrafts and The Shrine (dates below), and the day after that tour hits NYC (12/11 at Bowery Ballroom, tix), they'll be taking a night off to play a very special Black Sabbath tribute set at Saint Vitus (12/12) with No Way and Blackest. The Cancer Bats will be performing as Bat Sabbath, which is also the name they used to release their tribute EP which they titled Bastards of Reality (like every other Sabbath cover band). This isn't the first time Cancer Bats have busted out the Bat Sabbath--they've played double headlining Cancer Bats/Bat Sabbath shows before, and toured Canada as Bat Sabbath late in 2011, too. Tickets for the Vitus show are on sale. Listen to Bat Sabbath below.
The real Black Sabbath is touring North America too.
Cancer Bats aren't the only band on the Red Fang tour with a little something on the side. The Shrine is playing a show at The Acheron with Natur, Dirty Fences, and Iron Force on 12/12 too. Tickets for that show are still available.
Updated dates are listed, along with the Bat Sabbath stream, below...
By Doug Moore
Behemoth at Irving Plaza, 2012 (more by Greg Cristman)
Behemoth frontman Nergal is kind of a badass -- he's an extremely gifted musician and a live-performance powerhouse who's played an important role in putting the potent Polish metal scene on the international map over the past 20 years. He's also a cancer survivor; after his 2010 leukemia diagnosis, he underwent chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. Two years later, Behemoth were back on the road and plowing through high-energy live sets like nothing had happened. Again, badass.
Behemoth announced a 2014 release for The Satanist -- their tenth album, and their first in half a decade -- a few months ago. I admittedly haven't been too excited by their last few efforts, but after watching the NSFW video for leadoff single "Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel" (streaming below), my enthusiasm for the band has been rekindled. It's far moodier and more patient composition than the cluttered, robotic death/black metal that they've produced recently. They can still put the hammer down when they need to, though; the song's final minute is both the catchiest and most intense moment I've heard them produce since the mid-aughts. The video is pretty cool too, especially if you're into artsy black-and-white shots of evil rituals happening in slow motion.
In related news, Behemoth were also recently announced as part of the initial lineup for the 2014 edition of France's Hellfest, which will take place from June 20 through 22 (6/20-6/22). The lineup so far is huge and crazy: there's a "huge rock band" stage, featuring Iron Maiden, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Soundgarden, among others; a big-name thrash/black metal stage that spotlights Slayer, Death Angel, Emperor, Iced Earth, Behemoth, and more; a death metal stage that will include Death To All, Carcass, Opeth, Nile, Gorguts, Hail of Bullets, and Weekend Nachos; a smaller black metal stage topped off by Watain, Gorgoroth and 1349; a sludge/stoner stage featuring Electric Wizard, Monster Magnet, Unida, Kylesa, Godflesh, and Clutch; and a punk stage topped by Walls of Jericho, Millencolin, and Turbonegro. Wow. You can reserve tickets now, if you feel like parsing the Google-Translated ticket page.
Check out the Behemoth video and the full set of Hellfest announcements below.
Tickets for the newly-added Paul Simon & Sting show at MSG go on Live Nation/Local presales today at 10 AM (password: "STINGSIMON"). Tickets for their other MSG show (same link) are still available but "not many left."
Arcade Fire tickets go on presale today too.
Tickets for the Black Sabbath show at Barclays Center are on Facebook presale (password: "SABBATH") now. Live Nation/Mobile App presales start Thursday (11/21) at 10 AM, and general on-sale begins Friday (11/22) at 10 AM.
Ellie Goulding is playing The Theater at MSG on March 12. Tickets to that show go on fan presale (password: "HALCYON"), and AmEx presale today at noon, with a general on-sale starting Friday (11/22) at noon.
Thievery Corporation are playing Capitol Theatre on December 20 and Webster Hall on December 21. Tickets for the Webster Hall show go on AmEx presale today at noon, with a general on-sale starting Friday (11/22) at noon. Tickets for the Cap show go on sale Friday at noon (no presale).
