Bill Ward has revealed that a contract dispute was partly to blame for his split from Ronnie James Dio-fronted band Heaven & Hell.
The drummer is currently involved in a dispute with Black Sabbath and has repeatedly blamed his departure from that band on being offered an ‘unsignable contract’. He was replaced by Vinny Appice.
Now he says a similar complaint led him to walk away from Heaven & Hell as he, Dio, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler were recording three new tracks in 2006 for the Sabbath compilation Black Sabbath: The Dio Years.
Ward tells the Eddie Trunk Podcast (via Blabbermouth): “I was working on drum sounds, and I had chosen to prioritise the tracks. So I needed to utilise the time that was given to try to get the best tracks that I possibly could. But what showed up was a bad contract.”
The drummer adds that he fell out with one of the other band members before being replaced by Appice.
He says: “I came in and laid the tracks down, and I don’t think I met the kind of criteria that one of the members wanted. And when I eventually listened to the tracks being played, I listened to it and went, ‘My God,’ because Vinny came in and played the tracks. And I listened to it and I went, ‘My God, that’s exactly what I was fucking playing.’
“But the dispute was already over and done with. I had a huge argument about something, and I felt like I had been led down a slippery slope. And, basically, they called it, and I was out. And I didn’t feel comfortable with it at all.”
Heaven & Hell came to an end with the death of Dio in 2010. It remains to be seen whether Ward will return to Sabbath should they record a final album and go on tour in 2016.