ERIC PETERSON: New TESTAMENT Is Like 'Over The Wall' Meets 'Damage Inc.'

TESTAMENT guitarist Eric Peterson recently spoke to Metal Asylum about the band's progress for the new record, working with new drummer Nick Barker, the group's promo videos, and the DRAGONLORD DVD. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

Metal Asylum: So are you in the middle of working on the new record?

Eric: Yeah, actually we are doing some tracking and pre-production for the record.

Metal Asylum: The last TESTAMENT record of new music was "The Gathering" in 1999. You must have written a considerable amount of songs since then. What do you do with all that material now that Alex [Skolnick] is back in the band?

Eric: Well, it's still all TESTAMENT stuff, it's not like we are conforming to jazz or anything, you know. I am just all the more ahead of the game, and if anything, we are just picking the really good good stuff out of that batch, which, to me, all of it is really good, but people are a little more picky. First we make sure everybody really likes what they hear in the song. With Alex on board again, when it comes time for the lead section, it's just a matter of showing him where the spots are, see what his ideas are to see if he wants to add another riff or whatever but he is pretty on when it comes to that stuff you know. That's the way we have always done it.

Metal Asylum: What previous records can you compare the new TESTAMENT music to?

Eric: I think it has the power and heaviness of "The Gathering", overall, meets "The Legacy", "The New Order" vibe, but a little more modern, maybe like "The Gathering". Whatever comes out of the speakers that sounds good there you have it and this one's gonna be good too — it's slammin'. It's like "Over the Wall" meets "Damage Inc." but I don't want to give too much away. When people hear it so far, I am very interested in people's reaction, and people are just like "Fuck!" And Nick's rolls are just crazy, you know, and we are pushing him too.

Metal Asylum: The "Seen Between the Lines" VHS home video was recently released on DVD. Do you know why the videos for "Over the Wall", "Trial By Fire", "The Ballad" and "The Greenhouse Effect" were not then included for the DVD since they were also left off the original release?

Eric: Oh, yeah, that's right — they were left off. Man, we have done eleven videos all together, including "Return to Serenity", "Electric Crown" off "The Ritual" and the title track off "Low". We did contact Atlantic about putting all that out. 2007 is here and we have been together for twenty years. I mean, it's something we are going to look into. Just right now we have so much going on with recording the new album, tour dates in the summer. I think once all that happens we will look into that. We did videos for "Wall" from "Legacy", "Trial" and "Nobody's Fault" off "The New Order", title track for "Practice" along with "Greenhouse" and "The Ballad", "Souls of Black" and "The Legacy", "Return to Serenity" and "Electric" off "The Ritual", and "Low"… Wow, no wonder why we are in debt. (laughs) Man, videos back then were so expensive, record companies would charge like a hundred grand to make a video. They were like movie sets sometimes, you know.

I remember… Funny story… We did a video for the title track of "Souls of Black" with this guy, I think it was Mark Rensner, and he built this set with the flames and car crashes, this whole setup. And after he's like "Yeah this is gonna be a great video for MTV," and we spent all this money on it and then about a month later this band called FIREHOUSE came out with a video and they had our exact same set. The same one we had first and we were just like, "Fuckin uugghh." There's more to it but that's the gist. We haven't done a video in a while so I imagine we will do something for this record.

You can read the rest of the interview at www.metalasylum.net.

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