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Brad Wilk on Playing on Black Sabbath’s ’13’ Album: ‘I Wish That It Could Have Been Bill Ward’

Ethan Miller / Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Ethan Miller / Kevin Winter, Getty Images

As Black Sabbath inch closer to their last show ever on Feb. 4 of next year, the standoff between estranged drummer Bill Ward and the rest of the band has not seen either side budge. Fans and fellow musicians were clamoring for the icon’s return on the metal progenitors’ last album, 13, and now the man who did perform drums on the album has come out and expressed he too wishes Ward was on the record.

Brad Wilk (Rage Against the Machine, Prophets of Rage) recently spoke with Alternative Nation about his experience tracking 13 with one of his favorite bands. “That was an absolute dream come true,” he began, going on to detail his memories as an early Sabbath fan. “I was a 14-year-old kid sitting in his room with a record player trying to learn Bill Ward parts and Black Sabbath is one of my favorite groups of all time. So to actually be asked to play drums with them was an incredible experience.”

Moving forward to the studio sessions, Wilk went on, “For the first week it was really hard for me to even deal with the fact that I was in a room with them possibly heading towards making a record with them. They’re all great people, I loved being around them, I loved hearing their history and stories while we were making the record. I loved working with Rick Rubin, he is an incredible producer. I was just blessed to be in the room doing that, to say I was a part of it was incredible.”

Before wrapping up his thoughts, the skinsman added how he’d rather have not been involved at all, stating, “However, even though it was just the most amazing experience for me, I wish that it could have been Bill Ward instead of me, as amazing as it was for me.”

Wilk is currently performing with Public Enemy’s Chuck D. and Cypress Hill’s B-Real in the newly formed outfit Prophets of Rage. The band is rounded out by Public Enemy’s DJ Lord as well as Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello (guitar) and Tim Commerford (bass). Catch the group, as well as Black Sabbath, who are both on tour starting in August and see a list of upcoming dates at our 2016 Guide to Rock + Metal Tours.

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