Black Sabbath ex Bill Ward: I’m at peace with those guys

Bill Ward
Bill Ward

Former Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward says he holds no grudges about the fact he’s no longer in the band.

Ward bowed out of the Sabbath’s reunion just months after it was announced in 2011 saying he hadn’t been offered a contract he regarded as “signable.” That led to a war of words, particularly between him and frontman Ozzy Osbourne, who at one point suggested the drummer wasn’t healthy enough to play his role.

But despite the apparent bad blood between both camps, Ward says he has no resentment towards them and wishes them well for the future.

Ward tells Rolling Stone: “It was 2015 when I saw Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, and it was cordial. But that’s been the last time. I haven’t talked to anybody or written any private emails to anybody.

“I think there’s been a couple of other press statements that might have gone backwards and forwards, but that’s been about it, really.

“I’m at peace with those guys. If something comes up that I feel is contradictory, I’ll always make a statement back in defense of whatever I need to defend. But my general outlook towards them is not of resentment, it’s not of fear, it’s not of hatred or anything like that.

“I actually really, really, really love these guys. I wish them nothing but the best in their lives. Every day, I say prayers and I wish for them health and happiness and just nothing but good things to befall them.

“I don’t in any way have any grudges or any arrogance or anything else. It’s been like that for a while.”

Ward admits he was upset at no longer being part of Black Sabbath but has now “cooled off” and reports he’s open to a return with the band if they ever decided to play again.

He says: “Yeah, I’m open-minded to it. It depends what it is and it depends what all it entails. But I definitely have an open mind. I’d be stupid not to.

“Time’s moving on, we’re getting older. I’ve loved those guys for a long time now. I love Black Sabbath’s music.”

Sabbath brought the curtain down on their 49-year-career with a pair of shows in their hometown of Birmingham back in February. And Ward says although he wasn’t part of the experience, the band were in his thoughts.

Ward adds: “On the night that they were playing, I was pretty much there with them. Again, I said prayers, I lit a candle for them and I just wished them well. The place where I am now has been going on for a couple of years now.”

Earlier this week, Ward announced that he’s selling more than 200 pieces of his studio-used gear and live equipment via The Official Bill Ward Reverb Shop.

He said: “I’m going to miss all of them but you know what? There’s some nice history with all of these. I think that if they’re going to drummers, then to me that warms my heart.”

For more, visit the Reverb website.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.