Tickets to see The Rural Alberta Advantage at their newly-added early show at Mercury Lounge go on AmEx presale today at noon. Their late show at Merc is sold out, but tickets for their Glasslands show are still available.
Cyndi Lauper is playing Highline Ballroom on December 9. Tickets to that show are on sale now to Citi cardmembers.
Houndmouth are playing Bowery Ballroom on March 14 and Music Hall of Williamsburg on March 15. Tickets to those shows go on sale today at noon.
Ane Brun is playing Highline Ballroom on February 12. Tickets to that show go on sale today at noon.
Mayer Hawthorne is playing Webster Hall on February 27 and Warsaw on February 28. Tickets for the Webster Hall show go on AmEx presale today at noon, with a general on-sale starting Friday (11/22) at noon. Tickets for the Warsaw show go on sale Friday at noon (no presale).
Alex Winston is playing Le Poisson Rouge on February 28. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Browse our 'Tickets On Sale' tag for more recently announced NYC shows.
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...
photos by Greg Cristman
"Black Sabbath @ PNC Bank Arts Center. The new songs from #13 sounding incredible live. " - @Troyquan
"#blacksabbath with Dad! @ PNC Bank Arts Center" - @HeatherMarieV
By the fifth song of last night's show at the PNC Bank Arts Center by heavy-metal pioneers Black Sabbath, frontman Ozzy Osbourne was a sweaty, sopping mess, a result of the manic energy he brought to the band's only area show.The reunited Black Sabbath (whose lineup includes Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler) brought their current tour to NJ last night (8/4) for a way sold-out show at the PNC Bank Arts Center. The set was heavy on the band's first four albums, and also included some cuts from their recently released reunion album, 13. Like all shows on this tour, Andrew WK began the night with a DJ set. Pictures from the night (but none of Andrew WK) are in this post.
So intense was Osbourne's presence that to a point, it even overshadowed his inability to stay on key.
This year's return of Black Sabbath has been a significant event, especially after a contract dispute that caused original drummer Bill Ward to bow out of the new album, "13," and guitarist Tony Iommi's cancer diagnosis during its recording.
All of this made the show a multilayered triumph that largely managed to overshadow Osbourne's shortcomings. [NY Post]
There's still one more chance to catch Sabbath in the NYC-area this week, when they play CT's Mohegan Sun Arena on Thursday (8/8). Tickets for that show are still available.
More pictures, videos of the band playing "War Pigs," "Children of the Grave," and "Black Sabbath," and the setlist, 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...
Andrew WK at Santos in May (more by Dan Bracaglia)
Black Sabbath, whose current lineup includes Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk, are going on a tour this year in support of their new album, 13, and they've just announced that professional partier Andrew WK (who just broke a world drum record) will be joining them on tour to open each night with a DJ set before Sabbath play. Regarding being asked to join the tour, Andrew said:
I'm just shocked. It's just the most incredible dream come true! This is the greatest honor I could be given. I remember when the phone rang and I first heard that Black Sabbath wanted me to be their exclusive opening act. I was really in a state of disbelief - almost sick with amazement and excitement. It took about 3 days until I fully mastered the reality of this opportunity and realized it was really going to happen. Black Sabbath's music changed my life from the first time I heard it, and this tour will change my life all over again. I couldn't be more thankful or humbled by this one-in-a-billion miracle. Can this really be real!? What kind of adventure will this be!?The tour never actually hits NYC but it comes close on August 4 at PNC Bank Arts Center (Holmdel, NJ) and August 8 at Mohegan Sun Arena (Uncasville, CT). The NJ show appears sold out at the moment, but tickets are still available for the CT show.
All dates are listed, along with a video of Andrew WK performing with Ozzy's daughter Kelly Osbourne, below...
Black Sabbath at Lollapalooza 2012 (more by James Richards IV)
The new Black Sabbath album (Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler all included), 13, is out this week (6/10), and the band just released the video for its single, "God Is Dead?" Check it out below.
