BLACK SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne was asked by Billboard.com why the band's current touring drummer, Tommy Clufetos, did not record the drum tracks on their new album, "13", on which the drums were played by Brad Wilk of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE. Ozzy replied: "The way it was dealt with wasn't very fair on Tommy. [Producer] Rick Rubin just didn't want to work with him for reasons I don't know. He's a great drummer, and he's been with me for awhile now and I just felt that nobody discussed the decision about Brad to me, and it's not fair to Tommy. Tommy was promised the album... It's not because he was my drummer and my ego wanted him. It was just the fact the way it was dealt with. It just got me a bit, it got me pissed off about it. It's alright now. He's a great drummer. I don't know what the problem was."
As for Wilk, Osbourne says he "did a good job. I don't have anything bad to say. He's a very nice guy."
In an e-mail to Billboard.com, Rubin explained that "Brad is a muscular drummer with great feel and understands the groovy nature of their music — RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE is a groovy rock band, not a metal band — so it was worth a try. When they played together the first time, it was obvious he would do a great job in the seat [original SABBATH drummer] Bill [Ward] left vacated. Bill's a great drummer and I'm sure it would have been an amazing album with him. We all wanted him to participate."
Asked what happened with Bill Ward, who was announced as part of the band's reunion in late 2011 but bowed out a few months later, Ozzy told Spin, "To be absolutely truthful with you, I can't really remember. It was such a long time ago. There was the business side of it and the money side of it. We just didn't have the time to keep the people waiting another fucking ten years . . . We would have loved Bill Ward to step up to the plate, but it never worked out."
Ward claimed that he sat out the reunion because of unfair contractual terms, although the members of SABBATH have hinted in other interviews that he wasn't physically up to the task.
"13" is the first album in 35 years to feature Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler all playing together.
The set, which came out on June 11, is likely to sell between 120,000 and 130,000 copies in the U.S. in its first week of release, according to industry web site Hits Daily Double. That could hand SABBATH its first No. 1 album ever in the U.S.