Bill Ward may have sat out the Black Sabbath reuinion, but it doesn't mean he's not keeping busy with metal. This past summer, he presented an art project, Absence of Corners and in a recent interview promoting it, discussed his love for modern heavy metal bands.
While other members of Sabbath try to shy away from metal, and probably don't keep up, ol' Bill Ward is all about the modern bands. In a new interview with Kyle Harcott of Hellbound.ca, Ward elaborates:
What bands excite you as the torchbearers in modern metal?
Oh God, there are so many! Amon Amarth are progressing really well. And I've got to wave the flag for bands like Soilwork, who are not necessarily new, but what they are doing is progressing, and they're playing so fucking well. Same with a band like Devildriver, where I'll be listening and wonder "What are they gonna do next?" I'm blown away by those guys. Another one of my favorite bands is Celtic Frost. I also really like Today Is The Day. And – I know it'll never happen, what with Henke's passing, but I also wish we could have a reincarnation of Disfear.
Do you have a particular style or subgenre of metal that you're drawn to?
Not really – if the music catches my heart and my ears, then that's it. I usually find out afterward what the genre might be called. If it sounds great, I'm going to pick up on it – from Cryptopsy, or Arch Enemy, Krisiun – it's all such good stuff, very dramatic ways of playing. See, it's the energy that turns me on. I have an open mind, and I try to be critical of none of the bands, even if something's not to my personal taste. After all, somebody worked really hard on that music.
This put a giant smile on my face. It's great to see that Ward is a lifer when it comes to metal, and especially drumming. When asked how often he practices:
Every day, but that's not necessarily stick practice, I work on rhythms probably two or three hours a day. I work on out-of-the-box ideas, I reinvent ideas. I challenge myself, make it incredibly difficult to perform on some of things I do. For example, when I'm using my keyboards, I write with my left hand, but I play drums on the keyboard with my right, so that one hand has to play all the drum parts – so by the third or fourth hour of doing that, my hands are killing me. I've taught myself new techniques in the bathtub by putting my feet out of the water and tapping the side of the bath – trying to create rhythm against the resistance of the water, which is really difficult to do as well. But by playing and practicing these really hard rudiments, when I actually play stick-to-snare, it all fits much nicer, like, oh, this feels good, when the pedal actually rebounds. These are just little techniques I've built up over the years to be a better player.
Hmm, perhaps I need to start rhythm training in the bath…