Bassist extraordinaire Steve DiGiorgio (TESTAMENT, SEBASTIAN BACH, SADUS) has posted the following message on his web site:
"Here's what I've been up to for the last year and half and a few upcoming things…
"I know the updates have been few and far between. So I'm attempting to fix that for 2005 and start off the year with a nice lengthy update of things that have been going on for quite a while. Basically a bit over a year and a half since I properly gave an account of what's been going on.
"April and May 2003, TESTAMENT tour: No Mercy tour Europe and Metal Gods tour USA. Even though the HALFORD/Metal Gods tour was cancelled way short of what was planned, it was great meeting and getting to know Rob Halford, Metal Mike, Bobby Jarzombek and Roy Z. As that relationship turned into a project right away.
"July 2003, Studio: I went down to Roy's house and joined in on the recording of Metal Mike's PAINMUSEUM album — 'Metal Forever'. Mike's on guitar, Bobby played drums and Roy engineered the recording of the bass and mixed the album. It's out now and I think was released just a couple months ago.
"July/August 2003, TESTAMENT tour: Flew over to Europe and played a headlining tour. Played some festivals too along the names of… Wacken, Earthshaker in Germany and Sziget in Budapest Hungary.
"August 2003, Studio: On the way back from the Euro tour, I stopped in Montreal to record with QUO VADIS. After a few days preparation in Montreal at Bart, the guitarist's house, we drove up to Wildwood Studio about two hours north of Montreal in St. Zenon, Quebec. It's a beautiful cabin on the shore of a lake in a total Canadian mountain setting. Yanic popped in, and hung out while I was recorded by Pierre Remillard. We knocked off the bass tracks early in the album's recording process and after the remaining tracks were finished and mixed at Morrisound over the next year, the album is out now and is called — 'Defiant Imagination'.
"September 2003, Studio: Flew out to Oslo Norway and met up with Mr. V, Mattias and Asgeir of VINTERSORG. We stayed at Asgeir's place and worked on some ideas for 'The Focusing Blur'. While Asgeir tracked drums me and Mr. V stayed in Oslo and went over some bass lines. When it was time to track bass, Mattias, Mr. V and I took the train up to TopRoom Studio. It's a kind of a cabin (or a barn, depending on your perspective!) setting as well, up in the forested mountain lands of Norway. With Børge Finstad at the console the bass was finished and the mix immediately followed. The album came out quickly after, around Feb. 04.
"After the bass was finished, during the initial stage of mixing I managed to sneak back down to Oslo for some sightseeing. Some friends of the BORKNAGAR/SPIRAL ARCHITECT gang by the name of LUNARIS got word that I was in Oslo and finished with my duties I came to Norway for. Mike, guitar player, called me up and asked if I wanted to come down to their studio. He played me some raw tracks of their album, 'Cyclic' and inquired if I would be interested in playing bass on a song. Of course I did, the song is called 'I.A.D.' and has their duel vocal style featuring Øyvind Hægeland from SPIRAL ARCHITECT, who also played bass on the rest of the album. That album was released early 2004.
"October – December 2003, Time Off: Bought a new house…took a break to move.
"February/March 2004, TESTAMENT shows: Played some U.S. metal festivals in places like Tampa, New Jersey and Minneapolis.
"March 2004, Studio: I was contacted by friend and fellow bass player from Holland, Rob van der Loo, to contribute a couple of solos…yes you read that right, solos…on bass…your eyes aren't fucked up…solos on bass on a bassist's solo album! I popped into long time friend and DARK HALL drummer, Chris Dugan's studio Nu-Tone and he punched in my solos for the two songs Rob sent me. That was fun, now I know what guitar players get to experience all the time. The album is called 'Freak Neil Inc. Characters' and should be ready to come out any time now.
"April 2004, SADUS tour: Another trip to Europe and a first time trek into countries SADUS has never played before. Working off a little hype created by the re-release of our 1986/1987 demos on CD, entitled 'D.T.P.', there was some buzz for us to get out and play again, and as in the case of this tour, play for the first time. New songs, old songs and everything in-between was thrown in on the lengthiest set we've ever played live. We headlined in Greece, Italy, Sweden and even were booked as one of three headliners for Norway's three-day Inferno Festival in Oslo.
