Drummer Bill Ward calls his new contract with Black Sabbath "unsignable"
Iconic metal band Black Sabbath could be facing another hitch in its plans to reemerge with a new tour and forthcoming album this year due to drummer Bill Ward’s unhappiness with the touring and recording contract he was offered. Ward released a public statement Thursday saying that the proposed agreement was "unsignable" and would cause him to lose his “rights, dignity and respectability as a rock musician.”
The news comes less than a month after the band publicly revealed that it was forced to pull out as headliners of this years Coachella line-up due to guitarist Tony Iommi’s lymphoma diagnosis. The band’s album, slated for November of this year, has moved production over to the U.K., which Ward has yet to take part in. However, he has said that he’s ready to get on a plane and record with original members Ozzy Obourne, Geezer Butler and Iommi if he can work out a more suitable contract.
“The place I'm in feels lousy and lonely because as much as I want to play and participate, I also have to stand for something and not sign on,” Ward said in a statement.
Though he declines to mention any details of his proposed contract, Ward says that he’s unable to get any information from the band about the status of the U.K. recording sessions or whether or not there’s a possibility of him being replaced on the record or the tour.
While bickering over contract agreements has nagged at the band’s previous reunion endeavors, Ward--the band's original drummer since 1968-- says he is holding out for respect, not money.
"After the last tour I vowed to never again sign on to an unreasonable contract," Ward said. “I want a contract that shows some respect to me and my family, a contract that will honor all that I've brought to Black Sabbath since its beginning.”
Photo: Black Sabbath, from left, Bill Ward, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi, at a recent press conference. Credit: Lester Cohen