Scott Smith of The Times Record recently conducted an interview with BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward.
According to Ward, he has virtually no memory of making his only Ronnie James Dio-era SABBATH record, "Heaven and Hell".
"Yeah, 1980 was a rough period for me, but not because of Ronnie, God bless his heart," Ward said. "I was having a tough time with the alcohol and drugs I was using at that time. I obviously don't remember a whole lot, and I was so ill then that I had to be guided through the recording of the album, mostly by Tony [Iommi, guitar]. He would cue me because I was losing the plot.
"I was blacked out most of the time we were doing that album," he added. "I do remember 'Lonely is the Word' and doing the song 'Heaven and Hell', which is one of my favorite songs from that period with Ronnie."
When BLACK SABBATH replaced Dio with DEEP PURPLE vocalist Ian Gillan for 1983's "Born Again" album, Ward had adopted a then-new work ethic.
"I was completely clean and sober for it," Ward said of "Born Again", the band's only LP to feature Gillan. "It was the complete opposite experience of 'Heaven and Hell'. I really enjoyed playing drums on 'Born Again'. It was a good feeling about being alive. There was a good energy there about being sober."
Ward, Osbourne, Iommi and Butler re-teamed as BLACK SABBATH for the one-off Live Aid event in 1985 before beginning a series of reunion tours in the 1990s.
"Everyone has an open mind about touring again, but right now, everyone is doing different projects," said Ward, who will release the hardcore-meets-jazz "Accountable Beasts" compact disc later this year. "But I'd love to do another album and tour with the SABS. It keeps me fresh and going."
Read the entire interview from The Times Record.