In an interview to promote his new rhythm art project, original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward explains why he passed on participating in the band's reunion album, "13," and tour.
"I was offered a contract and I couldn't sign it," Ward tells Guitar International (via Ultimate Classic Rock). "As for some of the stories I would never, ever show up for a commitment that I could not do physically. So that should answer that one.
"In the statement that I did last year, I was quite clear that I came to the end of the road and promised myself and my family that I would never sign a contract that was not workable. It was one of the toughest decisions that I ever had to make. Because I absolutely and without question wanted to play. I haven't left the band. Everybody thinks I have left the band. I didn't walk out; it wasn't like that at all. I just didn't sign the contact and life took its own course."
As a result of Ward's decision, Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler recorded with Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine, while Ozzy's solo drummer, Tommy Clufetos, began handling live dates, including the recently-launched North American tour.
There's been talk that the band wanted Ward to join them on the road but only play a few songs each night. "I'm the drummer in Black Sabbath so I want to do the entire show," he explained. "I play all or nothing. Playing partially would kind of be aligning to my demise in Sabbath and minimize me. I'm the drummer in Sabbath and quite capable of doing the job."