Nikki M. Mascali of Weekender recently conducted an interview with vocalist Chuck Billy of Testament.
A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On surviving lineup changes, the grunge movement of the early '90s and major health battles:
Billy: "We've been through all that stuff. Experiencing all that stuff and still being here today, I think it was all really about the music. So we really had time to focus on the band and just write the songs because at the end of the day, 10, 20, 30 years down the line, we're the ones that have to live with these songs, not the A&R guy telling us what he wants. We have to be happy with ourselves and what we do."
On performing Testament
's debut album, 1987's "The Legacy
", in its entirety on the current tour with Megadeth
"We did (the album) before in Europe, and it went over pretty well. (So we said) 'We had a good time doing it that time, let's do it again for this tour.' I think people will dig it."
On seeing the genre's demographic get younger over the years:
"Especially in Hollywood. When we go down there, it's like the old '80s scene almost — especially the way kids are dressing these days: the tight stretch pants and denim jackets with all the patches on it. It's like, 'Wow.'"
On whether he has any trepidation about spending so much time on the road with Megadeth and its notoriously volatile frontman Dave Mustaine:
"Not at all. We've toured with them, shit, twice last year, and we've known Dave and toured with him back in 1989, before Clash of the Titans, so we've known him for a long time. And we've known every Dave … and all Dave's personalities."
On whether fans should expect to hear any new songs performed live this summer:
"We're going to save it for the record. It's kind of too soon to judge it — we want everybody to judge it by the whole thing. We're going to try to finish it and get it released this year, definitely."
On offering a VIP package for fans which includes autograph opportunities, meet-and-greets and more:
"The fans were so appreciative (that) every single day someone would say, 'Thanks for giving us the opportunity to do this.' We decided to just keep doing it, that if fans are digging it, and if they want to come hang out, let's give them the opportunity."
Read the entire interview from Weekender.