Vocalist Chuck Billy of San Francisco Bay Area thrashers TESTAMENT was interviewed on the June 26-28 edition of Full Metal Jackie's nationally syndicated radio show. You can now listen to the chat using the Podbean widget below. A couple of excerpts follow.
On TESTAMENT's forthcoming studio album, tentatively due in early 2016:
"I think Eric [Peterson, guitar]… Eric's always… he's been the main songwriter. And he really doesn't follow a lot of bands. He's into his black/death metal stuff, so he puts a little bit of that into TESTAMENT. But he seems to create something different for every record that we do. And that's what keeps our records sounding kind of modern or fresh, 'cause he just does his thing. But with the way that… I don't know… He just keeps getting better and better with coming up with riffs and the songs. So, I think, this one, we consciously thought, what was the record that really stood out to us? Which was, like, [1999's] 'The Gathering', which I think was kind of a turning point for the band, musically, and where we grew. So that thrashier style, that's what we wanna kind of come back with that 'Gathering' vibe. That's where we're at right now. We're about six tracks into the demos right now, we still have a long way to go. The other guys haven't heard a lot of it, 'cause me and Eric have been doing the demos. So, now that we're all together, we'll start going over the music and try to work on the road a little bit. We'll see."
On revisiting TESTAMENT's early albums on the current tour:
"When we started the tour, we tried to pull off the records exactly the way we recorded them. And it didn't really work. We were, like, 'This doesn't feel right. So let's juggle them and mix them up a little bit.' So that's what we've done and that's really comfortable. Some of those songs that we haven't really played in a long time… 'Cause some of those — 'Over The Wall' and 'Into The Pit' — those ones are classics we always play. Songs like 'A Day Of Reckoning', 'Curse Of The Legion Of Death' and 'First Strike Still Deadly' are some of my all-time favorites. I'm enjoying it because we don't put those in our show, and now that we've really honed in the timing and we're tight on these songs, now we see the ones we didn't think were gonna be the fun ones are the best ones that we enjoy playing. 'A Day Of Reckoning' is probably one of the underdog songs that we didn't think would be what it feels to us now. But it feels really good! So we're having, really, a lot of fun with it. We just wanted to do something different on this tour. We've been touring for two or three years, four years, on two records, doing the same kind of show. So we wanted to do something different before we get in and do the new record. And we're having fun."