Estranged Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward says he remains in contact with Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler – but believes he's lost the friendship of Ozzy Osbourne, and he's not sure how much he could trust the singer in future.
The band’s drumstool is currently occupied by Tommy Clufetos after Ward bowed out of the original lineup reunion, saying he hadn’t been offered a contract that was “signable.”
But he says he would still be up for a return – if he felt healthy enough.
Ward tells DC Heavy Metal: “I’ll always have an open mind to playing with Black Sabbath. I love the band. I miss them terribly. If we can come to some terms and we’re all okay with each other.
“The most important thing for me is being able to know that I can play drums the way that I want to. I wouldn’t even enter into any kind of conversation with them if I knew I wasn’t back on the mark.”
However, Ward says there remains a “political agenda” attached to his non-appearance. He says: “I have to be careful in overstating. I’ve definitely got an open mind.
“I miss playing with Geezer, just horribly. I absolutely miss him to death. And I miss playing with Tony just, every day. Obviously I miss Oz. With Ozzy, I’ve lost a friend as far as I’m concerned. A man that I dearly loved, and I still dearly love – but I’ve had to re-adjust just how much I’m going to trust and love him.”
Meanwhile, former Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice has admitted he’d return to the band as soon as he was invited.
Asked why he feels he was overlooked after Ward dropped out in 2012, the Ronnie James Dio era sticksman tells Radio Fireball: “We did four years with Heaven And Hell and it was Tony, Geezer and I. If I was in Sabbath it would be Tony, Geezer, I and Ozzy. Maybe Ozzy felt weird that way, or maybe the band felt weird, like it was Heaven And Hell with Ozzy, and they wanted to keep it different. It could be a number of things.”
But he adds: “They know I would love to do it and I’m here for them if they need me.”