In a recent interview with Dead Rhetoric's Matt Coe, frontman Chuck Billy of veteran Bay Area thrash metallers TESTAMENT talked about the impact their 1999 studio album "The Gathering" has had on their career. The album marked the first time TESTAMENT worked with then-up-and-coming British producer/engineer Andy Sneap, and also featured guest drums from Dave Lombardo (SLAYER, GRIP INC.) and lead guitar contributions from one-time member James Murphy. "The Gathering" is widely considered to be an improvement over 1997's "Demonic", an album that saw Billy employ a more guttural style of vocals and was released at a time when thrash acts as TESTAMENT had fallen out of favor.
"I don't know necessarily about longevity, but when we found ourselves, I'm going to look at 'The Gathering' record," he said. "Once we completed that record and got through the '90s, [those were] tough times for us. And then to write those songs and that record at that time, at that point, it was like we found ourselves, that this is what TESTAMENT should be from now on. Moving forward from that record, we have been."
Billy also provided an update on his health after being one of the first metal musicians to test positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Billy previously revealed that he had been feeling unwell since returning home to the San Francisco Bay Area in early March following the completion of "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" European tour with EXODUS and DEATH ANGEL.
"They've told us, the CDC called us twice and our own doctors called us twice to say we are probably okay to go out, but… they won't retest us to know that we aren't sick. How do we know we aren't contagious still? Like Steve [DiGiorgio] our bass player… just got tested on Thursday, and he's been sick as long as we have, and he just tested positive. And he got results weeks after. Maybe we should just stay in longer, but we can't get another test. We are riding it out as long as we can. We've been indoors since we've been home. We feel better but we are not one-hundred percent. For 12 days we felt really shitty."
You can read the entire interview at this location.
TESTAMENT's latest studio album, "Titans Of Creation", was released on April 3 via Nuclear Blast. The disc was produced by Billy and guitarist Eric Peterson while Juan Urteaga of Trident Studios handled co-producing, recording and engineering. Andy Sneap was responsible for the mixing and mastering of the album. Eliran Kantor stepped up once again to create a new masterpiece of artwork for the cover of this release.