TESTAMENT's CHUCK BILLY: 'I Never Took Back A Record Until The Last METALLICA CD'

TESTAMENT frontman Chuck Billy has slammed fellow San Francisco Bay Area metallers METALLICA for releasing 2003's "St. Anger", an album that Billy says was so disappointing that he actually took the CD back to the record store. The following is an excerpt from an interview Chuck gave to "The Classic Metal Show":

The Classic Metal Show: Being from San Francisco, a lot of great thrash bands have come from that area, including one of the biggest bands in the world, METALLICA. TESTAMENT has stayed pretty true to your roots. You've never really branched off to do anything different. What are your thoughts on the direction METALLICA has taken over the last 10 years or so?

Chuck Billy: Well, I'm a huge METALLICA fan, especially the early stuff had a big influence on me. James Hetfield's vocals, his songwriting and his style always has inspired me. I think once they got to that "Load" period of their career…once everyone started sharing writing the vocals and everyone contributing in the… uh… the psychiatrist and all that stuff… I don't know. It just changed it for me. The lyrics weren't as clever anymore, and the riffs weren't as catchy and hooky as they were when James had control. I just think James needs to dig down and take control and write the killer, clever lyrics again. The last time, I don't know where there heads were at, but they were all writing lyrics, and it just didn't work for me.

The Classic Metal Show: Is it disappointing to you when a band says that they are going to go back to their roots, and then they put out a product that just doesn't revisit their roots at all?

Chuck Billy: I hope [they go back to their roots]. I've never taken back a record ever that I've bought, but I took back the METALLICA record. I was so angered by what he… it was just like a big turnoff. I was like, "Oh no!" It was definitely taking a stand for that, because I've always been a big METALLICA fan and supporter.

"The Classic Metal Show"'s interview with Chuck Billy can be heard at this location (Real Player required).

To read what TESTAMENT guitarist Alex Skolnick had to say about METALLICA's "St. Anger" back in June 2003, click here.

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