On this weekend's edition of his radio show "Rock 50", legendary BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward paid tribute to METALLICA's Lars Ulrich. He said: "Lars is an exceptional drummer. He's spiritually sound. I really like that.
"A lot of the paths that Lars has passed through I've travelled myself. And I ended up with being able to take whatever my abilities are, and I was able to utilize that in whatever music we did with SABBATH or we're doing with my own bands now, or if I jam out with anybody, I just play whatever shows up. So it's, like, 'This is what I've got.' But I can remember going through a period over 20, probably 28, 25 or 26 years ago, where I stopped competing, so I had to find out what I could do and make good use of it. And it sounds like Lars has reached that settling ground as well. And I think he does such a good job of it.
"His drum creations have brought the sound of METALLICA to the very edge of metal spearhead, and he's worthy of much praise. He's inspirational and a must-listen for the students. So go ahead, students. If you are learning drums or need to learn the new techniques and stuff like that, listen to Lars, man. He's got some really good stuff that you can learn from."
After airing several METALLICA songs — including "Enter Sandman", "Master Of Puppets", "Until It Sleeps" and "All Nightmare Long" — Ward said: "There are so many things, drum-wise, in all of those songs that are departure points, where other drummers can look at it and go, 'Well, this didn't exist before.' Then Lars created it and we can all listen to it and go, 'Wow!' We can nick some stuff as well, you know. [Laughs] But I love the guy. I think he's just absolutely incredible."
He continued: "I sighed a deep sigh of relief when I heard [METALLICA's] 'black' album. Everything musically had seemed to be distorted feng shui until I heard Lars and METALLICA landing firmly with a statement that announced, 'This way.' And that's how it felt."
Ward added: "You know where the music scene was during the early '80s. Things were kind of, like, 'Oh, we've got this band, and we've got that going on.' And I was in bad shape. I was coming off SABBATH and we'd been through all the SABBATH years and touring and grinding. And so it was 1980 and I was just waking up into a new life, I guess, and I was listening around, looking around for music, and [a short time later] I heard a couple of METALLICA's early albums and then I heard the 'black' album, and I thought, 'Oh my god.' And it seemed to be like that was… it had the same effect that the 'white' album, THE BEATLES' 'white' album had on me. METALLICA's 'black' album, when I heard that and I heard Lars' playing, and I just was, like, you know, 'Wow! Something really neat's been accomplished here.' It pointed, 'This way, guys. This is the way we're going.' And it seemed like there was a multitude of music that followed that, and we've got this incredible heavy metal thing that we have today."
Paul Stanley (KISS), Tom Morello (RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE), Ozzy Osbourne (BLACK SABBATH), Brian "Head" Welch (KORN), Corey Taylor (SLIPKNOT, STONE SOUR), Yngwie Malmsteen, Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX), Stephen Pearcy (RATT), Michael Sweet (STRYPER) and Lzzy Hale (HALESTORM) are among the musicians who reacted on Twitter and Facebook to the passing of actor and comedian Robin Williams, who died earlier today (Monday, August 11) of a suspected suicide due to asphyxia.
Williams was found dead at his home in Tiburon, California.
A forensic examination is set to take place on August 12.
The actor was reportedly battling severe depressing before his death.
His third wife, Susan Schneider, released a statement after the announcement of his death.
"This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings," she wrote. "I am utterly heartbroken.
"On behalf of Robin's family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief.
"As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin's death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions."
BLACK SABBATH members Ozzy Osbourne (vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar) and Geezer Butler (bass) took part in a press conference yesterday (Friday, June 6) before their performance at this year's edition of the Sweden Rock Festival in Sölvesborg, Sweden. You can now watch video footage of the question-and-answer session below.
Asked about the band's recent concert in Moscow when technical issues prevented BLACK SABBATH from playing "Paranoid" as an encore, Geezer said: "It's probably one of the very few times that we haven't [that song during a SABBATH concert]. But it wasn't our fault, because it was the hard disk in the P.A. system went down. And you can't just replace it. You have to reboot the whole system, and it takes 24 hours, I think." Tony added: "We were all ready to go on, and then suddenly it went off."
