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Chuck Billy – Vocals for Testament

Date: 9/12/16
Interviewed By: Rich Catino


1. I have read that you did not enjoy the recording process for “Brotherhood Of The Snake”?

CHUCK: Not really that, it just took a long time to get it done, because every time we went in the studio the songs weren’t always completed. Plus, many times it was in between touring. So it made for some frustration, but that angst (I think) also helped for that raw emotion to come out into the songs, and everything didn’t come out so polished, or things weren’t too over thought.

2. Did Eric (Peterson) write all the music?

CHUCK: Yeah he did. Alex though did get to do his thing for all the solos. Steve DiGiorgio did his bass parts. Gene (Hoglan) worked with us on some of the drums, but most of the drums were already layed out with Alex Bent from Battlecrosss, and Gene had to just learn the parts.

3. How many songs have lyrics connected to the title of the album?

CHUCK: I’d say about six, talking about secret societies, political power, corporate power, conspiracy theories. The artwork kinda got the ball rolling too for some inspiration and the title.

4. Did any of these songs have anything to do with the political race happening in America?

CHUCK: ‘Stronghold’ was inspired by it, talking about having the people standing together as one, almost like a protest type of song. Having the people’s voices be heard, fighting the system.

5. There have been comments by yourself and Eric that this album has more in common with “The Gathering”. Is that true, and how does it compare to “Dark Roots Of The Earth”?

CHUCK: Its a lot faster and more thrashy throughout this album. I think the vine and some of the elements on “Brotherhood Of The Snake” has that more modern sound to the riffing and arrangements, like “Gathering”. But, I think we went beyond “Gathering”, its still fast and energetic like that album…but vocally I think it’s more like some things on “Formation Of Damnation” and even “Practice What You Preach”, less of the death voice and more room for vocal hooks and catchy phrases.

6. Do any of these songs on “Brotherhood” have a little of that prog influence, like the title track to “Dark Roots”?

CHUCK: Umm, yeah, there are moments of that, like ‘Born In A Rut’, but the rest are just slamming in your face.

7. With the setlist for this album/tour, will you be putting any older songs in that you have not played for a while?

CHUCK: Yeah, because we have been playing a lot of the same set the last few years. So we will play a few new songs, and then change out a few of the older tunes.

8. It has been a while since you guys played songs from “Souls Of Black”, “The Ritual”, and “Demonic”. Think you will play a couple from those albums?

CHUCK: Yeah I think we need to. Gene is always complaining that he played on “Demonic” and we don’t play any of that stuff, hahaha. Not sure if we will include something from “Ritual”, don’t know how well any of those tunes would fit in the set. But I can see something from “Low”, like the title track, and we did throw in ‘Dog Faced Gods’ from time to time last couple years.

9. Any personal choices you’d like to play?

CHUCK: I like “Henchman Ride’, ‘The Evil Has Landed’, or ‘The Persecuted Won't Forget’.

10. What are the immediate touring plans for 2016, and early 2017?

CHUCK: The album comes out October 28th, and we start in Europe with Amon Amarth through December. Then in February its 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise, then probably do some shows in Indonesia China, and Australia. April and May would be headlining in America, then o0verseas again end of the year, do some summer festivals in between.

11. Tell me a couple bands who you would like to tour with if you could pick?

CHUCK: Metallica would be great because we just haven’t yet. Don’t know why that opportunity hasn’t come up yet, but maybe this year is the year, haha. Shoot…Iron Maiden again, that’s always a great tour. I don’t know, its tough, we’ve toured so much with a lot of great bands already.

12. Any newer bands you recommend to check out?

CHUCK: Battlecross, Whitechapel, Lamb of God, bands like that. I like King 810.

13. Are you guys working on anything else, aside from the new album?

CHUCK: That’s it, maybe shoot a promo video or two for ‘Stronghold’ or maybe ‘The Pale King’.

Official website: http://www.testamentlegions.com


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