Bill Ward said his “heart was ripped to pieces” when he felt forced to bow out of Black Sabbath in 2012, but added that he’d left all the negativity behind him.

The drummer declined to appear on the band’s final album, 13, and played no role in the years leading up to its farewell show in 2017, stating that he hadn’t been offered a contract he regarded as “signable.” A series of claims and counter-claims surfaced during that period, with relations between Ward and singer Ozzy Osbourne appearing particularly poor.

“In 2012, I went through such a departure of love and relationship,” Ward said during his first-ever public poetry recital in Los Angeles recently. He described the experience as “something that was really damaging for me and damaging for a lot of people in [those] relationships.”

“A lot of the things which are kind of emerging in the poetry are really in my recovery from the detachment from something that was very sacred to me," he said. "My love was torn apart; my heart was ripped to pieces.” Still, he added, he now feels "very much at peace. The things of 2012 are past. I’m in a very enlightened place; I love the people I’ve worked with all my life. … I’m through anything that was negative about those times.”

In a Q&A later in the evening, Ward was asked for his advice on dealing with difficult times. “If you believe in a higher power or if you believe in God, then I would suggest that you go to God and see if you can find some solutions,” he said. “If you don’t believe in God, then try to be as honest with yourself as you possibly can. … My own pain, my own sadness has brought me to a place of surrender, so I’ll surrender to the truth anyway and go, ‘You know what? I need to talk to somebody about this.’”

He advised audience members to "try not to be alone with your own pain. Try to find someone you can trust your pain with. It’s really important that we communally share what’s going on with each other. … Otherwise, we’re going to be walking around in a very sorrowful place.”

Ward also thanked Black Sabbath fans for the “connection” they offered him during the band’s performances. “When I played drums onstage, I poured everything out," he noted. "I went to my primal scream … the bottom of my very self. I know that you were going to the bottom of your very selves as well. It’s like having sex without the sex!”


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