TONY MARTIN Believes There's Still An 'Opportunity' For BLACK SABBATH To Do Something With BILL WARD
February 1, 2022
Former BLACK SABBATH singer Tony Martin, who sang on six of the band's albums in the late 1980s and early 1990s, was asked in a new interview with Sakis Fragos of Rock Hard Greece if he had an inkling he would be fired after the release of 1995's "Forbidden" in order to allow guitarist Tony Iommi to reunite with SABBATH's fellow original members. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I asked Tony directly. I said, 'Are you guys planning to do something with Ozzy [Osbourne] again?' I said, 'Just tell me so then I can plan what I'm gonna do.' He said, 'No, no, no, no. It's all just rumors.' Yeah, right. Everybody's talking in the business about it. My manager had told me. So I kind of knew it was coming; I just didn't know when. I don't think they really knew when. But they sort of denied it and denied it. But then it was gonna happen anyway."
Martin continued: "To be honest, I think getting Ozzy back after that, that was the right thing to do. It couldn't go anywhere else. They couldn't get another singer and start again. I think it was the right thing to do. And I still think there's an opportunity out there for them, because they're all still alive. Bill [Ward, original SABBATH drummer] is still out there. And if you think about what DEF LEPPARD did with their drummer. They've got a one-armed drummer, DEF LEPPARD, and they waited until they got a drum kit and he could play with one hand. If they can do that for a one-armed drummer, it's possible they could do something with Bill. It's just time. That's all, really. So I still think there's an opportunity there."
Bill was on board for the SABBATH reunion when it was first announced more than 10 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 Osbourne, Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler carried on with their Rick Rubin–produced "13" LP and extensive international touring without him.
Last March, Bill admitted to SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" that he no longer had the "chops" and the "ability" to perform with BLACK SABBATH. "I have to be back to 60 years old to be able to do that," he said.
Martin recently confirmed that a new record deal has been secured to reissue the albums he recorded with SABBATH: "The Eternal Idol" (1987),"Headless Cross" (1989),"Tyr" (1990),"Cross Purposes" (1994),"Cross Purposes Live" (1995) and "Forbidden" (1995).
Six years ago, Iommi told I Heart Guitar that "it's a shame" that "it took a lot for people to accept" Martin as SABBATH's vocalist. "It's taken all these years later for people to say, 'Oh blimey, that was a good band with good singing.' So it took a long time to get people to really realize how good it was."
In 2018, Iommi spent time in the studio remixing "Forbidden" for a future release. The LP, which features Martin, drummer Cozy Powell and bassist Neil Murray, is often regarded as SABBATH's worst studio recording.
Martin's new solo album, "Thorns", arrived on January 14 via Battlegod Productions and Dark Star Records.