Former Black Sabbath Frontman On Bill Ward Firing: 'If Its About Money, Then What The F--k?'

Tony Martin shares his thoughts on Bill Ward not participating in the Sabbath reunion, adding the band should look up to Def Leppard.

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Ever since the original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward was left out the group's reunion last year, fans were left in a state of disbelief, not quite grasping the idea that no agreement could be reached to this very day. Joining that crowd is the former Sabbath frontman Tony Martin.

In a recent chat with Legendary Rock Interviews, the frontman has expressed his confusion over the whole situation, adding that he doesn't get why the band gave up on the drummer so quickly.

"The Bill Ward thing is weird cause they always loved Bill. In fact, they never had a bad thing to say about him so I don't quite get why they wouldn't take time out to nurture him back into the fold."

"If he had any problems I can't see how a period of rehearsal and help from his band would not fix them and if it's about money then what the f--k? He is the original drummer, so yes he should be given a good cut of whatever"

Although the singer has confessed that he is not familiar with any of the contract issues, he cited the example of Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen who has remained in the band despite having his arm amputated back in the '80s.

"I just see bands like Def Leppard, whose drummer had an arm ripped off in a car accident. They waited years until he developed a drum kit he could play with one arm. It proves nothing is impossible these days - that's why I don't get the Bill Ward thing."

As far as the current state of rock music goes, the vocalist has called rock fans "as awesome as ever", but has however added that he doesn't like the way people treat and devalue music these days.

"I just wish people regarded the music itself more respectfully, it's become a worthless art now and music has become a cheap throw away product, a fate that it does not deserve".

Martin was a member of Black Sabbath for a total of nine years, becoming the group's second longest serving singer after Ozzy Osbourne. He has appeared on five Sabbath albums, including "The Eternal Idol" and "Headless Cross".

So do you agree with Martin on this one? And how do you see the whole Bill Ward situation now over a year later? Let us know in the comments section below.

28 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Between this and Slayer, you'd get the impression drummers mean **** all to bands when it comes to being fairly paid it seems
    In Slash's autobiography, he talked about Axl wondering why the band wanted Steve Adler getting equal pay. "STEVEN? He's a drummer! I'm not letting letting the drummer get the same pay as me." Or something of that sort. It's unfortunate that it has to be that way. Tony Martin is absolutely right. I just wish bands like Sabbath and Slayer would realize that they are really alienating a lot of their fans by doing this. I really have no interest in the next Sabbath tour because of it.
    Jacques Nel
    I don't think whether someone is replaceable should be the issue, it's what part they play in making the music and how important the sound is. In my opinion a drummer is one of the key members of a band. Thinking in terms of who is replaceable is just a cheap shallow thing to do. Don't you ever take into consideration that these guys are your friends?
    in band world drummers are more easily replaceable, bassists come next, then guitarists and singers. so a band splitting money fair and square and with nothing to comment about is very rare.
    Bill Ward meant so much to that band. I agree with Tony, even if I only know him as "the guy who wasn't Ozzy or Dio." BW was the drummer of the first metal band!! Ever! Give the guy a break. (note: I don't want to get into the Sabbath/Motorhead debate here, just making a point) Sometimes drummers can be swapped out and nobody notices, but not with guys like Bill. This would be like a Rush tour without Neil Peart. You just can't do it. I will now go listen to Fairies Wear Boots until my wife leaves the house in a rage. This is for you, Bill. Thanks and good night.
    There's a debate between Black Sabbath and Motorhead? Simple enough, Black Sabbath was making Doom Metal before Lemmy had even joined Hawkwind.
    If you don't want to get into the Sabbath/Motorhead debate, how about a Deep Purple/Steppenwolf one?
    Face R1pper
    I'm down. How could anyone consider Steppanwolf to be as important to early heavy metal as Deep Purple?
    I've seen Sabbath four times since the 90's. Once with Ward, two with Bordin, one with Cluefeuto (spelling) last year. The show with Ward was the worst of the four... directly related to the drumming. Ward was in poor health and his chops were not up. Sometimes you just have to move on. I like the idea of Wilk with this band. He'll drive them. Sabbath with Ward is vintage and the records and shows in the 70s wouldn't have been the same without him, but I'm ok he's out. Never liked Sabbath without Ozzy. Totally different sound.
    gotta agree i saw bll ward on ozzfest he sucked.he just aint got it anymore. just like this band jack starrs burning starr i played on the guitarist jack starr latest album land of the dead. i had to play the all the rhythm guitars and the lead parts he couldnt play. he just doesnt have it anymore. so they have to get someone who can.just like jack did.
    "Ozzy Osbourne On Bill Ward Firing" Please die, UG.
    Please, pick up your glasses before you read the internet...
    That was the original title when it was posted. Please, get off your high horse and don't assume I'm illiterate.
    I feel bad for Tony, he got screwed over by Sabbath so badly when his voice basically carried five awesome albums with them. These days he can't even tour without losing money...
    I don't care what this guy says. There's a reason people remember Dio and Ozzy, Paranoid and Heaven and Hell and not this guy and Headless Cross.
    Headless cross is a great album, and this guy makes alot of sense on this subject..
    I don't see how cultural awareness of his tenure in the group devalues his comments in the slightest. That just seems an odd tangent for you to go on, it's not relevant to the topic at hand. Martin had some very high points in the band, the songs 'When Death Calls' and 'Kill in the spirit world' are some very fine tunes.
    There's a whole group of people in the metal community that have convinced themselves they have more influence or a greater legacy than they probably did have, granted, Tony Martin is not the most vocal person in this group, I've read other articles on this dude, and it seems to me that this guy is probably a little bit more removed from the issues than he realises. Reading this "interview," it came across to me that Tony Martin seems as though he has his finger on the pulse, although there is a paragraph that goes on about he doesn't know what the contractual issues are, the parable about Rick Allen is reaching.
    The thing is - he isnt saying anything or pretending to be an expert.. he is presenting his opinion and its a good opinion
    So just because he's less known than Ozzy and Dio means that he's not credible? Oh lord...
    But seriously...he has a point. These guys are getting old. They're not gonna be alive for too much longer, so why let something as trivial and short-lived as money get in the way of it?
    In all fairness, I'd argue that the only reason why people remember the Dio albums was because of the comeback tour they did a few years ago.
    Martin is great, I would have preferred a Martin-era reunion over an Ozzy-era one.
    Ok, just because I've got time to waste, I spent the last two hours reading into this laughable story. And there are a few things I really don't get. First, in almost all interviews and statements regarding the topic, you always read that they just communicate via their managers or lawyers. I mean wtf, why can't they just get their asses together in one place and speak themselves out, without any unrelated people in between? They are old enough now and if they all really wanted that reunion, it would happen in no time. And if, as some people assume, Ward isn't able to play the songs properly, why did they announce the full reunion in the first place AFTER having practiced for an eternity? I don't get it, this whole fuss is just endlessly childish by all people involved...