"May 2004, Studio: On my trips through Europe and Switzerland specifically, I have come to know Roger Staffelbach, guitarist of ARTENSION. We talked about doing something musically together for a couple of years. So for the new album, 'Future World', I was contacted by Roger and Vitalij Kuprij, keyboardist, to play bass on the new songs. Vitalij sent the music over and I took it to Trident Studios here in Cali, close to home and had the help of Juan Urteaga who engineered the bass recording. The album was released last fall in Japan only, but Roger assures me that it will come out really soon in Europe and the U.S.
"June 2004, TESTAMENT tour: After another lineup change and a couple of warm up shows in NorCal we were off to Europe again for a headlining tour. A lot of summer festivals were hit as well such as Gods Of Metal in Italy, Sweden Rock, Summer Rock in Budapest Hungary, Provinssirock in Finland, Fury Fest in France, Bang Your Head in Germany, and Graspop in Belgium.
"July 2004, Studio: Along with the ARTENSION recording, Vitalij was overseeing the musical project of Takayoshi Ohmura, a young shredder guitarist from Japan. I was sent the music for the album in raw form, I had no idea who was on or how this album was to turn out as I was recording bass to drum machine, guide guitar tracks and scratch vocal melodies. Juan at Trident Studios helped me out again for this session. The album, 'Nowhere To Go', has a couple of guest vocalists that used to be in Yngwie Malmsteen's band and Vitalij on keyboards. As far as I know it has been released in Japan only.
"August 2004, SADUS shows: Another country we had never traveled to, Chile. We worked closely with fellow thrashers, TORTURER, for a type of double-anniversary show. It's their 15-year mark as a band and it was close enough
to the 20-year mark of our Dec. 1984 date that we first got together. First was a warm-up show near home and then we flew to Santiago to play a packed house.
"September – October 2004, Woodshed: Spent a lot of time locked in the SADUS dungeon writing new material for the upcoming album. Almost there…!
"November – December 2004, SEBASTIAN BACH tour: At the Bang Your Head festival in Germany last summer I met up with an old friend, Ralph Santolla (Ralph filled in on guitar during the 'Individual Thought Patterns' tours with DEATH in 1993) who was playing the fest too. I told Ralph at the fest in Germany that I heard Sebastian Bach's band (who were playing at the festival that day as well) needed a guitar player. After I got home he called to tell me he got the job and also if I wanted to join in on bass for the new album…! As if that wasn't a shocker enough, before working on new songs there were a few shows to play. So I learned a bunch of old songs, and some new ones as well and bounced off to New Jersey to Sebastian's house around Thanksgiving time. While we were rehearsing for the shows we dropped in the studio in NY and tracked a song for the upcoming LYNYRD SKYNYRD tribute, 'Heavy Helping'. This is the first time we played together as Sebastian's new lineup and the song is called 'I Ain't The One'. Finished up rehearsing and flew over to Europe to play shows most of December. The shows went well and I got to hear a lot of the new ideas that are planned to be on the new album. We played countries like the UK, Hungary, Turkey, Spain and Italy. We made it home in time for Christmas, and New Years…and here I am typing this.
"The Not Too Far Off Future: So some things to mention that are supposed to happen. I'll continue working with Sebastian Bach for the new album and also some shows that are booked. We're going to play a festival in Granada Spain on Feb. 26th and two shows in the Canary Islands, Feb. 28th Palma Mallorca and Mar. 1st Tenerife. Some festival and headlining shows in June over in Europe as well.
"TESTAMENT will commence the writing sessions for the new album up to and after the DRAGONLORD recording in February. Very soon we'll start the tracking for the new VINTERSORG album. Probably Norway again, or maybe even up in the Arctic regions of northern Sweden.
"SADUS is playing a couple U.S. metal fests too. April 3rd in Seattle and May 7th in Minneapolis. But the important thing right now is to utilize the time gaps between all these scheduled events to finish up the writing of the songs we've had for a long time now laying there unfinished. Hopefully we can weave around all our side projects and find the time to get it done in the next few months. We have big plans for the album, a lot of songs and maybe a couple of covers, cool packaging and intense art. Also a DVD to go along with the release including footage from the making of the new songs, studio shots, personal and candid moments, and hopefully enough live footage from recent and shows past to cover a long couple of decades for these three guys who've been at it through thick and thin since the '80s…!
"So there you have it, sorry I took so long to report on these things. I'll try to make little and more frequent updates regarding anything I'm involved in or know about.
"Looking forward to a very alive 2005!"