Bill Ward: ‘I have not quit Black Sabbath’

The drummer threatened to pull out of the band's reunion after a contract dispute

Bill Ward has revealed to fans that he has not quit the newly reformed Black Sabbath.

The drummer released a statement earlier this year about his concerns with his contract and the metal band then released their own, vowing to continue their album and tour plans without him.

In an open letter, the drummer, part of the iconic band’s original line-up, said he would pull out of this summer’s reunion shows and recording sessions unless he was presented with a “signable contract”. Then, in a statement on their Facebook page, the remaining three members Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler indicated they will carry on regardless.

Now, reports Rolling Stone, Ward has said: “At the earliest opportunity, I am prepared to go to the UK and record, and later tour with the band… Last week, we sent further communication to the attorney handling the negotiations to try to reach an agreement. At this time we are waiting to hear back. I remain hopeful for a ‘signable’ contract and a positive outcome.”

In a message directed to the fans who have supported him, he added: “While believing in your freedom for expression, keep in mind that Tony, Ozzy and Geezer are still my lifetime friends. I cannot support comments with an objectifying or derogatory theme toward them or their various representatives.”

Tony Iommi was recently diagnosed with lymphoma, causing the band to move their recording sessions from Los Angeles to the UK, where the guitarist is receiving treatment.

They reportedly backed out of a planned headlining slot at Coachella and their European summer tour seemed to be in jeopardy, though they still plan on performing at Download Festival on June 10.