SLIPKNOT percussionist Chris Fehn (#3) is set to make a guest appearance on the long-awaited third solo album from BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward, entitled "Beyond Aston".Ward, who has been working on the album for much of the last couple of years, says that the musical direction of the upcoming CD will be slightly different to that of his last album, 1997's "When The Bough Breaks". "It's changed," Ward told Shockwaves magazine. "This album is a little raunchier and it's really got some hardcore issues. 'When the Bough Breaks' was somewhat soft. But the new album, 'Beyond Aston', will be rougher around the edges. I think I've gotten bolder and I think I've grown as a lyricist. I'm trying to be a bit more intelligent with my writing. Bill has yet to secure a record deal for the release of his upcoming CD, but he remains optimistic that he will be able to issue the album sometime in the spring.
"I know the kind of label I'd like to be with," he explained. "I don't want a label that wants to change me or have someone write with me. I can write myself, and I can make records myself, so I don't need their money. I'd just like a label that would listen. I'm not seeking a whole lot of fame and fortune with this record." Ward's recently-issued Internet-only solo single "Straws" is still available for download from his official web site at www.billward.com. According to the drummer, "Straws" "is part of a war trilogy. This song will actually show up on [the] new album, 'Beyond Aston' … But I decided to rush-release 'Straws' because some of the things that are going on right now with the war, or the possibility of violent times again. So I wanted to bring it out in this song. It's actually about a man trying to save a child during an air raid. This could happen next week in NY or next week in LA, but I certainly hope it's nothing like that. But I can hear the war drums — and I'm sure millions of people can — and it's disturbing and upsetting a lot of people. It's not that I'm against armies or anything like that, I realize that sometimes war is inevitable, but sometimes there's an opportunity to not be at war. And that's what 'Straws' is about."