Bill Ward on Claims About His Health: ‘Never at Any Time Was My Drumming Impaired’
The Black Sabbath reunion that many hoped for back in 2011 has never fully come to fruition as drummer Bill Ward pulled out claiming that he was not presented a signable contract to perform and record with the group. In the time since, Ward has not returned, comments made by Ozzy Osbourne about Ward have occasionally had some bite to them. One bone of contention in particular for Ward came when Osbourne suggested that the drummer was "incredibly overweight" and not healthy enough to carry out his duties, something that Ward is once again denying.
In a chat with Ghost Cult magazine, Ward states, "I was never in a position where I was never able to drum. It's really sad that those statements made about me that inferred that I wasn't able to drum."
The drummer goes on to add, "When I'm in the studio, I can play in the studio. I was laying down tracks. We settled in 2011. By August 2011, I was already training and getting trained. You have to ramp up to go out on tour so that takes a different attitude. I started getting into shape for a tour. Touring is completely different to me than being in the studio. So I was already doing that work."
The drummer states in the interview, "Never at any time was my drumming impaired, my health impaired or my ability to play drums. I'm so angry about those suggestions and that was going on."
Ward does reveal that in 2013 he had a serious illness called perforated diverticulitis that sidelined him and required a couple of surgeries, but as soon as he recovered, he was immediately back behind the kit. He recalls, "As soon as I was able to come through the perforated diverticulitis, I started playing again. The only issue that I had with my health at that time was that I had a shoulder operation. Four days before I had the perforated diverticulitis, I had a shoulder operation! The shoulder operation was something that's pretty common with drummers, as we're getting older like me. It was basically an outpatient — you go in, take care of some things, come out and that was it. It wasn't a big deal, but because I had the perforated diverticulitis, which was life-threatening; they couldn't do much about the shoulder." Ward says that since February 2014, he's gotten his shoulder back into shape and has been doing very well.
However, the drummer remains out of Black Sabbath's current plans for a final tour in 2016. Even though he was spotted with Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi at an awards show earlier this year, Ward remains at odds with Ozzy Osbourne. The drummer reiterated his stance on the contract earlier this year and stated that Osbourne needed to publicly apologize before he'd return. Osbourne didn't exactly greet the comments warmly.
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