TESTAMENT's CHUCK BILLY Says 'It Was Great' Playing With DAVE LOMBARDO Again Last Year

April 12, 2023

In a new interview with Chile's iRock.CL, TESTAMENT frontman Chuck Billy was asked what it was like to play with Dave Lombardo again after the drummer rejoined the San Francisco thrash metal outfit early last year. An original member of thrash metal legends SLAYER, Lombardo was the guest drummer on TESTAMENT's 1999 studio album "The Gathering", which also marked the first time the band worked with then-up-and-coming British producer/engineer Andy Sneap. Chuck said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, it was like old friends meeting together again, when we got to get back on the road together. It was really like old times. It felt like a normal family, I guess. It was great having him back. He came at a right time when Gene [Hoglan, longtime TESTAMENT drummer] wasn't available due to scheduling problems, and Dave had a lot of open time. So the timing worked. I know Dave's a busy man, so he has other projects too, and it's not TESTAMENT. So I imagine that'll… We can't really control all that. But it was very fun, those tours we did. He added his Lombardo-isms to the old TESTAMENT songs. So it was good."

Although it hasn't been officially announced, recent photos posted by TESTAMENT bassist Steve DiGiorgio on his Instagram show that the band has been rehearsing for its upcoming South American tour with drummer Chris Dovas (SEVEN SPIRES),who previously filled in for Lombardo on the first six dates of TESTAMENT's summer/fall 2022 leg of "The Bay Strikes Back Tour". Lombardo was unable to make those gigs due to a scheduling conflict with the MISFITS.

During the iRock.CL chat, Billy was also asked when fans can expect to hear some new music from TESTAMENT as a follow-up to 2020's "Titans Of Creation" album. He said: "It's gonna be quite some time. We didn't get as much done right now before we come to South America. So after that we'll get back on it and keep trying to get it done. We wanna get a record… We want to get into the studio this year. So it depends. Maybe Alex [Skolnick, TESTAMENT guitarist] and Eric [Peterson, TESTAMENT guitarist] come back from the writing and they have a whole record ready. I don't know. So we'll see."

Regarding how the songwriting process works in TESTAMENT, Chuck said: "It'll mostly be Alex and Eric starting the riff, and I think once they introduce them to the whole band, that's kind of when the drums and the bass and everybody has a little more input; it'll kind of make a little change again there. We just kind of start with the structure and just try to feel it out and maybe get a vocal idea and then kind of see where it goes."

TESTAMENT's "Klash Of The Titans" tour of Latin America with KREATOR is scheduled to kick off on April 19 in Lima, Peru and run through May 9 in San Salvador, El Salvador.

In March 2022, Billy told the WSOU 89.5 FM radio station that he didn't expect Lombardo to focus only on TESTAMENT in the coming months. "I'm not holding my breath that Dave just is in TESTAMENT only but we're gonna have to kind of maneuver around what happens," he said. "But then again, this is the beginning of the relationship. We might be busy enough and he might just be happy enough just working with us and it works out. So we're just kind of taking it one day at a time, one tour at a time. We know he's gonna be with us for the next three tours — we know that for sure — so we'll see what happens after that."

"Titans Of Creation" was released in April 2020 via Nuclear Blast. The long-awaited follow-up to 2016 album "Brotherhood Of The Snake" was produced by Billy and Peterson while Juan Urteaga of Trident Studios handled co-producing, recording and engineering. Sneap was responsible for the mixing and mastering of the album. Eliran Kantor stepped up once again to create the artwork for the cover of this release.

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