Bill Ward: From Jazz to Black Sabbath Part 2-2
I try to avoid the many open doors, you know. I wrote that in a song once that Ozzy sang years ago on the first record that I ever made, my first solo album. But sometimes there's a lot of open doors, you know, and I try not to walk in those doors because it's easy to want a big mistake. So, I have to be careful for that because there's things that I can definitely enter into which will stifle creativity, things that I walk into which can be painful or negative, so I won't find creativity there. In the end, there is creativity because one has to come out of that with the pain, so the pain is always creative. Pain brings so much creativity all the time anyway. But for me, I try to enjoy laughter every day, and I try to enjoy the good things that I see in my life, and I try to focus on doing something as best that I can, especially with my playing, and take it lightly. I take it seriously but in a light-hearted way and I think it's really important to go easy on yourself. It's supposed to be about fun here so I have fun and that seems to keep all the creativity alive as well.
AAJ: What can you recommend to musicians who are trying to become successful in the music industry?
BW: Stay true to yourself, and always challenge your idea of success. Always challenge your idea of success. Look at your ideas of success because, as you grow older, your ideas of success will change and you'd better be damn sure that, if you're playing the truth in your music, then make sure you are doing that because if you ain't, and you are on tour and you're doing a world wide tour and you end up somewhere where there is no food, there is no shelter, the hotel got fucked up, the bus broke down, the plane couldn't fly because of the storm and the hurricane, you know, then be prepared to meet those every day challenges because that's what being on the road is like and if you ain't being true to yourself and you have just been playing pretend, you're going to break apart. You'll break apart. You will fall to pieces. You'll disintegrate. The reason you will disintegrate is because you are not there. You are only pretending.
If you are playing in a band where you feel like you are just doing this for the money or this is just a stepping stone in my career, then you ain't going to make it through a tour. You might make it through a tour. Let me come off of my high horse for a second. Let me just step down and try to say this with some humility, but I think to be able to live in this industry and to be happy in this industry you have to be true to yourself. You have got to be true to yourself and be honest about what you play. You're going to wear that badge. That's the badge you wear and if you ain't proud of that badge and if you've got misgivings about it, then it's going to fall apart. It'll fall apart on that 18-hour flight to Malaya. It'll fall apart somewhere. It'll fall apart in front of that Russian audience. Whatever it might be, it'll fall apart.
So I think having a purpose for really wanting to play and just being there in your heartbe as one with your heart because that way, then, when you're as one with your heart you can take anything. It doesn't matter about being seasick. It doesn't matter whether you've had any food for two days or not. Your heart is strong, man. You know you're powerful. You're a musician, and you can hang through just about anythingdivorce, not seeing the children, loneliness, contempt. Some of the enemies on the road are contentmentcontentment itself, being content with were you are, that can be an enemy; complacency is an enemy; isolation is an enemy; loneliness is an enemyand all these things are family friends when you are on the road. When you're out for a long time, all these things become just fucking neighbors. They lie on the bus with you when you're in your bunk. They just sit and ride alongside you when you're on the aircraft, you know. They are with you all the time and we learn to live with these things when we have a good, strong heart, and you get a good, strong heart by being as honest as you can about your music.