After a long disputed contract agreement with Black Sabbath’s original drummer Bill Ward, Tony Iomi opens up about his cancer diagnoses and where he stands with Ward and the group. The upcoming Sabbath album 13 is scheduled to release June 2013 followed by a North American tour.
For the past few months the failed contract negotiations with original Black Sabbath drummer, Bill Ward, has caused a bevy of rumors to circulate on social media news-feeds. Back in 2012 the negotiation of a Sabbath reunion was hitting road blocks with Ward’s contract disapproval and guitarist Tony Iommi’s cancerous lymphoma diagnosis. Stepping down from a headlining spot at Coachella due to Iommi’s diagnosis, Ward proceeded to make a statement as to why he was unable to sign the contract being offered. After withdrawing from Coachella, the band decided to go back to England to support Tony in his cancer treatment. Sabbath released a response statement to Ward extending an invitation to rejoin the group and openly admitting they would carry on without Bill Ward as drummer. At the end of February 2012, Bill had continued correspondence with Rolling Stone discussing the possibility of the situation being remedied and the reunion moving forward with Ward. By mid-March 2012, Ward released a statement on billward.com confirming his participation in the Black Sabbath reunion would not be moving forward. This was followed by Ward’s request to remove his image from all photos on Black Sabbath’s website.
Although there have been quite a few roadblocks for Black Sabbath in preparation for their Summer 2013 North American tour and upcoming album, 13 is already revving fans up. This will be the first studio album Ozzy Osbourne has recorded with Black Sabbath since 1978’s Never Say Die! making the anticipation even more exciting for fans. Despite a cancer diagnosis Tony Iommi has been playing with power and the group agrees that his courage and fight lend a helping hand to beating the disease, as well as the distraction of recording an album and playing shows. In a recent interview Iommi spoke to Guitar World about ending negotiations with Bill Ward:
Once I heard ‘cancerous lymphoma’, I thought ‘That’s it. I’ve had it’. We waited a long time for Bill and we wanted to sort it out. But at the end of the day, especially after I was diagnosed, I thought ‘Fucking hell, that’s it – we’ve got to get a move on. I might pop off next year!’ So I emailed him and said ‘Bill, we can’t wait any longer. We’ve got to get a move on with it’. And that was it.