TESTAMENT frontman Chuck Billy spoke to Australia's Riff Crew about how he is dealing with the coronavirus crisis and what the touring circuit might look like post-pandemic. He said (hear audio below): "We're trying to salvage the dates that we had had booked for this year to support the [latest TESTAMENT] record ['Titans Of Creation', which was released in April via Nuclear Blast]. We'll probably move them to next year and try to secure a lot of dates.
"I'm sure there's gonna be a lot of traffic next year; there's a lot of bands trying to get out there and get back on the road. But in the meantime, we have a new record out. We're still out promoting, talking to people.
"There's gonna be a lot of time before we can have a live show, so I suppose we're gonna be doing some other fun things, hopefully, streaming-wise," he continued. "And I think we've probably learned off of each other here in the industry as time goes on, seeing what other people kind of do and what's cool and what's not and kind of follow suit. I know we're talking about trying to do something online, but we've gotta wait till Alex [Skolnick, guitar] can get here from New York and Gene [Hoglan, drums] here from San Diego. Alex hasn't left his house in months; he's in the heart of it in New York. So when that happens… We're talking about it, though, now. We still have a lot of things to probably work out — maybe videos, some more performance stuff for the new record online. So there's all kinds of stuff. The possibilities are endless."
Asked if TESTAMENT would consider working on another album while waiting for the pandemic to subside, Billy said: "Well, if it is truly, as someone says, a two-year period, of course, we're gonna go write another record, and when it all settles, we'll have two records… And if it had to be that long, then, yeah, we would probably consider just writing another record. But we're looking at it as it's gonna be a year out now, so we're gonna try to think of some clever stuff or some other things. I don't wanna spoil it yet, but we've been talking about something. Once we get back out there, kind of as a relaunch of the record, a reintroduction, we've got something kind of cool we're working on. I don't wanna spoil it yet, but we're putting our heads together trying to come up with ideas. But as far as touring goes out there again, yeah, we're gonna have to start really thinking what to do. We're actually launching our own merch again and going back old school, stuffing envelopes ourselves. What else are we gonna do? We'll sit at home, send the merch here, we'll take orders and stuff envelopes. So we're doing everything we can."
Earlier in the year, TESTAMENT completed "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" European tour with EXODUS and DEATH ANGEL.
Riff Crew is a new media outlet servicing music lovers across the globe. It was launched by Australian metal radio veteran and ex-Triple J radio host Andrew Haug, along with videographer Steven Mitchell. The outlet will feature in-depth interviews, commentary and exclusive live multi-cam footage of some of the finest metal, punk, hardcore and rock bands in the world.
Long-standing broadcaster Haug, who runs Australia's first and only 24/7 metal radio station AndrewHaug.com, is excited to be delving back in front of the camera to share his passion for riffs.
"Any medium to continue sharing and promoting the passion of music is great," he says. "What better time than now with all this amazing technology to launch this. Our focus is on producing a high-end quality show. We know you'll dig it."
Videographer and music lover Mitchell has filmed the likes of ALCATRAZZ, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, CROWBAR, DARK ANGEL, DARKEST HOUR, GIRLSCHOOL, OBITUARY, RAVEN, TANK and many more. He states: "I'm stoked to be teaming up with Haug to bring the joy of music to millions in these challenging times. I started filming underground bands and it has just snowballed. It's simply my addiction to riffs."