Bill Ward says that he no longer has the "chops" and the "ability" to perform with BLACK SABBATH.
The 72-year-old founding SABBATH drummer made the admission during an appearance earlier today on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk".
Asked if he is personally okay with SABBATH being "done" as a touring and recording entity, Bill — who didn't appear on the band's last studio album and accompanying tour — said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, I'm not done with BLACK SABBATH legacy. [Laughs] I haven't been done. I was made done, but I'm not done. So, the others might be done, but I'm not. But being realistic about that, as far as touring with BLACK SABBATH, I don't have the chops, and I don't have the ability to drive a band like that on stage. I have to be back to 60 years old to be able to do that."
Ward continued: "I would love to do a studio album with SABBATH, with all the original members. I'm just saying that — I'm just floating that out there. I haven't talked to anybody about that or anything else. But I'm not done. So, the other three might be done, and I respect that, but no, I'm not done. I think as long as we all exist [laughs] and we're still breathing in air, I think we have every possibility of making some great music together."
Bill went on to reiterate his desire to make a new studio album with BLACK SABBATH but confirmed that he no longer wishes to play live with the legendary heavy metal act.
"I'm being honest," he said. "I'll be 73 next birthday [in May], and I know what kind of energy it takes to drive that band."
Bill was on board for the SABBATH reunion when it was first announced nine years ago, but backed out soon after. The drummer later claimed that he sat out the recording and touring sessions because of unfair contractual terms, although the members of SABBATH have hinted in other interviews that he wasn't physically up to the task.
All four original members of SABBATH were present when the band announced its reunion in late 2011. But Ward split from the group in 2012, citing an "unsignable" contract, and singer Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler carried on with their Rick Rubin–produced "13" LP and extensive international touring without him.
Ozzy told The Pulse Of Radio during SABBATH's last tour that Ward was not in shape to participate. "Bill Ward has got the most physically demanding job of the lot of us, 'cause he's the timekeeper," he said. "I don't think personally he had the chops to pull it off, you know. The saddest thing is that he needed to own up to that, and we could have worked around it, whether we had a drummer on the side with him or something."
It was rumored that SABBATH wanted to bring a second drummer on the road to share duties with Ward, something that Iommi confirmed in 2017 during a question-and-answer session about SABBATH's "Ten Year War" box set.
In February 2017, SABBATH finished "The End" tour in Birmingham, closing out the quartet's groundbreaking 49-year career.
"The End" was SABBATH's last tour because Iommi — who was diagnosed with lymphoma in late 2011 — can no longer travel for extended amounts of time.
In 2015, Ward released his first solo album in 18 years. Titled "Accountable Beasts", the record can be purchased on iTunes.
In November 2017, Ward's band DAY OF ERRORS released its first two songs, "Day Of Errors" and "Blaspheming At Creation", via iTunes, Spotify, Amazon MP3 and Google Play. Two more tracks, "Dark" and "Ghost Train", followed in 2019.