Earlier in the month, BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward 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 that they “were saddened to hear 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 U.K. with Tony. Writing and recording the new album and on a roll.”
In a statement posted on his official web site on February 17, 2012, Ward said:
“Dear Sabbath Fans,
“I wanted to let you know where things are at, from my point of view, as of today, February 17, 2012.
“As my statement of February 2, 2012 indicated, I have not declined to participate in the Sabbath album and tour. At the earliest opportunity, I am prepared to go to the U.K. and record, and later tour with the band.
“Last week, we sent further communication to the attorney handling the negotiations to try to reach an agreement. At this time we are waiting to hear back. I remain hopeful for a “signable” contract and a positive outcome.
“I want to thank everyone who has voiced and posted their opinions, thoughts, support and love through all media, including the newly constructed sites. I applaud your worldwide reaction in support of the original band. And speaking for myself, your intent and truth will always be respected.
“While believing in your freedom for expression, keep in mind that Tony, Ozzy and Geezer are still my lifetime friends, and I cannot support comments with an objectifying or derogatory theme toward them or their various representatives.
“Many thanks to all of you. You are truly phenomenal.
“Stay safe, stay strong.
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.