Regarding BLACK SABBATH's plans for the future beyond the band's current tour, Ozzy said: "We haven't really discussed it. It is possible there's gonna be another album. But we haven't really sat down and decided what we're gonna do yet. We just wanna finish this tour and then we'll see."
Asked about Tony Iommi's recent remark that their upcoming concert in London's Hyde Park could be their last, Ozzy told Guitar World, "If it's goodbye, we're ending it on a high note… But I'm up for another BLACK SABBATH album and tour. If we can, great. If not, I'll just carry on doing my own thing."
According to The Pulse Of Radio, Butler, meanwhile, thinks that the threesome already have a head start on a new record, explaining, "We've still got four tracks left over from ['13']. So maybe we'll fill in the other four or five tracks and put out another album — if it's right. We wouldn't do it just for the sake of it, or the money or whatever. But yeah, maybe."
Ozzy added, "I never say never. I never thought after 35 years I'd [be back with BLACK SABBATH], have a No. 1 record and a sold-out tour."
"13", the first SABBATH album since 1978 to feature Ozzy, Butler and Iommi, was No. 1 in the U.S., the U.K. and nearly a dozen other countries.
Iommi, who has battled cancer since 2012, said recently that the massive July 4 gig at London's Hyde Park could be the band's last because the touring can be tough on him.
Iommi, who is in remission, admitted, "To be honest I don't want to be touring to this extent too much longer, because it makes me feel so bad."
The Hyde Park show will feature SOUNDGARDEN and others in addition to the headliners.
BLACK SABBATH bassist Geezer Butler recently spoke to Time Out Dubai about the possibility of the band releasing another studio album to follow last year's reunion CD, "13". "We've still got four tracks left over from ['13'], so maybe we'll fill in the other four or five tracks and put out another album. If it's right. We wouldn't do it just for the sake of it, or the money or whatever. But yeah, maybe."
Butler also talked about SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2012. "Tony is probably healthier than everybody else now, after all the stuff they've done to him," he said. "He's really done well, he's definitely in remission now."
Regarding founding BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward, who was originally announced as part of the band's reunion album and tour in late 2011, but bowed out in early 2012 over a contract dispute, Butler said: "We started off with Bill Ward this time around and it just didn't happen… To be blatantly honest, he just couldn't do it anymore. He was thinking that we could take, like, ten years to do the album, whereas we knew we only had so long to do it and get out on tour, while you're still good at what you do. Bill was a bit unfit, and ironically in hospital with intestinal problems, so he'd have had to leave the tour anyway if we'd gone out with him."
He added: "I love Bill — we all love Bill. It's a horrible thing he couldn't complete [the album]. SABBATH is SABBATH, it's the four of us. We were almost going to call the album '75 Percent' at one time [laughs], because that's what it felt like. Especially when [RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE's] Brad Wilk came in drumming — that was [producer] Rick Rubin's idea to bring him in, and we thought if we're bringing a brand new drummer, why can't we have Bill? But Rick Rubin said, 'We can't be in the studio forever waiting for Bill to get it right.'"
Butler was also full of praise for producer Rick Rubin, calling their working relationship "incredible — it's just like having a fifth member." He added: "Tony came out with tons and tons of riffs, we picked out what we liked, about 40 riffs that Tony had that we thought were worth doing. And then Rick came in and narrowed that down to 14 songs, and it's just like having someone who sees you from the outside after all these years. He didn't want us to come out with a typical heavy metal album. He said ‘when you started there was no such thing as heavy metal, so forget what's come after you, and go back to what you were before that, before METALLICA and all those bands, and just do what you did back then, that experience, play live in the studio as if you were onstage in a little club,' and that's what we did."
