Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler: ‘I want a farewell tour before I kick the bucket’

The band also told NME that they haven't started work on a new album

Black Sabbath have discussed their much touted upcoming farewell tour.

After cancelling an upcoming performance that had been previously billed as the group’s “farewell” gig, set to take place at the Tokyo leg of Ozzfest on November 22, Ozzy Osbourne recently said that the band will embark on a full farewell tour and release their final album in 2016.

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Speaking to NME at the Ivor Novello Awards in London on Thursday (May 21), bassist Geezer Butler claimed that he had “absolutely no idea” if the rumoured tour would actually happen. Butler said: “I’d love to keep going, I’d desperately want to keep going before I kick the bucket”. Butler’s bandmate, guitarist Tony Iommi added: “It’d be lovely to do a last tour, it’d be really nice to do that”.

While frontman Osbourne didn’t make an appearance at the ceremony, the band’s former drummer Bill Ward did attend. Ward, who is not playing with the band due to an ongoing dispute with Osbourne, told NME: “I’m in a huge dispute with Ozzy so that doesn’t really help and as far as I’m concerned, until that dispute is finished then I’m not gonna participate. They’ve already made an album without me [2013’s ’13’] so I’m sure they’d go on without me playing and that’s OK with me – I still love them just the same. I’d love to think I could [rejoin the band] but the things I’m asking for may be out of reach.”

The Black Sabbath members denied that they have started work on a new album, but stated that there is still camaraderie within the group. “It feels really nice to be with these two,” Ward said, with Iommi adding: “That’ll never go; we’ve been friends for a long time, you can’t just lop someone off like that. We stay in touch with each other; we’re always thinking of each other”.

Brian May presented the Lifetime Achievement award to Black Sabbath at the Ivor Novello Awards. In their speech, drummer Ward stated that it had been “a fantastic journey so far and [he hopes] it will continue to be too”.

It was recently reported that original member Bill Ward had been invited to rejoin the band for their final tour. Ward previously parted ways with the group, with Osbourne claiming that the drummer was overweight and unable to contribute to the band’s recording and live plans. It was additionally claimed that the band could not come to a financial agreement with Ward.

Black Sabbath have released 13 studio albums since forming in 1968.