Charlie Steffens of Knac.Com recently conducted an interview with vocalist Chuck Billy of San Francisco Bay Area metallers Testament. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Knac.com: It is an amazing lineup: Testament sharing the stage with Megadeth and Slayer, and, obviously, a much-talked-about tour these days.
Chuck Billy: Yeah, it's going to be fun. I mean, it's something I think that's definitely been a long time coming, especially hearing the fans' response for the Clash of the Titans. They'd love to be able see that, because they just read about it and never got to catch the concert, so it will be nice to see all three of us again. The beauty of it is that we're all here 20-plus years later and putting out good music, you know?!
How were you approached to be on this tour and how quickly have things been moving for the band since?
Well, it was something that was discussed, I would imagine, over the last couple of years, because there's always been talk about Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, probably Testament. For about a year and a half or more there's been talk. That's all it was, was just talk. It was like, "Oh, it would be cool. It would be an awesome tour." So, last minute, we kind of were right in the middle of writing and we got a call from our manager just saying, "Hey, our agent wants to know if we'd be up for the Slayer/Megadeth tour," and we were like, "Well, you don't even have to ask. That's a no-brainer." So at that point we said, "Yeah, go ahead and put our name in we're totally down." Shit, within a week, man, they called us back and said we're on. "You're in. Get a press release for Monday." It happened, like, so fast. So I'm sure those guys discussed it because last summer they played some shows across Canada, Slayer/Megadeth, I think probably to test the waters and everything went pretty good, so I guess they moved forward from that point and made plans for this tour.
What can you tell us about the forthcoming record?
Well, we're doing demos trying to go this way if it's not broken, don't try to fix it. We're really trying to get the mindset like, "Let's just pretend like we're at last year, the last time that we were writing, and take it from that point on and just pretend like we're still writing this record." If we can write ten more songs that should have been on "The Formation", you know, right on. It can't be that bad.
What are you doing to gear up for the tour?
We've been rehearsing, just getting a set down. I treat it like a boxing fight, like I'm going to have a fight in a month. I hit the gym, I'm running (laughs), and I'm doing the whole thing. I'm looking at it like I'm going into a fight. I'm mentally and physically getting prepared for it. We feel pretty good. Last night we just made a crucial decision, so you're going to be the first exclusive to hear. We decide last night that instead of putting because we only have a 40-minute set to pick instead of playing a medley of songs, we decided we're going to do the entire "The Legacy" record, start to finish, in its entirety for the show. We did it last year, over in Holland, and then we did a show in London. And that show we did "The Legacy" and "The New Order" back to back, just like on the records, song after song. It was awesome. It was such an awesome deal. It turned out way better than we thought. It was killer. So, we were rehearsing for this tour, and at one point we were like, "Man, we're not playing this and we're not playing that. Ah, shit. We only got 40 minutes; you can only play eight songs, so it's tough to pick eight songs. We're leaving so many good ones out." And we were like, "You know what? Since we've already toured a year and a half with Priest, we did our own headline, we did so much stuff out there, why don't we go out there and do something different? We'll give 'em a whole different stage looklet's give 'em "The Legacy" album, start to finish." It's a nostalgic kind of tour, so why not?
It's like an allegiance to the old school.
That would be kind of interesting for us, because look who we're playing with. I would hate for just a normal set to get blown over, but something exciting, like we're going to do the full "Legacy" record, is a whole different thing. So we're kind of excited and we're going to go for it.
Read the entire interview from Knac.com.