TESTAMENT's original bassist, Greg Christian, who was most recently forced out of the band last year, claims that his former bandmates "fully took advantage" of the fact that he was "shit broke and struggling" while he was a member of the group, explaining that he only continued playing with them because he needed to pay his bills.
Christian who recently joined forces with KINNEFRET guitarist Artak Ozan in a new band called TRINITY FALLEN, writes on his Facebook page: "[I've] been reflecting a lot. A little over a year away from TESTAMENT, I see everything so much different now. There's also something about death that seems to help put other things in perspective so I think Fozz's [Bear, Dutch metal scene veteran's recent] passing may actually be 'helping' me in a way (still rather see him next time I cross the pond, though) and I'd have to say I was under duress the entire eight and a half years I was back in the band. That's how things went as far as they did."
He continued: "I came back [to TESTAMENT] with nothing, under a great deal of stress (much of it self-imposed) about trying to put up, and keep up, an appearance that was consistent with being in a band of this stature, while being shit broke and struggling. That's exhausting. And I was never able to get ahead, even a little, so I could never relax or find my 'ground.' I was always off balance, and always stressed and struggling, and they fully took advantage, knowing if I didn't just do the gigs and get that next check, I couldn't pay my bills. There was no negotiating. There was a 'fuck off, take it or we'll get someone that will, we own everything and you're not shit anyway' kind of attitude about everything and I was always so beat down by it, I just dealt with it all and went along. Not really thinking, I guess. But I never once, over that eight and a half years, felt grounded or balanced. It wasn't possible."
Christian added: "Now, a little over a year away from it all, I still have all the same financial and external struggles, except the 'putting up a front' thing. The fucking whole world knows I'm broke, so I can relax about that lol. But, seriously, that's a big stress reliever. And I'm watching the songs I've wanted to do forever materialize in an amazing way with Artak and Timmy (still one [member] needed) and I'm finally starting to find my ground. I'm starting to be able to relax and ground myself. I can see things right in front of my face that have been there all along, that I wasn't 'able to see' while in 'that' situation.
"I see life getting a lot better fairly quickly here. I have a lot of work ahead of me, but this time it's going to work out. And whatever level it ever gets to, I'm doing the music I always wanted to, and if it does okay, so will I. And so will the other guys.
"There are two things people can learn' from traumatic experiences — to be exactly the same way or to NOT be that way.
"TRINITY FALLEN is a band. I don't want anyone to ever feel the way I felt. About music or $. I want a happy family."
In an interview with Germany's Rock Hard magazine, TESTAMENT guitarist Eric Peterson stated about Christian's latest departure from the band: "Well, you know, I'll just say this… Greg, basically, I think, was basically struggling in his mind with what he was doing. And he just seemed very unhappy on tour, and he has a lot of different reasons; he can only describe that. But he just seemed very unhappy, and we just let him go. Like, 'OK, you're unhappy. Then go.' 'Cause it was a lot of tours where he was unhappy. That's all I can really say about that."
Speaking to 100PercentRock.com, TESTAMENT singer Chuck Billy stated about Christian's split with the group: "Well, I think Greg, he informed us that he wasn't going to be participating on the new record release and that was his last tour with us. We knew we had Australia coming up, so, of course, Steve DiGiorgio was probably one of the first ones to come to mind. He did 'The Gathering' record with us and we enjoyed that whole cycle of touring, so he was definitely, probably, our first choice. We didn't want to go through auditions and do all that. We just knew that he was here, and he could do it, and it was killer."
Asked if there was a particular reason that Greg just had enough of it, Billy replied: "Well, I think that the last tour he just wasn't getting along, and he just decided that that was going to be the last tour with us, so we just kind of said, 'Well, okay. I guess we'll have to maybe look for what's coming up in the future.' You know — there's nothing we can do."