Original BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward has slammed some of the music press for taking his words “out of context” and making it appear as if he slammed the band’s latest album, 2013’s “13”, which was recorded after his departure from the group.
During an appearance on the latest episode of VH1 Classic “That Metal Show” co-host Eddie Trunk’s podcast, “Eddie Trunk Podcast”, stated about whether the success of “13” and the tour behind it took him by surprise: “I didn’t think it was successful at all. Well, in terms of live attendance, I think it’s gonna go, ‘cause the band’s really well known. But I really didn’t… I was working on detachment — serious detachment — and I wanted to make sure that I went down the line and detached myself as much as possible. I had to stop loving them, because if you’re loving a dog as it’s biting you and ripping your insides out, it’s hard to love a dog that’s doing that. So I actually stopped loving them, and I had to learn what we call detachment. So whatever they were doing, I could care less. I wasn’t interested in the fucking album ’13’. I’ve heard twenty bars of it — that’s all I’ve heard — and then I turned it off and said, ‘That’s a pile of shit,’ and that’s the truth. And I couldn’t care less what they were doing on tour.”
After some web sites reported on the interview by using Ward’s “pile of shit” comment in the headline in reference to the “13” album, Ward took the opportunity on the latest edition of his radio show, “Rock 50”, to set the record straight. He said (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I found myself getting into trouble again this week in the press. [Laughs] Man, I just can’t seem to say the right thing without getting slaughtered by some of our friends in the press. It’s quite amazing.”
He continued: “I did a nice interview with a friend of mine, Eddie Trunk, as you know, this week, and, of course, some of the contents of the interview has been taken out, and kind of out of context as well, and they are making headlines right now. NME, I believe, in Great Britain, and I think there was one in Classic Rock as well, that I called BLACK SABBATH’s album ’13’ complete shit or something like that. And it’s just, like, ‘Man…. Man…’ You know, it’s, like, ‘Ooooh…’
“Let me get a couple of things straight here. I really, really love those guys. I am so passionate in my love for them. They are fantastic musicians. I never faulted their musicianship — ever. I’ve played with these guys since I was a teenager. And I just… I love them. I’m in a dispute with them.”
Ward went on to say: “Let’s go back to ’13’ for a second, so I can make it clear for the record. I heard about twenty, twenty-four bars of one track — one track — on ’13’, and I listened to it, and I just didn’t like it at all; I just didn’t like it. And I have that right not to like it. Recently, at the Ivor Novello Awards, where I was with Tony [Iommi, BLACK SABBATH guitarist] and Geezer [Butler, BLACK SABBATH bassist], Geezer mentioned to me that he bought, or he downloaded, my new CD, which was ‘Accountable Beasts’. I said, ‘What did you think of the album?’ He said, ‘I love it musically, but I can’t stand it vocally.’ It just so happens that Geez doesn’t like my singing. He has that right…. He has that right not to like it. But I’m fucked if the press is gonna slam me up the wall or come out with some pretentious bullshit about using headlines that are completely out… You know, it’s just, like, what the fuck is all that about?
“I’m just saying it from my heart, if you’re listening out there: Hey, get a clue! I really dig these people that I’m talking about, and I listened to twenty-four bars. I haven’t heard the rest of the album ’13’. I haven’t heard it. And I never listened to it. One of the reasons I didn’t wanna listen to it was because I felt it would be quite painful to listen to. Not musically, but emotionally, it’s quite painful to listen to something that you wanted to be part of, but were unable to be part of, because I’m fighting for some principles in my life, and that includes the way that I interact with those three guys — BLACK SABBATH. It’s about principles, folks. That’s all it is, okay? So when these big headlines come out like that, then… Oooh. Man! Talk about fanning the flames… Man….
“Anyway, just for the record, I love Tony, I love Geezer, and I love Ozzy Osbourne, and they are great musicians. And I am letting all the Ozzy fans know that as well.”
In an April 2015 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Ward was asked if any of the song ideas he worked on with SABBATH prior to his exit from the band ended up on “13”. He responded: “I haven’t listened to the 13 album actually. I’ve only listened to one song, and I think it was called ‘God Is Dead?’ I listened to it for 30 seconds, and then I listened to a drum pattern that I used originally on the track, and I switched it off. I’m not saying that to create a problem or anything or be clever about it. I’m just saying I don’t want to hear my ideas being played by somebody else on the album. I won’t listen to that album. I just don’t want to find out what else is on there. And quite frankly, I didn’t like what I heard. It doesn’t sound anything like what I consider to be BLACK SABBATH.”
“13” was the first SABBATH album in 35 years to feature Ozzy, Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler together, with Ward the only founding member to sit out the record and world tour.
“13” went to No. 1 in both the U.S. and the U.K., a first for the band in America and only their second chart-topper in their native country since 1971.
Ward was on board for the SABBATH reunion when it was first announced in November 2011, but backed out soon after. He later claimed that he sat out the recording and touring sessions because of unfair contractual terms, although the members of SABBATH have hinted in other interviews that he wasn’t physically up to the task.
SABBATH has used Ozzy’s regular touring drummer Tommy Clufetos since then for live work. RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE’s Brad Wilk laid down the drum tracks on “13”, which came out in June 2013.