BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward has thanked the band’s fans for their support after he announced that he will not be able to participate in the recording of the reunited group’s new album or perform with them on tour unless he is presented with what he described as a “fair agreement” and a “signable contract” that financially reflects his contributions to SABBATH‘s history and his standing as a founding member of the band.
BLACK SABBATH members Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne and Geeer Butler vowed to continue recording their new album without Ward, saying in a statement on the band’s Facebook page:
“We were saddened to hear yesterday via Facebook that Bill declined publicly to participate in our current Black Sabbath plans…we have no choice but to continue recording without him although our door is always open… We are still in the UK with Tony. Writing and recording the new album and on a roll… See you at Download!!!
“– Tony, Ozzy and Geezer”
In a statement posted on his official web site on February 4, 2012, Ward said:
“Dear Sabbath Fans,
“This is Bill. I just wanted to humbly thank you all. Your support from across the world has given me further strength and hope for a positive resolve. I have been moved and overwhelmed by the thousands of messages. I love you all.
The recording sessions for the original band’s first new album in 33 years were recently moved to London so that Iommi, who is undergoing treatment for cancer, could be close to his doctors.
SABBATH is scheduled to release its new album later this year and is confirmed to play the U.K.‘s Download festival in June. All other tour plans, however, are up in the air pending Iommi‘s ability to overcome his illness.