BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi was interviewed by Gigwise earlier today on the red carpet at the Q Awards, which are taking place tonight in London, England.
Asked what it was like seeing estranged SABBATH drummer Bill Ward at this year’s Ivor Novello Awards, Iommi replied: “It was good. It was really great to see Bill. I mean, 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.”
When quizzed on the chances of SABBATH settling its differences with Ward to perfom together on their “final tour” next year, Iommi replied: “No, to be honest. I don’t know if that’s gonna happen. But who knows? You never know.”
As for the possibility of SABBATH recording one final album before they call it a day, Iommi said that “it could happen.” He added: “We’ve got some tracks that we recorded before with [producer] Rick Rubin in L.A.,” he replied. “When we did our last album [2013’s ’13’], we’d done 16 tracks, but we only put eight on the album, so there are tracks there that could possibly show their face at some point.”
Ward once again insisted in a recent interview that he is quite capable of playing a full concert with the group, despite the bandmembers themselves saying the opposite. Ward stepped away from the SABBATH reunion in early 2012, while the group hinted that he was not in good enough physical shape to either record or tour.
Speaking with Rei Nishimoto of Ghost Cult magazine, Ward said: “I was never in a position where I was never able to drum. It’s really sad that those statements made about me that inferred that I wasn’t able to drum.
“When I’m in the studio, I can play in the studio. I was laying down tracks. We settled in 2011. By August 2011, I was already training and getting trained. You have to ramp up to go out on tour so that takes a different attitude. I started getting into shape for a tour. Touring is completely different to me than being in the studio. So I was already doing that work.”
He reiterated: “Never at any time was my drumming impaired, my health impaired or my ability to play drums. I’m so angry about those suggestions and that was going on.”
BLACK SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne told The Pulse Of Radio during the band’s last tour that Ward was not in shape to participate. “Bill Ward has got the most physically demanding job of the lot of us, ’cause he’s the timekeeper,” he said. “I don’t think personally he had the chops to pull it off, you know. The saddest thing is that he needed to own up to that, and we could have worked around it, whether we had a drummer on the side with him or something.”
Ward was reportedly insulted when SABBATH offered him a contract stipulating that he would only play a portion of the show each night, with another drummer along to take over.
Brad Wilk played drums on SABBATH‘s latest album, “13”, while Tommy Clufetos was behind the kit for the group’s world tour.