Tony Iommi Says Black Sabbath Haven’t Spoken to Bill Ward About Returning
Tony Iommi hasn't closed the door on one last reunion with original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward, but he doesn't sound optimistic. But as the guitarist tells Gigwise, there have been no discussions on the topic.
"No, to be honest," Iommi replied when asked if Ward was approached about returning to the band. "I don't know if that's gonna happen. But who knows? You never know."
Ward, who played on all of Black Sabbath's '70s-era classics, had a public falling out with the group in the run-up to 2013's reunion album 13. He said they didn't present him with a "signable contact"; singer Ozzy Osbourne countered by insisting that Ward was in no shape to tour.
Through it all, Iommi and Ward have remained in touch, the guitarist says. They even ran into each other at this year's Ivor Novello Awards. "It was good, it was really great to see Bill," Iommi recalled. "Bill and I stayed in contact. Not as much as we used to, but we do stay in contact. But it was really nice to see him, and it was just a nice warm feeling to be with Bill again."
Black Sabbath have confirmed that their next tour will be the band's last. Iommi also said that it's possible that leftover material from 13 could appear on a follow up project. Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk took over for Ward on the album, while Tommy Clufetos sat in for the tour.
In addition to the band's classic string of records, Ward also played drums on a trio of Black Sabbath albums in the early '80s as well as 1998's Reunion. He also worked with Osbourne on The Ozzman Cometh in 1997, and with Iommi on 2000's Iommi.
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