Bill Ward: 'I Can't Listen to New Black Sabbath, It's Too Painful'

Drummer talks about the first time he heard "13."

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Bill Ward has been talking to Rock Cellar about the first and only time he heard the new Black Sabbath album. As the drummer notes, he finds it too painful to listen to a Sabbath record that he isn't playing on: "The only thing I've heard from '13' is ... maybe 40 seconds of the first song, and then I turned it off. I haven't heard anything off that album at all. And to be quite honest, I don't care to either. It's too painful. "If I want to rip my guts out, I'll put it on. I mean, I wish them all the luck - well, not luck, they don't need luck - but I wish them all the best in the world. But for me, I can't listen to it, it's too close to home, you know. Like I said, I listened to the first 40 seconds of 'God is Dead?' and I just said I can't listen to this anymore." Ward, who declined to join the reunited Sabbath because of contractual issues, has also stated his admiration for the fans who have supported his decision: "The fans have been brilliant. I feel like I've got a real close contact with them. I've never reached such a point of really having such closeness with everybody. I'm trying to grasp this moment now. Their reactions and their words. Even up until last night when I went shopping, I bumped into a guy who was absolutely wonderful and he had wonderful things to say to me. It's happening all the time. I'm getting letters from all over the world, musicians, all kinds of things and they completely support me. And I'm forever grateful that they've reacted in a really positive way. It's just been this huge endearing experience. I can't say enough about it, really. I'm at a loss for words. (Long pause) It tears me up, you know. Even as I'm talking to you now, I'm not far away from a tear. I had to follow my heart under the most difficult circumstances."

39 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Punkbri1
    Believe me,I think Bill ward is cool as hell,but I saw Sabbath in 99,and I noticed then that he could not keep up.Drumming is so physical,and he had clearly lost his chops.I think they are better off without him on tour.
    cfhdomination
    Saw them at Ozzfest in '04 and I was stoked as hell because I'm a Sabbath fanboy. But watching Bill Ward onstage was kinda painful. He couldn't keep up and looked like he was gonna pass out at any second. I felt so horrible for the guy because in his prime, he was a beast. One of my all time favorite drummers for sure. It was sad to see him in such horrible shape.
    Anjohl
    Why wasn't it painful to listen to Mob Rules? Headless Cross? Devil You Know?
    Yabba Who
    Anything after Mob Rules is just painful to listen to. That goes without saying.
    Jazz1992
    Are you kidding me? Both Headless Cross and The Devil You Know are f**king amazing albums. Both much better than 13 IMO.
    Izzy-Sweet
    Woah, hold on, The Devil You Know is probably one of the best albums Black Sabbath did without Ozzy! I personally prefer it over H&H and Mob Rules.
    imneverdead
    Well actually first song is "End of The Beginning". Mr Bill Ward stop bullshitting all over the place.
    SleepFan
    I think regardless of touring, Black Sabbath albums need a jazz drummer to get their heavy blues rock sound of their first several albums. Period. Brad did good, but he did rock/metal drumming. I just don't think that's Sabbath's sound. Sue me.
    phantom_lord586
    its like how Dave Lombardo has been forced out slayer.. its a stupid contract.. they should just be treated equal.. screw record labels..
    richard.warts
    Honestly, I'd probably feel the same way. All the respect in the world for ol' Bill. He was such an important part of Sabbath's definitive sound.
    Born2Booze13
    I have yet to find a definitive answer as to why he was kept off the record. First it was money, then Geezer said Bill wasn't in shape enough to play for extended periods of time. Then I heard it was creative differences. I wish Bill could have done the record, but I would like to know the "true story" as to what really led to the disagreement. We fans need to know! Wilkes did do a great job in Ward's absence. But a full reunion album before death hits would have been ideal
    Gibson_SG_uzr55
    I think Brad Wilk did a nice job in Bill's place, but Bill really did get screwed on this deal and it should have been him.
    sca.smith
    I thought he wanted more money (as in, more than he 'needed') and didn't like that he had to lose weight in order to tour? That doesn't sound like he's being screwed.
    owen94
    There was some other comment from Ozzy (I think) that came out which said they didn't think Bill was in good enough shape or something along those lines.
    Brandon1993
    Yeah. That what the whole losing weight thing is about. He didn't think Bill was in good enough shape because he needed to lose weight but didn't.
    xonty
    I sort of agree, it lacks the massive sort of kick the early albums had, but I wouldn't say it's completely intolerable... :L
    christianonbass
    I bet it is painful to listen to! To say that he has a history with the guys in Sabbath is an understatement! He is probably thinking of when they just started as hungry kids, and now that they have reached legendary status, Sabbath continues on...and he is watching from the sidelines. That has got to be tough.
    SmurfGenocide
    I think a big part of him not joining up with the band again is he can't take all the pranks they pulled on him. Iommi and Ozzy nearly killed him a couple of times. I'm surprised he lasted this long.
    cmonkey81
    Sharon/ Yoko pocket ed Bills cut... they should have never put out that album...it only hurts Black Sabbath
    Keskimaki
    "He finds it too painful to listen to a Sabbath record that he isn't playing on." Well, it's not so long time from 1981 is it now?