Yesterday, drummer Bill Ward dropped a bombshell on fans, announcing that he would be forced to leave Black Sabbath if he didn’t receive a “signable” contract. At the time, it was unclear what Black Sabbath’s stance would be. Today, though, the remaining three members have confirmed that they will continue on without Bill Ward.
In a joint statement, Sabbath revealed the following:
“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!!!”
On one hand, it’s great to hear that they’re still recording and playing Download Fest. However, we still can’t help but feel disappointed. Granted, there’s always the chance that Ward could still come back. Keep in mind, Sabbath were originally planning to do Ozzfest in 2004 without Ward until they renegotiated a new contract. At the same time, though, we wouldn’t hold our breath.
It’s unclear as to who Black Sabbath will have play with them behind the kit, but this is definitely a sad turn of events for one of the most anticipated reunions of 2012.