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  • Bill Ward: Why I left Heaven and Hell

    From rockradio.co.uk

    Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has broken his silence on why he left Heaven and Hell before the band recorded forthcoming album The Devil You Know.

    Speaking to Rock DJ Tom Russell, he explains he was "uncomfortable" with some of the issues surrounding the performance and the organisation of the variant Black Sabbath lineup.

    And his position seems to be more or less supported in a separate interview with Sabbath mainman Tony Iommi.

    Ward says: "There was a track I was uncomfortable with. I was trying to accommodate the wishes of a couple of the band members, and I'm not good at that - I'm not that kind of drummer. The way the guys wanted the drumming to be, I was unable to see it that way.

    "All the way through that project everyone had an open mind - we didn't know if it was going to work. I went in to lay the best track I could, but it was just one of those musical things that didn't work out.

    "I've never spoken publicly about this. At the time some things were said about me having other schedules to meet. That wasn't the case at all. There was a misunderstanding with the music, I was uncomfortable with some of the things surrounding the project, and that was it. I moved out.

    "I thought Vinny Appice would be a much better choice - he's able to accommodate the kind of things that were being asked, and I'm not. I react. Vinny plays drums. There's a big difference."

    Listen to the interview, including Ward's comments on the recording of the Paranoid album and track.

    Meanwhile, Iommi broadly agrees with Ward's sentiments, albeit from a different angle. In an interview he explains: "The record company were asking for the songs fairly quickly, and Bill wanted to take more time over doing them. We thought, it's probably best we don't do them with Bill - he was feeling uncomfortable.

    "He felt even more uncomfortable when we told him about touring for a year - he nearly had a fit! He hasn't done that for a long time. So he said, 'I don't think I'll be up for touring to that extent.'"

    Speaking about the return of Appice, Iommi says: "Vinny's played more albums with Ronnie than Bill has. Bill only did Heaven and Hell. And Vinny's done all the live stuff."

    Link - http://www.rockradio.co.uk/rock-news...hell/g28rx6c8/

  • #2
    What is it with Bill?

    Those H&H drum tracks are not that demanding at all.

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    • #3
      I just think bill doesn't mind recording but he doesn't really want to tour. Or at least like they did when they were younger. Some people can't take that anymore. He has also had heart problems and other health issues which have to have an impact on the man. Think about it. these guys aint no spring chickens.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by PADDY View Post
        What is it with Bill?

        Those H&H drum tracks are not that demanding at all.
        I think its about the fundamental difference between Black Sabbath pre 1980 vs. post 1980. Vinny's drumming is very meat and potatoes and concentrates strictly on time keeping. It isn't about creativity or reacting to the music. It's a much more structured, regimented style of drumming. It's likely that Bill believed he was being asked to do things outside of his comfort zone as a player - he has his own individual style, one much more appealing to me, and props to him for stepping aside. He's certainly correct in assuming that "feel" isn't a part of Heaven and Hell's drumming. It's just "keep time".

        Long live Bill Ward - I love Cozy, but Bill was the best drummer that BS ever had. The current configuration of Tony-Geezer-Vinny is a predictable beast. They don't even touch the magic that Tony-Geezer-Bill created, imho.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by PADDY View Post
          What is it with Bill? Those H&H drum tracks are not that demanding at all.
          It's not about complexity or anything of the sort - Bill has always gravitated towards a jazzier, free-er style, just listen to the first two albums and you'll hear some of the same jazzy stuff in his later albums too - As Bill himself said, he doesn't "play" drums, he "reacts" and just wanted to play the songs differently than how the rest of the band wanted them to go. As a band member and not a contract player, he wanted to do things HIS way rather than being told what to do. And why not?

          And then the whole touring thing too - It just made sense.

          All the best,
          PAULIE
          http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UoulA6r90n...ill%2Bward.JPG

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          • #6
            How many times in our work life have we all felt like saying, "Don't tell me how to do my job!!".. I can relate on that level. Good on Ward for stepping off instead of compromising his craft.
            "So if you want to know where I've been hiding all these years, follow the tears.. follow the tears.."

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            • #7
              The source got it wrong. That should have simply said why Bill left H&H ... the songs he's talking about recording were for The Dio Years, not TDYK. Bill was never in the studio to record TDYK.
              Shoddy journalism ... the story was originally a year old and has nothing to do with TDYK.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by racer View Post
                The source got it wrong. That should have simply said why Bill left H&H ... the songs he's talking about recording were for The Dio Years, not TDYK. Bill was never in the studio to record TDYK.
                Shoddy journalism ... the story was originally a year old and has nothing to do with TDYK.
                Ya, seems to be a recylced story here....BTW Bill did come to see the H&H show in 2007 in Fresno, too bad he didn't hop on stage for a number! :-)

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                • #9
                  Without Bill, the original Sabbath, and heavy metal, would not exist - PERIOD. That said, I think Vinny has done an amazing job. To try to recreate the original Sabb magic would be silly, that has come and gone, and we are left with 8 masterpieces. It would be like Van Gogh trying to sew his ear back on. The sabbs are all at a different place than 1970 (just see the Tony vs. Ozzy threads).
                  Black Sabbath is HEAVY; Judas Priest is METAL. \m/

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by J Hillenburg View Post
                    I think its about the fundamental difference between Black Sabbath pre 1980 vs. post 1980. Vinny's drumming is very meat and potatoes and concentrates strictly on time keeping. It isn't about creativity or reacting to the music. It's a much more structured, regimented style of drumming. It's likely that Bill believed he was being asked to do things outside of his comfort zone as a player - he has his own individual style, one much more appealing to me, and props to him for stepping aside. He's certainly correct in assuming that "feel" isn't a part of Heaven and Hell's drumming. It's just "keep time".

