Sabbath haven’t talked directly to Ward

Tony Iommi admits the members of Black Sabbath have not talked to drummer Bill Ward about the contract negotiations which sidelined him from the band’s reunion.

Ozzy Osbourne adds he doesn’t know exactly what led to Ward announcing he couldn’t sign up for an album and tour – but insists there’s still a chance things could be sorted out.

The singer tells NME: “The door is open. As far as I know, his requests were very unreasonable. Nothing would have been better than if he would have been here. I don’t know – I don’t deal with the business.”

Guitarist Iommi adds: “We’ve tried everything will Bill at the moment and it’s just not happening. Our legal people are dealing with his legal people. It’s all nonsense.

“We haven’t actually heard from Bill. It’s all been through his lawyers.”

The ‘Sab Opera’ behgan at the start of the year when Ward told fans he hadn’t been offered a contract he regarded as “signable”. He later said: “The band members stopped corresponding with me some time ago, with the exception of a nice letter from Tony on my birthday. Prior to that, Geezer Butler and I were corresponding, but that stopped abruptly in late February after I emailed a specific question to him.”

Sabbath played their warm-up show for this weekend’s Download festival in their home city of Birmingham, with Osbourne’s solo band drummer Tommy Clufetos in Ward’s place. He’ll also cover when the band close the three-day event at Donington on Sunday.

They’re working with producer Rick Rubin on their first album with Osbourne since 1979. Osbourne recently said they’d written 15 songs for the record and hinted at its title.

-Classic Rock Magazine

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