Chuck Billy –
Eric Peterson – guitars
Alex Skolnick – guitars
Greg Christian – bass
Paul Bostaph - drums
Testament was one of the first thrash metal bands to emerge from
the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1980's. Undoubtedly, they are
the inventors of the thrash-metal wheel. Testament’s powerful
sound, influence, and longevity make them one of the Top 5
All-Time Legendary Thrash Metal Bands, putting them in the
company of Slayer, Megadeth, Metallica, and Anthrax.
Testament is right now on the verge of signing a worldwide
record contract to release an all-new album, which the band
hopes to have in stores by March 2008!!! For this brand new
record, the band has brought their original lineup back together
– vocalist Chuck Billy, guitarists Eric Peterson & Alex
Skolnick, and bassist Greg Christian – and have added friend and
former member, Paul Bostaph.
“It’s been a long time, but I’m glad we waited because we have
pretty much the full lineup back,” says Peterson.
Originally formed as 'Legacy' in 1983 by founding members
Peterson (rhythm guitar), Derrick Ramirez (guitar) and Louie
Clemente (drums), the line-up included vocalist Steve Souza and
Christian (bass). Ramirez was later replaced by guitar prodigy
Alex Skolnick (lead guitar). However, Souza left to join Exodus
and suggested that the towering Chuck Billy take over as
frontman. While recording their first record, the band adopted
the ‘Testament’ moniker.
The band’s 1987 debut album, "The Legacy," thrust Testament to
the front of the flourishing thrash metal scene. Following "Live
At Eindhoven", an EP recorded at Holland's Dynamo Festival, "The
New Order" in 1988 was well received, producing one of the
band's most memorable classics "Disciples Of The Watch". Next
came the highly successful
"Practice What You Preach" in 1989, then the release of "Souls
Of Black" in 1990.
After “The Ritual” in 1992, Testament saw many lineup changes.
Clemente left, as well as Skolnick who left to pursue jazz music
projects. The band persevered and continued to write and record
new music. “Low” was released in 1994 with John Tempesta (ex-
Exodus) on drums, and “Demonic” followed in 1997, this time with
Gene Hoglan (ex- Death, Dark Angel, Unearth) replacing Tempesta.
The album was recorded at Testament’s Driftwood Studios. “Signs
of Chaos,” a collection of Testament’s best tracks, was released
For their next major release, Dave Lombardo (ex- Slayer, Grip,
Inc.) was officially introduced into the band. James Murphy, who
played guitar on “Low,” was brought back once again, along with
the legendary Steve DiGiorgio (ex- Death, Control Denied, Sadus)
on bass. "The Gathering" was born in 1999. Soon after, James
Murphy abruptly departed, determined later to be the result of a
serious illness. Steve Smyth (ex-Vicious Rumors) jumped aboard
as 'touring guitarist', later to be invited to stay on as a
permanent member. Lombardo also left the band, not being able to
commit because of other projects. In 2000, Jon Allen (drums, ex-
Sadus) joined the band.
After the "Riding The Snake" world tour to promote "The
Gathering", vocalist Billy was diagnosed with a rare form of
cancer called 'germ cell seminoma' in March 2001. Despite his
illness and grueling cancer treatments, Billy offered his ground
shaking vocals to the re-recording of Testament classics on
"First Strike Still Deadly" which brought back Alex Skolnick and
John Tempesta to record on the disc.
Billy battled back from his sickness and has fully recovered.
The band has been touring ever since late 2002, most recently
wrapping up a wildly successful South American tour in 2007.
Testament has been working hard on getting the new record
together at the studio in their hometown, and they have very
high expectations for it.
Adds Billy, “The new record is very heavy but very melodic at
the same time. It’s an extension from “The Gathering”. We’re
also incorporating solos cuz Alex is back and we haven’t had
many on the last few records.”
“I’m real excited about the new record. There’s a lot of
old-school/new-school ideas. It sounds very modern. I think all
Testament fans will be pleased and more,” says Peterson.
Testament is once again ready to attack the music world with
their trademark brand of thrash metal, and the band is very
optimistic about their future together.
“It’s come full circle. We were together, moving strong, then we
broke up and had several different lineups,” says Billy. “But
now we got a new band, a new label, a new album, everything’s
positive. Once the record’s done, I think it’s going to be a
good year coming up.”
Testament on Tour
Apr 18 New England
Metal and Hardcore Fest w/ Exodus Worcester, MA
Apr 25 Welcome To Rockville w/ Exodus Jacksonville, FL
May 01 Lunatic Luau 15 Virginia Beach, VA
May 03 Carolina Rebellion 2015 Concord, NC
May 16 De Effenaar Eindhoven, Netherlands
May 29 Der Ring – Grüne Hölle Rock Nürburg, Germany
May 30 Live Club Trezzo Sull'adda Mi, Italy
May 31 Rockavaria Munich, Germany
Jun 05 Out & Loud Fest Geiselwind, Germany
Jun 18 Tons Of Rock w/ Kreator Halden, Norway