Steve Saks of LivingForMetal.com recently conducted an interview with TESTAMENT/DRAGONLORD guitarist Eric Peterson. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
LivingForMetal.com: After the CD "Live At The Fillmore" you released "Demonic". How was that era for the band?
Eric: "We toured our asses off for 'Demonic' and built our names up again, stayed out there for five months straight then we came back and it was just me and Chuck [Billy] standing looking behind us with everything on fire. I summoned up and ended getting Dave Lombardo [SLAYER] to work on the stuff with me then got Steve DiGiorgio [SADUS], wrote the record and invited James Murphy [DEATH, OBITUARY] back to play some leads on it...and there you have 'The Gathering'. And since then there has been a lot of internal things like Chuck's cancer and me breaking my leg touring, all kinds of shit. But it wasn't until the last year when we put the original line up back together...I mean I've always been writing ever since."
LivingForMetal.com: How many songs do you have hidden away? Like a billion? (laughs)
Eric: "I have so many, it's like..."
LivingForMetal.com: How do you write them anyway, and what do you keep them on?
Eric: "I have them on ProTools or four-track, boom boxes whatever I can record them on. The newer stuff is on ProTools. Now more than ever we are getting ready here. Hopefully we'll be recording in the fall, that's what I'm shooting for."
LivingForMetal.com: And that's for the new TESTAMENT album?
Eric: "Yeah, and it's gonna be with the original lineup."
LivingForMetal.com: Even with Louie [Clemente] on drums?
Eric: "Yeah, we're gonna get Louie to come back to do some songs. The drummer situation, we are probably gonna use a couple of drummers 'cause we've had people that are in our lives and a part of TESTAMENT so it wouldn't be fair to not have these people play on it. Probably Jon Allen from DRAGONLORD and SADUS will play on it, who's also been a part of TESTAMENT and toured with us. Just the way we do things now, we don't tour extensively so it's kind of hard to keep steady players. Like if something comes up and someone's not available we'll go, 'Let's see if this guy's available.' Yeah it's gonna be killer, the new material is sounding pretty old-school."
LivingForMetal.com: Has Alex [Skolnick] written a lot of material for the new TESTAMENT album as well?
Eric: "Yeah, he's got some riffs that he's been sending me and they sound pretty TESTAMENT, just really cool stuff. Like that 'Apocalyptic City' kind of vibe. Good chord progressions with octaves over it."
LivingForMetal.com: You guys were great together. I'm glad everyone's back and doing well.
Eric: "Actually, I just recorded some stuff last night with Jon Allen, a few new songs and there's this one song...I don't know. Me and Jon couldn't get past the beginning we kept stopping it and playing the beginning. I mean we're seriously both going, 'This is what METALLICA should be writing.' (laughs). It sounds really good the song, I'm not just saying it cause we're doing it. I mean all of the songs that we got are killer, but this new one to me is like, 'If this one doesn't hit home then I don't know what will.' It's got the really good essence of TESTAMENT and mixed with the drumming with Jon Allen and a little bit of 'Lombardo' kind of busy in style."
LivingForMetal.com: How was it playing with Dave on "The Gathering"?
Eric: "That was a blast. He was going through a rough period in his life, it kinda brought him back into drumming. I had a lot of good riffs and it wasn't something that we were trying to do...I bombarded him with riffs and he was just like, 'Whoa,' so he was kinda forced to play. He'd be playing like standard metal beats and I'd go, 'Dude, just fuckin solo through the whole song, go nuts!' So that's where a lot of the cool stuff came out, a lot of the rolls and all that stuff."
LivingForMetal.com: What kind of game plan are you looking at for the new TESTAMENT record, recording this fall?
Eric: "Recording in the fall would be nice, that's my wish list. There's a lot of stuff coming up, I have DRAGONLORD who are gonna tour the States and we're playing Japan in September and Alex has got stuff going on too."
LivingForMetal.com: Yeah everybody's got lives now.
Eric: "Yeah, everybody's got stuff they're doing. I think once we get together and we put this TESTAMENT record together and we're done with it we're all gonna be like, 'OK! We got something here.'"
LivingForMetal.com: Any idea how many songs you are planning to have on it?
Eric: "Probably 10, But we'll have some bonus tracks for Japan or something like that. I mean there's a lot of material being written so we're trying to get enough to write so we can at least get half or more for the next record after that...so we're not sitting around for another five years."
LivingForMetal.com: Oh, OK.
Eric: "So that's what we're kinda doing, we're trying to write more than we need so if things pick up we can turn around and go into the studio and get a head start."
Read the entire interview at LivingForMetal.com.