Tony Iommi: It's Too Late For Bill Ward

While updating Black Sabbath fans on their new album which is hitting the halfway mark, Iommi said it's too late for Ward to join the band this time.

Ultimate Guitar

The dispute between Black Sabbath and founding drummer Bill Ward has been well documented, but fans of the band still had hope that he would somehow find his way back in to the current Sabbath reunion.

Now Tony Iommi has flatly rejected the idea that Bill could return during this era of Black Sabbath, while updating fans on the progress of their new album.

"We'll always have a heart for Bill, but I think it's gone past that now," he told Blaring Out (via UltimateClassicRock). "It's gone on so long that I don't see that happening at the moment. Maybe at some point we might."

He updated fans on their current album progress, and said that Ozzy Osbourne was mistaken when he recently claimed that the guitar parts for all 15 songs had been recorded.

"We recorded the 15 songs at my house first in England, just as demos," Tony explained, "But Now We'Re Doing Them For Real. We'Re About 6 Tracks In Now."

Speaking about producer Rick Rubin, Tony said: "He's just a vibe merchant. He's not one that gets involved, hands on. He leaves it to you, and says 'Oh I like it' or 'I don't like it'."

See the full Tony Iommi interview with the Blaring Out show here:

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    Saw them at Download, Bill Ward or no Bill Ward they were still bloody amazing. I hope the next album is like the first, full of brilliant doom!
    It's a real shame about Bill. Still looking forward to hearing the new album though.
    We don't know for sure, if Tony is recording his guitar parts now, then the drum parts are probably already recorded. There were rumors that Sabbath was working together for a few months before it was officially announced, and Bill left. So maybe Bill recorded his drum parts before he quit.
    Dude, get bent. Everywhere I go I see some twat like you advertising crap like that. QUIT.
    If all Rick Rubin does is say "yay/nay" to things, why can't anybody be a producer under that condition?
    Ive read where more than one band says he shows up about once a week and lays on a couch and listens to what youve got. Thats his entire input process.
    Nice job if you can get that one! I'll always have a soft spot for Rubin, he produced Reign in Blood which has stunning production for a metal album. Dare I say it, look what happens to a band when the producer calls the shots more than they should (Bob Rock).
    Great point! Maybe Rubin isnt the great producer, per se, but he stays out of the way of the true band sound.
    Tony is referring to some producers who insist on absolute creative control during sessions, and who are constantly over your shoulder. Having met Rick Rubin, I can safely say he is the exact opposite.
    I'm the one that thinks the producer should be balanced, not too much involved but not too much distant. The way they depict Rubin it's like when he says no it's no and he gaves no explanation why it's a no. And the producer's input it's important.
    Zeppelin pulled off descent reunion without Bonzo, Sabbath can do just as well.
    yeah, but that was because John was dead! give Bill his fair share!
    What if Bill was asking for more than his fair share? I still have a hard time believing that an agreement couldn't be reached if Bill was only asking for his fair share.
    Also, look at what Tony tried to do with the rights to their songs. Ozzy felt that everyone in the band should have an equal share, Tony wanted the rights to himself. I think they ended up settling out of court, but I know Ozzy had filed a lawsuit on behalf of the band against him. Tony Iommi is just an arrogant douche.
    Sheep Shagger
    "...but I know Ozzy had filed a lawsuit on behalf of the band against him." Ozzy sued Tony for 50% ownership of the Black Sabbath name. That's not an equal split between all four band members. It wasn't done "on behalf of the band"; Geezer and Bill had nothing to do with it and they got nothing out of it. And you're wrong about Sharon. She did screw Bill over. Three times, actually. Once in 1999 and twice in 2004 when she threatened to re-record Bill's drum tracks on 'Reunion' for further pressings of the album, and again, in that same year, Ozzfest management (SHARON) screwed Bill over and he was replaced by Vinny Appice. I cannot believe that there are people out there upvoting your comment when you clearly have no idea what you are talking about. You're making assumptions. I'm giving you facts. Everything I just wrote has been said before by Joe Siegler - the owner of and a personal friend of Geezer's.
    You are obviously unaware of the history of Black Sabbath. Tony has screwed Bill over before when they did reunion tours. Everyone tries to blame Sharron Osbourne, but she has nothing to do with Sabbath. Bill just wants to be compensated fairly (he has said this multiple times), but Tony is a dick. I'm just glad I got to see the original lineup twice because I doubt I'll ever get a chance to see them again. =(
    Thats the dumbest thing ive ever read in my life. Bonzo is DEAD, and his son filled in.
    I'm still going to see them, seeing Tony, Geezer and Ozzy play black sabbath songs is still more than I ever expected I'd get the chance to see.
    -Rick Rubin Producing -No Bill Ward Confirmed for disappointment of the century.
    Yeah. Honestly not to sound like a hater, but no Bill Ward = no buying of Sabbath tickets for me. I will say though, I'm glad to see Iommi seems to be feeling better.
    Rick Rubin is an AMAZING producer. Whatever drugs you are using, please quit.
    Well Toni just said that Rubin doesn't really contribute much to the producing, kinda like Ozzy with lyrics. Guess that's what makes them amazing.
    I read the title of this as Tony saying it as ominous as he looks in that picture
    great guitarist's are a dime a dozen, really good drummers are much harder to find. just because it's not as thought about as the guitar and vocals that doesn't mean it's not as important(although in metal drums are arguably one of the most important instruments).
    I gotta say, I've read a lot of forums/comments thingies, and this is overall the most level headed, non-troll-y conversation I think I've seen. Bravo chums.
    Good to know Mr Rubin is still getting so much money for doing nothing. I understand "He's not one that gets involved, hands on", but it sounds more like "He's not one that does anything, at all". I'd rather someone who might help make the album better.
    Speaking about producer Rick Rubin, Tony said: "He's just a vibe merchant. He's not one that gets involved, hands on. He leaves it to you, and says 'Oh I like it' or 'I don't like it'." Sheeeit, I can do that.
    Rick Rubin is awful.
    Wanna elaborate on that? Or you just gonna bandwagon with everyone else?
    He's way past his prime. Sure he was good in the 90's when he was with the Chili Peppers, but now he's like the Grant Morrison of music, everything he touches turns to pretentious garbage.
    Why the **** they can't just pay him what he's worth, I'll never know.
    Second Rate
    Maybe he's asking too much? How much of the profits is one who signed away his rights to the band entitled to? Anyway, who's playing drums for them? If they need a scab, i'll do the work.
    The way I understand it, they would have been paying him LESS than any other member. Explain to me how that's fair.
    1) Glad to see Iommi looking better. 2) A.drummer is completely replacable unless their lack of proper training is a big part of their style, ala Adler, Ward, et al.