TESTAMENT's Eric Peterson says that drummer Chris Dovas's (SEVEN SPIRES) addition to the band has turned out to be "a blessing in disguise" after Dave Lombardo's "short-lived return".
Last week, Lombardo revealed in an interview with BLABBERMOUTH.NET that he would sit out the remainder of TESTAMENT's 2023 shows, with no guarantee that he will return to the band.
Lombardo, who was the guest drummer on TESTAMENT's 1999 studio album "The Gathering", formally joined the long-running San Francisco Bay Area act last year. The former SLAYER drummer is currently a member of the MISFITS, MR. BUNGLE, EMPIRE STATE BASTARD and SATANIC PLANET, among others. He also played with SUICIDAL TENDENCIES from 2016 up until 2020.
Photos posted by TESTAMENT bassist Steve DiGiorgio on his Instagram showed that the band has been rehearsing for its upcoming South American tour with Dovas, 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.
Earlier today, Petersonshared a video of Dovas performing with TESTAMENT and he wrote in an accompanying message: "What can I say? Things sometimes just happen for a reason, I mean just when everything seems to go ok BAM! Nope! but then something opens up… @chrisdovas happened.
"Chris replaced Dave on our last North American run cause of over booked scheduled from Dave, but it was a blessing in disguise. Chris has turned out to be totally unbelievably amazing and a very kind and awesome brilliant drummer."
The guitarist continued: "We are more than thrilled for our fans to experience his more than meets the eye capabilities with our South American and European tours coming up, also in this last minute situation we've connected on a killer spree, working on new ideas this last week has become more than promising, I am stoked to say it's gonna be KILLER peeps!
"Anyway rest assure Chris will push the envelope so to speak and make TESTAMENT heavier and more precise than before! More to come!!!!! W00t!
"I have to add it was a pleasure and a great time to have Dave back in his short lived return again".
Lombardo told BLABBERMOUTH.NET that he was unsure as to whether would play with TESTAMENT again in the foreseeable future, including performing on the band's next studio album. "I don't know, because everything is starting to snowball with MR. BUNGLE and EMPIRE STATE BASTARD and the MISFITS," he said. "I've been with the MISFITS since 2016. TESTAMENT is a well-oiled machine. They're always touring and releasing albums. To try to find that space or that time to release something… I don't know."
When asked whether this meant his status with TESTAMENT was "uncertain," Lombardo replied, "Yes. It's wait-and-see. I can't guarantee anything because of my commitments. I did fulfill my contractual commitment for 2022, which was quite extensive. We did one of the longest tours I have done. It was like seven weeks in Europe, which was great. I really needed to get out there and build my chops after the pandemic. That was a lifesaver. We'll see. The relationship is good. The doors are open. The communication is there. I told them that I was seeing some clashes coming up. This was in the first week of January when I reached out to Eric and told him. This has been brewing for a while. Actually, I saw it in November/December of last year. I started seeing, 'Oh no. This is going to happen. This is not going to happen.' It's very tricky."
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 a new interview with Chile's iRock.CL, TESTAMENT frontman Chuck Billy was asked what it was like to play with Lombardo again last year. Chuck said: "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."
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 ensuing 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."