You may recall, three years ago 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.
But, that's all in the past. Now that Sabbath have confirmed they will release one more final album and do one last tour, frontman Ozzy Osbourne says he hopes Bill Ward can join them for this last go at it… as long as he gets his shit together.
Speaking to Esquire about the status of the new music, Ozzy said:
"What I'm really happy about is, if this is Black Sabbath's last hurrah, then we'll have ended it on an up note rather than when I left in 1979 and everybody was fucked up on one thing or another and I was marked out as being the worst, you know. It ended on a bad note, so… The only thing sad about it is I hope [drummer] Bill Ward can get his stuff together to do this because… one of the biggest things I'm proud of in my life was that Black Sabbath wasn't a band that was created by some business mogul in London or New York. That we were four guys who had a great idea and it worked from record one, and we still… Would you believe that it took 45 years to get our first No. 1 album in America? It was amazing to me."
While yes, the band started as an organic DIY entity, it is no longer that. Black Sabbath are now business moguls and the band is a very coveted brand. While, yes, this is an olive branch, it seems like a backhanded one at that and I can't see Ward accepting.
Ozzy also commented on how far along the writing process they are:
"No. Although I texted [guitarist] Tony [Iommi] the other day. I said, 'It would be a great idea if you could send me some musical ideas so I can try and work some melodies around so we don't have to go searching for the song structure.' So I'm not starting from a cold block, you know?"
Regardless of Ward or not, I will definitely check out the album. Their last outing, 13 surprised me and had some excellent riffage. Where Tony Iommi goes, my ears follow!