Since its announcement, the Black Sabbath reunion has had nothing but difficulty after difficulty. Plans for a world tour and new album were put on hold after lead guitarist Tony Iommi was diagnosed with Lymphoma, while drummer Bill Ward recently declared his contract unsignable.
There’s been no official statement on Ward’s departure, but bassist Geezer Butler weighed in on the situation, which he regrets to see is becoming a “bit of a soap opera on the internet.”
“It has been a very tough year for us as a band,” Geezer wrote on his website. “None of us knew how Tony was going to respond to his intensive chemo therapy, and radiotherapy. Ozzy and myself flew to England to be with Tony, and on his ‘good’ days, we’d meet at his home studio and put ideas together for the upcoming album, all sitting down together, no drummer involved, just 3 of us quietly putting together ideas. We thought that when we had enough songs together for a full band rehearsal, we’d move back to L.A and put the whole thing together with Bill.”
Butler went on to say the band was surprised to find out Ward posted on his website about his contract woes, adding that the band members leave contractual issues to their representatives and don’t discuss them with each other. Black Sabbath recently put on a show at the Download Festival with drummer Tommy Cluefetos in Ward’s stead.
“All I am saying is that there are two sides to everything,” Butler concluded. “I do hope to play with Bill again some day. For whatever reason; it wasn’t meant to be this time. Bill’s made his decision, and I have to respect that. Hopefully this painful year will be worth the wait for the new Sabbath album and end in joy and happiness for all.”