This past Tuesday, drummer Bill Ward confirmed that after months of renegotiations (or lack thereof), he would not be joining Black Sabbath this Summer. And while Ward provided an extremely detailed statement revealing the events that led to his official departure, the remaining members of Sabbath made one thing clear: they’re staying mum about everything.
In a joint statement released last night (May 17), Black Sabbath had the following to say:
“We have decided not to make any detailed comment on Bill’s latest statement. There are two sides to every story. We have been working hard at rehearsals making excellent progress after Tony’s treatments and we have engaged a substitute drummer for the forthcoming shows. See you at Download.”
In other words, Black Sabbath is refusing to address Ward’s claims, which included (among many accusations) an offer to participate “minimally” during their set at Download Fest. And unless they’re planning to make a separate announcement, it would appear that Sabbath is also making fans wait until their one-off hometown show this Saturday night (May 19) to find out who is the “substitute drummer” (though one could connect the dots).
On the one hand, it’s a smart PR move to avoid playing the “he said, she said” game in the media. Plus, the announcement of any new drummer is going to be an unpopular one amongst most fans expecting a true reunion. At the same time, fans want to know why the three are not making more of an effort to keep Ward in the band, and you can only plead the 5th so many times before looking guilty. If there’s one thing to take away from this all, though, it’s that the drama surrounding what was previously the most anticipated reunion of 2012 is far from over.