In 2011, Black Sabbath announced they would be reuniting for a new album and tour. Not too long after, Bill Ward bowed out of the reunion citing financial reasons. The band went on without him, recording a new album and hitting the road and generally doing fine without him.
However, frontman Ozzy Osbourne seemed to take a swipe at Bill any chance he got during interviews. He's said that Bill was too fat to play in one interview, that he showed up "terribly out of shape" in another interview, and in general just couldn't shutup about what a fatty Ward allegedly was.
Then, once the promo cycle was wrapping up and talk began of a new album, Ozzy said he hoped Bill Ward "gets his stuff together" before the final Sabbath album.
After saying last year, that he basically lost a friend in Ozzy, Bill Ward posted a new statement today addressing all the questions about what would be needed for him to return to Sabbath. He reiterated that his relationship with the Prince of Darkness has been strained and unless Ozzy makes a public apology and he gets (what he considers) is a fair contract, he's not coming back. Oh, and he also has a new solo release on the way. Here is his full statement, posted to his Facebook page:
I hope you’re well and in good spirits. I have not made any public statements regarding my relationship with Black Sabbath since February 2012. Today, I want to address that relationship in this formal statement. Thank you.
I have neither severed nor discontinued my relationship with Black Sabbath, however, since 2012, the often inaccurate statements about me as a person and as a musician have caused me to be guarded and be especially detached emotionally and spiritually from Ozzy. His rhetoric above all has brought me the most discord. The continuing misguided information about me has established a necessity on my part to confront these issues. And now, with the imminent release of a new Bill Ward Band album, and the flurry of rumors about new Sabbath projects, I feel it appropriate to speak in a truthful and an un-cynical way.
There is always speculation about a true, original Sabbath lineup for the next tour or record. With a sad heart, I have to say I will not participate in any musical undertakings until a righting of the wrongs spoken against me has been achieved. I must admit, I have little to no expectations of this happening, but in the order of first things first, I’m looking for an honest accountability of all of Ozzy’s statements that I felt were untrue. I would want Ozzy to amend his opinions and exaggerations. I would want him to be forthcoming about his unrealistic viewpoints. And because I was chastised publicly, I would want him to amend publicly in his words, and not through an Ozzy representative, the nature of the wrongs. I would not want to continue on with him without this seemingly impassible dilemma being addressed. I don’t think previously strong relationships can remain strong after dispute by just sweeping the offensive stuff under the carpet, or by saying a puny sorry, or “oh, that’s all over now.” It doesn’t work like that for me. Righting of wrong works, and that’s what I want if I’m ever going to be his friend again.
Still undone and faraway is a “signable” contract. I would require a “signable” contract before moving one step toward a pathway that could lead to us all playing together again. I want a contract I can approve. That’s my truth. That’s my stand. I’ve listened to nothing but insults and false remarks, and if as a band or as individuals they wish to continue along the same lines, then any notion of an original Black Sabbath lineup will continue to fade away.
Put simply, it’s up to them. I have dearly missed playing with them and as people, I have been heartbroken over the loss of who I thought we were. And now you know where I stand.
Very soon my band, BWB will release a new album ironically called “Accountable Beasts.” I re- kick-started it in May 2012, and in an off and on journey to record, we have reached our final destination – a good mix, and a well mastered record. At this time we are putting the final touches on the digital booklet.
There are other multiple projects in different stages of progress, and I hope to bring more definitive news about them as things unfold this year. I have been very happy writing new songs, playing drums and working with other musicians. I have been blessed with musical visions and the ability to harness them. I’m moving into the future with an optimistic outlook.
For our many Sabbath fans, I love you all dearly. You are extremely special people. You fucking rock. I have been in deep regret since January 2012 that a true union was denied. I’ve remained faithful to you and honest with myself. Had I not been honest throughout I would have perished long ago. My hand is within yours, and I am encouraged to know you better. Stay safe and stay strong.
Now it is time to meet the circumstances of my statement and attend to what else is ongoing and before me.
The cynic in me thinks that the only reason Ward posted this statement is so that publications such as the one you are reading pick it up and promote his solo release. Guess what? It worked!
As for Ozzy offering a public apology, I honestly just do not see it happening. Black Sabbath have shown they can do fine without Ward so I can't see them offering him more money, especially since Sharon was allegedly involved in ousting him.