Bill Ward Admits He Doesn’t Have the ‘Chops’ to Play With Black Sabbath Anymore
Estranged Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has admitted he no longer possesses the 'chops' nor 'ability' to perform with the band, should they ever play live again after retiring in early 2017.
Sabbath announced the reformation of their classic lineup at a press conference in 2011, but relations with Ward quickly deteriorated and he was officially dismissed the following year. In his absence, Rage Against the Machine's Brad Wilk performed on the 13 comeback album, while Tommy Clufetos, also in Ozzy Osbourne's solo band, stepped in for live duties on the subsequent tour and eventual farewell run.
During this period of activity, Ward and various Sabbath members engaged in a war of words, trading barbs in the press. The drummer maintained he was fully capable of performing with the group and the most damning rebuttal came from Osbourne, who, in a fiery 2015 statement, basically denounced Ward as delusional, adding "physically, you knew you were fucked."
In a recent interview with Sirius XM's Eddie Trunk (transcribed by Blabbermouth), Ward was asked about his personal feelings regarding the end of Black Sabbath as a recording and performing entity.
"Well, I'm not done with the Black Sabbath legacy. [Laughs] I haven't been done. I was made done, but I'm not done," he affirmed and continued, "So, the others might be done, but I'm not. But being realistic about that, as far as touring with Black Sabbath, I don't have the chops, and I don't have the ability to drive a band like that on stage. I have to be back to 60 years old to be able to do that."
Despite this, he has a glimmer of hope that perhaps studio album could be in the band's future.
"I would love to do a studio album with Sabbath, with all the original members," the drummer told Trunk. "I'm just saying that — I'm just floating that out there," he went on and noted, "I haven't talked to anybody about that or anything else. But I'm not done. So, the other three might be done, and I respect that, but no, I'm not done. I think as long as we all exist [laughs] and we're still breathing in air, I think we have every possibility of making some great music together."
Naturally, another studio album would stir interest in a tour, but Ward maintained he would not be able to participate if one came to fruition. "I'm being honest. I'll be 73 next birthday [in May], and I know what kind of energy it takes to drive that band," he candidly explained.
In 2019, Osbourne lamented the fact that Ward was not a part of Black Sabbath's farewell tour, dubbed 'The End,' and admitted that a better storybook ending would have been to include all four original members for their worldwide swansong.