Ward says 'bad contract' behind Heaven & Hell exit

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.

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Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.