March 19, 2020

In a recent interview with Sweden's RockSverige, TESTAMENT guitarist Eric Peterson spoke about the passing of Neil Peart, who died on January 7 in Santa Monica, California after a three-year battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. The iconic RUSH drummer was 67 years old.

Eric said: "First of all, his drumming influenced everybody, especially a lot of black metal stuff. Drumming is obvious, but lyrically, it was just taking everybody to another place. The width of that guy. He was The Professor. Laughing at him when he joined the band, like, 'What a geek,' but then seeing how deep he was. I guess he had the last laugh. 'Little do you know, I'm going to be the guy writing all your songs.'

"I was going to post something on Instagram, but I didn't even know what to say," Eric continued. "I was just dumbfounded. One of my favorite bands. 'All The World's A Stage' [1976]… I think I was in eighth grade or something and I remember my cousin Richard Ramirez [laughs] got a killer new stereo system and we were just cranking that record and listening to side two and '2112' live. It was just, like, 'Wow, man! I want to be in a band.' I was into KISS and THE COMMODORES and stuff like that, but I didn't really know what genre I was getting into. But that record was the one record that just made me go, Okay, I guess I'm a rocker.'

Peterson added that he has never met any of the members of RUSH and he had not seen the legendary Canadian rock band perform live. "I really enjoyed '2112' [1976], 'Hemispheres' [1978] and then later 'Permanent Waves' [1980]," he said. "I think when they put out 'Moving Pictures' [1981], I still dug that record, but their songs were getting shorter. I was just a big fan of their story telling, especially when 'Hemispheres' came out.

TESTAMENT's new album, "Titans Of Creation", will be released on April 3 via Nuclear Blast. The long-awaited follow-up to 2016 album "Brotherhood Of The Snake" was produced by singer Chuck Billy and 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.

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