BLACK SABBATH is scheduled to end the touring cycle for "13" with a massive July 4 gig at London's Hyde Park, and according to Iommi, it could be the last time SABBATH ever plays live. Iommi told Metal Hammer, "It could be the last ever SABBATH show. I don't want it to be, but there's nothing really planned touring-wise after that show, so for all we know that could be it, really."
Iommi admitted that even if SABBATH does tour again, he does not want to travel as extensively as the legendary group did in the past year. He explained, "To be honest, I don't want to be touring to this extent too much longer, because it makes me feel so bad."
Iommi had to return home for treatments every six weeks during most of the "13" tour, but said that it's now a matter of waiting to see whether the disease comes out of remission. He revealed, "I'm at a stage now where I have no support, which means I have to see whether the cancer is coming back or if it's still there or what. I just don't know. It's a bit of a worry. After we finish this tour, I'll go in and have scan, so we'll see what that shows up."
"13", the first SABBATH album to feature Butler, Iommi and singer Ozzy Osbourne in 35 years, debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. and U.K. album charts last year.
The band has not hinted if it will make another studio album, and Ozzy told The Pulse Of Radio last year that he was fine with the possibility of "13" being its last one. "For whatever reason, if we don't do another studio album, this is where I would have liked to have been at the end of SABBATH, my days with SABBATH," he said. "But life has a funny way of twisting things around, and if we do do anothe
BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi has told Metal Hammer magazine that the band's headlining appearance at the Barclaycard British Summer Time festival at London's Hyde Park may turn out to be the legendary heavy metal group's final gig.
The July 4 event will see SABBATH perform alongside SOUNDGARDEN, FAITH NO MORE, MOTÖRHEAD and SOULFLY on the festival's main stage.
"It could be the last ever SABBATH show," Iommi told Metal Hammer. "I don't want it to be, but there's nothing really planned touring-wise after that show, so for all we know that could be it, really. To be honest, I don't want to be touring to this extent too much longer, because it makes me feel so bad."
Iommi has had to go back to England every six weeks for treatment ever since being diagnosed with lymphoma in 2012, forcing him and SABBATH to work around both the treatments and the recovery time needed afterward.
"I'm at a stage now where I have no support, which means I have to see whether the cancer is coming back or if it's still there or what," he said. "I just don't know. It's a bit of a worry. After we finish this tour, I'll go in and have scan, so we'll see what that shows up."
"But the show at Hyde Park will a great way to end the European tour," he added. "It has a really great bill, with a really good mix of people. We haven't made any specific plans as the gig is a way off yet, but I think it'll be special."
Last year, Iommi said that his ongoing treatments and their physical side effects could severely restrict SABBATH's activities, explaining, "I can't commit to doing another two years or anything like that. I have to play it as it comes now."
Singer Ozzy Osbourne told The Pulse Of Radio that Iommi never let his treatments slow him down during the making of the recent SABBATH album, "13". "My hat goes off to him 'cause he really is Iron Man," he said. "I mean, that chemotherapy knocks you sideways, you know. I mean, when my wife had cancer a few years back, she was having three chemo things a month and it would knock the life out of — literally every time she'd have a treatment, she'd have a seizure. It's scary stuff. But he came down, plugged in and carried on. He's my hero, I swear to God he is."
"13", the first SABBATH release in 35 years to feature Iommi, Osbourne and Geezer Butler playing together, was released in June 2013 and landed the band its first-ever No. 1 album in the U.S., also topping the chart in the U.K. and a number of other countries.
The band also earned three 2014 Grammy Award nominations, for "Best Rock Album" for "13", plus "Best Metal Performance" and "Best Rock Song" for "God Is Dead?"
The making of "13" was marked by several dramatic events, including drummer Bill Ward's withdrawal from the project over a contractual dispute.
Butler told Revolver that he started writing a song for "13", called "Hanging By A Thread", that was inspired by Iommi's illness. He explained, "It was very much about dying, about giving your last breath and passing your spirit on." But the track didn't make it onto the album because, Butler said, "We never came up with the finished thing."
SABBATH completed a 10-date North American run on April 26 in Los Angeles.