Just gonna post this press release:
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees BLACK SABBATH (Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler) will make a rare television appearance when they perform a new song from their forthcoming 13 album in the season finale of "CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION," Wednesday, May 15 (10:00-11:00PM ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.Black Sabbath, who last gave us a new song in April, recently announced an Austin show and a Chicago show, a NJ show, and 17 other dates, all of which are listed below...
The appearance will mark the world premiere of the song "End of the Beginning" from BLACK SABBATH's much-anticipated new album 13, due out June 11 on Vertigo/Republic. This marks the group's return to Vertigo, their original label, and BLACK SABBATH's first studio album since 1978's Never Say Die! They have sold more than 70 million albums together.
Click here to see a preview of the episode and some sound bites from BLACK SABBATH and the CSI cast.
Black Sabbath's stage at Lollapalooza 2012 (more by James Richards IV)
Stream their new single, "God Is Dead?," below...
As seen on Invisible Oranges, Black Sabbath's first album with founding vocalist Ozzy Osbourne in more than 35 years is on the way, but you can stream the first single, "God is Dead?," from the 13 LP below.
As discussed, Iommi, Butler & Osbourne are scheduled to play select US dates in August, including PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ on August 4, as part of a growing string of US dates this August. Tickets are currently on presale, and go on regular sale Saturday (4/20).
All other known tour dates are below.
UPDATE: Listen to a new song now!
by Fred Pessaro // BBG
Black Sabbath on 'CSI,' no joke
Via Ozzy's Facebook:
For the last year and a half I have been drinking and taking drugs. I was in a very dark place and was an asshole to the people I love most, my family. However, I am happy to say that I am now 44 days sober.Best to Ozzy. If he has made it before I'm sure it can happen again.
Just to set the record straight, Sharon and I are not divorcing. I'm just trying to be a better person.
I would like to apologize to Sharon, my family, my friends and my band mates for my insane behavior during this period.........and my fans.
Catch a sober Ozzy Osbourne with his reunited band Black Sabbath on the road this summer, including at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ on August 4. Tickets go on presale Thursday (4/18) with a presale code of "SABBATH," and regular sale on Saturday at noon.
As discussed, the first Black Sabbath single from the new album 13, "God is Dead," will be released Thursday (via Clear Channel radio stations) and another will be performed on the season finale of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (no shit) which airs May 15. Iommi recently described the LP as one that "sits comfortably with our first three albums - Black Sabbath, Paranoid and Master Of Reality." That would make my year, but we'll see.
the three members of Black Sabbath...
As mentioned, Black Sabbath's long-awaited, Rick-Rubin-produced new album, 13, is coming out June 13. The first single, "God is Dead?," will be released on Thursday (4/18) so keep an ear out for that. Meanwhile the band, which includes Ozzy Ozzborne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, have announced initial summer tour tour dates, including one in the NYC area at PNC Bank Arts Center on August 4. Tickets go on Facebook presale on Thursday at 10 AM (password: "SABBATH") with the regular on-sale happening Saturday (4/20). All announced dates are listed below.
UPDATE: Listen to a new song now!
by Fred Pessaro // BBG
As mentioned, the long-awaited, Rick Rubin-produced new Black Sabbath album 13, is out June 11 and available to preorder in a bunch of different formats and packaging of various levels of fanciness/price. The foursome, who is now Ozzy Osbourne/Tony Iommi/Geezer Butler and Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave drummer Brad Wilk, just released a new video that reveals... the album art. Ta-dah! (It's above, too.) Watch it, and another video on the making of the LP, below.
Still no word on US dates, but I would imagine that the legendary metal band should have something for us in the near future. Fingers crossed. All known Sabbath dates are below.
