Black Sabbath reunion “feels lousy and lonely”

The long-awaited Black Sabbath reunion, which was announced in November last year, is already looking very shaky with health issues and “unsignable” contracts threatening to derail the planned come-back tour and Rick Rubin produced album.

The reunion was interrupted January by the announcement guitarist that guitarist Tony Iommi had been diagnosed with lymphoma and the band was forced to cancel plans to play a headline set at Coachella.

Now drummer Bill Ward has issued a statement declaring that he has been given an “unsignable” contract and is in a “holding pattern” until he is given a deal that “recognizes and is reflective of my contributions to the band, including the reunions that started fourteen years ago.”

“At this time, I would love nothing more than to be able to proceed with the Black Sabbath album and tour,” Ward says. “However, I am unable to continue unless a “signable” contract is drawn up; a contract that reflects some dignity and respect toward me as an original member of the band.”

“Since the news of Tony’s illness, and the understanding that the band would move production to the U.K., I’ve spent everyday getting to or living in a place of readiness to leave. That involves something of a task, and as I’ve tried to find out what’s going on with the U.K. sessions, I’ve realized that I’ve been getting “the cold shoulder” (and, I might add, not for the first time). Feeling somewhat ostracized, my guess is as of today, I will know nothing of what’s happening unless I sign “the unsignable contract.””

“The place I’m in feels lousy and lonely because as much as I want to play and participate, I also have to stand for something and not sign on. If I sign as-is, I stand to

lose my rights, dignity and respectability as a rock musician. I believe in freedom and freedom of speech. I grew up in a hard rock/metal band. We stood for something then, and we played from the heart with honesty and sincerity. I am in the spirit of integrity, far from the corporate malady, I am real and honest, fair and compassionate.”

“My position is not greed-driven. I’m not holding out for a “big piece” of the action (money) like some kind of blackmail deal… After the last tour I vowed to never again sign on to an unreasonable contract. I want a contract that shows some respect to me and my family, a contract that will honor all that I’ve brought to Black Sabbath since its beginning.”

Hopefully the issues can soon be solved and an Australian tour can be added to the band’s schedule (if it’s not too much to ask).