Now that Black Sabbath’s new album 13 is out, many have come to agree that Rage Against The Machine’s Brad Wilk did a hell of a job on drums (even if we still wish Bill Ward did it instead). However, some have still wondered why the band opted not to have their touring drummer Tommy Clufetos appear on the album. Well from what Ozzy Osbourne makes it sound like, it’s a bit more complicated of an issue.
During an interview with SPIN, Ozzy and Geezer Butler were asked if Wilk was Black Sabbath’s first choice to record drums on the album. Ozzy responded by saying the following:
“I don’t really want to go into it. We had Tommy [Clufetos, the band’s touring drummer] on hold. And it just didn’t work out. The way it was dealt with was wrong, because you can’t keep people waiting for nothing. We were going to use Tommy at the beginning, and Rick [Rubin] was against it. And then it turned out that it wasn’t dealt with professionally and I got a bit pissed-off. Anyway, Tommy’s doing a great job on the road with Sabbath.”
It’s unclear from Ozzy’s comments on what exactly “didn’t work out” in the studio with Clufetos, or if it really just came down to Rick Rubin saying no (very possible). It could also be that Butler and Tony Iommi simply didn’t like the idea of having the drummer in Ozzy’s solo band on the album as well. Either way, though, it’s clear that Clufetos was indeed in the running to record drums on the album and while it might not have been “dealt with professionally,” it obvious didn’t lose him the touring gig.
As for what happened with Bill Ward, Ozzy seemed a little more forgettable during the SPIN interview. When asked straight up about the matter, Ozzy responded by saying “To be absolutely truthful with you, I can’t really remember. It was such a long time ago. There was the business side of it and the money side of it. We just didn’t have the time to keep the people waiting another fucking ten years. The drummer thing was a pain in the butt. We would have loved Bill Ward to step up to the plate, but it never worked out. I still love him to death. It’s sad that it didn’t work out. But hey, we’ve got an album, we’re all really happy. I don’t suppose Bill is that happy.” Interesting response, since during an interview with MOJO that ran last month, Ozzy claimed Ward was “out of condition” during the early rehearsals for the reunion. Either way, Sabbath have obviously moved on from Ward.