BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward has released a lengthy update via his official web site on the status of his upcoming solo album, "Beyond Aston", his Internet-only single, "Straws", his health and the possibility of future live appearances.
"My company, Aston Cross Music, Inc., is making 2,000 copies of 'Straws'," writes Ward. "1,000 copies are already earmarked for family, friends, musicians, journalists, politicians, etc. The remaining one thousand copies of 'Straws' I'm thinking about putting on EBay to raise money for people in need here in America. However, I haven't chosen the U.S. charities yet. Also, in my private mail, I've been receiving requests to visit Sao Paulo and to play some small concerts to raise funds for a hospital down there.
"At the moment, I'm a bit stuck, because three weeks ago I had shoulder surgery. In the summer, we (Bill Ward's band) did start some preliminary work to tour this fall, specifically Bosnia and surrounding areas, and we also considered going down to Sao Paulo. The injury will hold me up until at least Jan. (By the way, the operation was a complete success.) And to add, won't hold me back from touring with SABBATH, if that opportunity arises.
"So, anyway, getting back to EBay, I had the mind to try to raise money to help out some people. There's a shelter in my hometown of Aston in Birmingham, England that I'd like to support also, as well as what's already been mentioned.
"So, that's where I am right now. And, regarding Bosnia and Sao Paulo, I will continue to look into playing gigs in both areas at a more suitable time.
"OK. 'Straws' as a single, i.e. to record shops, etc., well that is not planned, so no to 'Straws' as a single. Again, it's a free download from billward.com. 'Straws' will appear on 'Beyond Aston'.
"And, regarding 'Beyond Aston', here's the progress report.
"Artwork/credits underway and progressing.
"Songs – all in full production, some at finite mixing stage, everyone is working hard, to get 'beyond' 'Beyond Aston'.
"Following is a list of all songs appearing on 'Beyond Aston', with a brief critic. Please note these songs and titles have been copywritten [sic] and rights are protected. It would be an illegal act to copy or use these titles in any way whatsoever.
"Beyond Aston"© – Bill Ward
(Titles not in order of appearance)
"A song about Irish struggles over the years, (soft rock) including choir and accordion.
02. The Dark Half Hour
"(Hard Rock) A song about the memory, child abuse and deep passion. Saxophone/Fender Strat Licks.
"(Medium Rock) A song which appears as part of a trilogy of war songs on 'Beyond Aston' – gimmicky effects and hardcore lyrics.
04. God and the Law
"(Medium Rock) Religion and war, part of the trilogy of war songs, Bill played drums.
05. Hi Fi Life
"(Medium Rock) Featuring the Perry Sisters, uplifting grooves, about music for what ails you.
"(Hard Rock) Takes a poke at current systems in place that are accepted as 'normal, excellent drums Ronnie Ciago.
07. Angel in the Rain
"(Medium/Hard Rock) The gathering of human oddities and people from all walks of life and asking 'Who left that angel in the rain'©. Bill played drums.
08. Beyond Aston
"(Medium Rock) A song written originally about 10 years ago (after a long and sad conversation with Oz). Upon completion of lyrics it was realized the song not only reverberated the conversation but also reflected possible everyman/woman's experiences. Small choir accompanies Bill's vocals.
09. Monmouth Nights
(Medium Rock/Jazz) A song about SABBATH getting back together to rehearse for shows at one of their old haunts, Monmouth, a Roman town in Wales, the birthplace of Henry V in 1387, Paul Ill Bass/synth excellent.
10. First Day Back
(Medium Rock) Song's about returning from whatever hell you've been in, and it's your first day back. Gibson guitar licks/Keith Lynch.
11. Everybody Loves Me
(Slow Hard Rock) About the ego, and the loneliness that comes with ego, drugs and sexuality. Exceptional drumming by Ronnie Ciago, featuring Perry sisters.
12. Powder on the Moon
(Medium Rock) Cross fades from end of Everybody loves me, about obsession to be liked at all costs, even when dead.
(Medium Rock) Part of trilogy of war songs on this album. Respectful song in part about soldiers at the front line.
14. Abandoned Gift
(Soft Rock) I think it's a song about me, I think it came out of the feeling of loss or grief.
15. Somebody's Heart
(Soft Rock) Song's about Bill's reaction to the first SABBATH reunion at Ozzfest, played without Bill, sad and very loving song. Great slide guitar by Keith Lynch.
16. Elephant Man
(Medium/Hard Rock) Excellent drumming by Ronnie Ciago, song of assassinations and suffering.
(Medium/Hard Rock) About trying to find God inside chaos. Bill plays drums. Straight ahead rock bass and guitar.