BILL WARD Interview Page 5
By Bob Nalbandian and Mark Miller
SW: I actually came down to that show with a group of people, and one of them was Lars Ulrich. This was when he had just started Metallica and was living in Newport Beach. I remember we were freaking out on that show! We were all huge Sabbath fans and we couldn't believe we were watching Bill Ward playing drums at the Woodstock club.
BW: All of the bands that I kind of went in and out of from the time I left the "Heaven & Hell Tour", nothing ever got recorded because I was really unavailable. I was getting much sicker with the drugs and alcohol so it fell apart, there was no way I could keep anything together. Once I began to stay sober, that's when I was able to make more recordings and so on. But I didn't go back to Patrick (Pat McKeon, leader/vocalist) in Max Havoc, I went on to work with some other musicians.
SW: So how long have you been sober now?
BW: For nearly 19 years now.
SW: That's awesome. Congratulations.
BW: Thank you.
SW: It still bewilders me till this day, with all the new technology and money bands spend on albums these days. And you go back and listen to the first Black Sabbath record that was recorded back in 1969 on an 8-track machine, and it still blows away any of the new metal releases. Just the first few chords of the song "Black Sabbath" still send chills down my spine! That raw-power and pure heaviness...with all that primitive recording gear it still sounds heavier than any album I've heard since. That is really unbelievable!
BW: Thank you. I really like the early Black Sabbath stuff, I like the later stuff as well, but there is such an innocence with the older material.
SW: In a few recent interviews you mention that you were the chosen one who had to tell Ozzy, back in 1979/'80, that he was out of the band. Were you voted by the other members of Sabbath to be the bearer of bad news?
BW: Not really, I kind of volunteered. When there are holes and gaps and things like that, I tend to want to go in there and take care of them. It's just my nature. I just thought I'd take it upon myself to tell Ozzy.
SW: Prior to Sabbath, you were called Earth. Did you do a lot of shows and is there any recordings at all with that band that perhaps may see the light some day?
BW: I don't think we did any recordings, there might be some bootlegs out there. But I know our first real recording was the "Black Sabbath" album. We had the name Earth for quite a while, I think for about 9 months. And we did quite a bit of traveling with that name, we went to Europe a number of times and we played some really unusual gigs in England (laughs).
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