Black Sabbath @ Lollapalooza 2012 (more by James Richards IV)
Black Sabbath have finally set the release date for their much-delayed, Rick Rubin-produced album, 13, which will hit stores physically and digitally on June 11. You can pre-order the album now in a variety of formats, including a $100 deluxe edition that comes with a 180-gram vinyl, double CD, DVD and a downloadable track-by-track interview with the band. You can watch a making-of video that includes in-studio footage, 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.
Michael Bolton, who seems to have a good sense of humor about his crappy music, will star as himself in new sitcom Michael Bolton's Daughter Is Destroying My Life according to Deadline. Look for the new sitcom on ABC next year.
Speaking of the trend of having your festival two weekends in a row now, Ultra Music Festival announced they're doing it too.
Jon Carmanica at the NY Times talks about dance stars evolving to pop fame.
The same issue of the NY Times profiles Ellie Goulding who is dating pop fame dance star Skrillex (who she was hanging out with at Pianos the other night).
Adele's "Someone Like You" has topped another chart: most popular songs at funerals.
The Nick Waterhouse and Allah-Las tour hit Chicago last week. We got pictures.
Speaking of pictures, in NY we recently captured the butt shaking going on at Bowery for Nicky Da B, Flying Lotus and then SBTRKT at Terminal 5, Public Image LTD at both MHOW and Hammerstein, Menomena at Bowery (MHOW on the way), Revelation Records Anniversary Night Two (three and four on the way), and Morrissey not once, not twice, but thrice.
And oh yeah, don't forget the New York Comic Con shots.
Stream Divine Fits' appearance on NPR's World Cafe from earlier today.
Xbox's iTunes-esque new music service debuts tomorrow. Surprise: you're going to have to update your firmware to use it.
Kitty Pride, who plays CMJ this week, hates fellow redhead Tori Amos. For weird reasons.
More stuff below...
Black Sabbath at Lollapalooza 2012 (more by James Richards IV)
3/4 of the original Black Sabbath lineup (drummer BIll Ward not included) played their first US show on their 2012 reunion tour at Lollapalooza last night (8/3). Their killer setlist relied most heavily on their first three colossal LPs, Black Sabbath, Paranoid, and Master of Reality, treating the crowd to a ton of favorites like "NIB," "War Pigs," "Sweet Leaf," and many more. Bill Ward's replacement, Rob Zombie/Alice Cooper/Ted Nugent drummer Tommy Clufetos, took an arguably unwelcome drum solo before "Iron Man," but the band were otherwise in top form.
More pics from Black Sabbath's set at Lollapalooza are HERE. The setlist and videos from their set are below...
photos by James Richards IV
Black Sabbath / M83 / the crowd, Lollapalooza 8/03/2012
A bell tolls, a bass guitar moans, and Ozzy Osbourne sings. "What is this that stands before me?" the former archnemesis of John Cardinal O'Connor intones with chilling deliberation. Black Sabbath - three-quarters of them, anyway - are back to reprise the doom-ridden, Beelzebub-baiting classics from the '70s. Osbourne sounds in good voice initially, slicing through Tony Iommi's granite-hard guitar riffs and Geezer Butler's nuclear-strength bass. He even lays down some credible blues harp on "Wizard." But, as if to prove he isn't lip-synching, Osbourne struggles to nail some of the high notes in "War Pigs." No matter, Sabbath was never about sex appeal or perfection. They were dead-end working-class kids who had no use for the romanticism of the flower-power era, and instead peered into the abyss that awaits us all. The songs, which just happened to invent an entire genre of music, still sound magnificent, from "N.I.B." to "Iron Man." [Chicago Tribune]Lollapalooza, the mother of indie U.S. festivals, is happening this weekend at Grant Park in Chicago. Friday (8/3) kicked things off with such bands Black Sabbath, Afghan Whigs, Passion Pit, The War on Drugs, Tame Impala, Metric, and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. If you're not in Chicago but would still like to have the Lollapalooza experience, just skip showering, turn off your A/C, crack open a beverage and watch the festival's livestream on YouTube.
More Lollapalooza Friday pics are below.
"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.