Former Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has admitted he possesses neither the ability or chops to rejoin the band, if they perform live again.
Black Sabbath disbanded in 2017, but Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler reunited with estranged band member Bill Ward at the 2019 Grammy Salute To Music Legends ceremony.
Eight years before the reunion, Black Sabbath regrouped with their classic lineup at a press conference, but before long, relations with Ward swiftly deteriorated and he was dropped officially a year later.
Rage Against the Machine’s Brad Wilk performed on the 13 comeback album in his absence, with Tommy Clufetos-also in Ozzy Osbourne’s solo band- stepping in for live duties and the eventual farewell run.
Iommi said at the time of the farewell tour: “It would have been nicer to have Bill with us but unfortunately it never happened.”
During his period of isolation from the band, Ward and his former bandmates exchanged a war of words. Ward maintained his capability in performing, but Ozzy Osbourne rebutted him in 2015 by saying “physically, you knew you were fucked,” as reported in Loudwire.
Four years later, the band was two years into retirement, but there was speculation they could play together with Ward.
“I’ve loved [Tony, Geezer, and Ozzy] for a long time, and I still do. And I would be very open-minded to any ideas about playing together in the future. That’s it. Love you all. Thanks.”
Now he’s all but confirmed he won’t be up for the task.
In a recent interview with Sirius XM’s Eddie Trunk (transcribed by Blabbermouth) he clarified his stance on performing and recording with the band.
“Well, I’m not done with the Black Sabbath legacy. I haven’t been done. I was made done, but I’m not done.”
“… But being realistic about that, as far as touring with Black Sabbath, I don’t have the chops, and I don’t have the ability to drive a band like that on stage. I have to be back to 60 years old to be able to do that.”
He did finish by floating the idea of one more studio album, although if a tour emerged from that, once again he would not be fit to perform.
“I’m being honest. I’ll be 73 next birthday, and I know what kind of energy it takes to drive that band,” he said.