                    Long live Bill Ward - I love Cozy, but Bill was the best drummer that BS ever had. The current configuration of Tony-Geezer-Vinny is a predictable beast. They don't even touch the magic that Tony-Geezer-Bill created, imho.
                    Originally posted by Paulie 88 View Post
                    It's not about complexity or anything of the sort - Bill has always gravitated towards a jazzier, free-er style, just listen to the first two albums and you'll hear some of the same jazzy stuff in his later albums too - As Bill himself said, he doesn't "play" drums, he "reacts" and just wanted to play the songs differently than how the rest of the band wanted them to go. As a band member and not a contract player, he wanted to do things HIS way rather than being told what to do. And why not?

                    And then the whole touring thing too - It just made sense.

                    All the best,
                    PAULIE

                    This Ward vs Appice comparison reminds me so much of the Les Binks vs. Dave Holland situation with Judas Priest prior to British Steel. In the end Ward had the biggest influence on my own drumming style, followed closely by Les Binks. The straight-out 80s metal "time-keeping" style fails to inspire me.
                    Sadness felled the supernaut....

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                    • #11
                      The problem with your analysis is that, while more structured than Ward, Vinny is hardly just a time keeper. Some of his stuff is just plain weird, particularly with Dio.
                      May 16, 2010. RIP, RJD.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Chris B View Post
                        The problem with your analysis is that, while more structured than Ward, Vinny is hardly just a time keeper. Some of his stuff is just plain weird, particularly with Dio.

                        Good point, perhaps I lumped Vinny into the wrong group. I do appreciate his efforts, especially live (my first show seeing him on the kit was 10/14/1980). My ire for some of the drumming by performers (non-Sabbath!) other than Vinny remains.
                        Sadness felled the supernaut....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I like Vinny Appice and think he's a great rock drummer, particularly on the Black Sabbath/H&H stuff. He fits the bill, but he's a bit too "meat and potatoes". I wish he'd spice it up a bit at times, and i know he can because I've seen him do it at clinics and in other settings.

                          That being said, I was always very drawn to Bill's playing because of the way he creates his drum parts. He describes it perfectly in this interview and in many others that I have read over the years - he "reacts", particularly to Tony's guitar. Not a real technical player (and he'd be the first to tell you that), but there's always been a great swing element and "bounce" to his drum parts. Strangely enough, it always worked in Sabbaths heavier musical style. In my life as a drummer, I've tried to adopt that and incorporate it in my own playing.

                          I appreciate that Bill doesn't want to tour and I applaud his gently backing out of a musical situation that he didn't feel comfortable with.
                          Good Beer is the perfect blend of Art & Science.

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                          • #14
                            I like both of them, but I like Ward even better than Appice, cause Ive always dug that jazzy-groove that he had, which is mentioned many times in earlier posts. But Appice is good too. His got lot, maybe even too much criticism of his performance in TDYK, but Ive always considered him as a live player. Thats when he shows his true skins (thou he still isnt the most innovative drummer ). And Appice is currently the better option, as Wards health doesnt allow him to tour extensively.

                            But not Ward or Appice can top the gr8 Brian Downey of Thin Lizzy, the most unique player in rocks history, and my personal favorite. Much of that same jazzy groove as Ward had, but more innovative beats and fills and better technique. Criminally underrated outside the musicians. IMO only one who could hold a candle to him was Cozy Powell. He had that kind of a hard hitting style, similar to Appice, but again, more innovative and better technique.
                            Last edited by -E5150 StarWanderer-; 06-05-2009, 10:06 AM.
                            "The consequence of conscience/Is that you'll be left somewhere/Swinging in the air"-Ronnie James Dio (1942-2010) R.I.P. King Of Metal
                            "Just take a look around you what do you see/Pain, suffering, and misery/It's not the way that the world was planned/It's a pity you don't understand" - Geezer Butler
                            "If god is in heaven/How can this happen here" - Phil Lynott (1949-1986)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by The_Wolf View Post
                              Good point, perhaps I lumped Vinny into the wrong group. I do appreciate his efforts, especially live (my first show seeing him on the kit was 10/14/1980). My ire for some of the drumming by performers (non-Sabbath!) other than Vinny remains.
                              I never said he was a bad drummer - just not my idea of the ideal drummer. For sure.

                              Cite these weird Vinny performances - if I'm missing out on something, I'd like to hear it. It would be nice and interesting to hear something different from him.

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