TESTAMENT singer Chuck Billy mentioned the return of drummer Dave Lombardo to the group’s ranks throughout an interview earlier this week with the WSOU 89.5 FM radio station.
An authentic member of thrash steel legends SLAYER, Lombardo was the visitor drummer on TESTAMENT‘s 1999 studio album “The Gathering”, which additionally marked the primary time the band labored with then-up-and-coming British producer/engineer Andy Sneap.
Requested about the potential of Lombardo being concerned within the writing and recording of TESTAMENT‘s subsequent studio album, Chuck stated (as transcribed by Phoosi.com): “All of it is determined by Eric [Peterson, TESTAMENT guitarist]; he is the place to begin of what we do. So, speaking to him, he is, like, ‘Man, I’ve received so many riffs.’ He is prepared to put in writing one other report, which is nice. And I feel hopefully bringing Dave in and just a few new blood and somebody to push him a little bit bit… ‘Trigger I feel Dave, really, once we did ‘The Gathering’ report… Eric‘s at all times been the one who’s programmed the drums on a drum machine and actually labored out the songs after which offered them to the drummers, the place I feel on that specific report Dave simply stated, ‘Dude, simply play.’ And he simply jumped in they usually simply began jamming and began simply creating like that. So there was one thing to that the place Eric actually targeted on the guitar work as a substitute of getting to fret in regards to the drums. And I feel hopefully him and Dave can begin creating some cool magic by simply jamming once more and see what occurs.”
Chuck continued: “After we first received [Dave] again and talked about getting again on tour and blah blah blah, [we said] ‘What about doing one other report?’ And the very first thing, he is, like, ‘Dude, may you think about one other report that we wrote collectively?’ And I am, like, ‘Yeah.’ [Laughs] ‘So let’s try this.’
“I feel [Dave is] down [for doing a studio album with TESTAMENT],” Billy added. “I am not holding my breath that Dave simply is in TESTAMENT solely however we’re gonna should form of maneuver round what occurs. However then once more, that is the start of the connection. We could be busy sufficient and he may simply be pleased sufficient simply working with us and it really works out. So we’re simply form of taking it sooner or later at a time, one tour at a time. We all know he is gonna be with us for the subsequent three excursions — we all know that for certain — so we’ll see what occurs after that.”
Earlier this month, Lombardo advised SiriusXM‘s Liquid Steel that he reached out to the TESTAMENT camp the identical day that the band introduced it was splitting with its longtime drummer Gene Hoglan.
“I used to be nonetheless asleep, and my spouse, she simply stated, ‘Hey, Gene simply left TESTAMENT,'” Dave recalled. “And he or she’s been at all times telling me, ‘Man, I can not look forward to you guys to get collectively for that ‘Gathering’ reunion.’ ‘Trigger we had been speaking about this two and a half, three years in the past — earlier than the pandemic. And so I instantly — I did not even get my different eye open and I used to be texting Chuck. I stated, ‘Hey, man, what is going on on?’ I do not know precisely what I discussed in my textual content, however it was quite simple, ‘Hey, what’s occurring?’ And he instantly referred to as me again. And I keep in mind Tiffany [Chuck‘s wife] was on the telephone; Chuck was on the telephone. We had been, like, ‘Hey.’ It was an awesome come-together second, like, ‘Hey, right here we go. That is the second we have been ready for.'”
Dave went on to say that the timing was proper for his return to TESTAMENT.
“‘The Gathering’ reunion did not should occur placing Gene out, separating Gene and saying, ‘Gene, we’re gonna go together with Dave for some time now.’ Nothing like that occurred,” he stated. “This occurred organically. And it occurred at a time the place my different bands, two of the bands that I’ve, MR. BUNGLE and DEAD CROSS, [Mike] Patton sings in them and he is attempting to get wholesome and is taking a little bit hiatus. And SUICIDAL TENDENCIES hasn’t been touring a lot currently. In order that leaves me with a whole lot of little odd tasks right here and there that I work on in my free time. So it simply felt like the precise second.
“I do know it may be deceiving as a result of I am in so many various bands, however there’s 24 hours in a day and I solely sleep eight hours, or seven to eight hours, in order that leaves me 16 different hours,” he defined. “And I do not take Saturdays and Sundays off. So it was a no brainer.”
Chuck stated that he was stunned to listen to from Dave so shortly after TESTAMENT made the information of its cut up with Gene public.
“Proper when it occurred, it was inside minutes after the announcement,” Billy recalled. “And Dave does not keep in mind, however [his text message to me was] merely ‘Lombardo?’ That was the textual content. I am, like, ‘You are shitting me. Tiffany, Lombardo simply wrote me, ‘Lombardo?” I referred to as him immediately. I stated, ‘Hey, dude, what’s occurring?’ He was, like, ‘Dude, I heard the information.’ I am, like, ‘Dude, I’d have referred to as you immediately, however I simply thought it was form of far-fetched so that you can form of jam as a result of I do know you are most likely fairly busy with all the opposite tasks happening.’ And he was, like, ‘No. I’ve received a giant opening and I would like to get again.’ And we talked about ‘The Gathering’, doing that once more. And right here we’re — it might be a actuality to get to play ‘The Gathering’ like we spoke of.”
“The Gathering” was extensively thought of to be an enchancment over 1997’s “Demonic”, an album that noticed Billy make use of a extra guttural model of vocals and was launched at a time when thrash acts as TESTAMENT had fallen out of favor.
Hoglan initially performed drums on “Demonic”, however did not stick round lengthy sufficient to do any touring with the band. He formally joined TESTAMENT in 2011 and performed on the group’s final three albums: 2012’s “Darkish Roots Of Earth”, 2016’s “Brotherhood Of The Snake” and 2020’s “Titans Of Creation”.
TESTAMENT, EXODUS and DEATH ANGEL performed the only 2021 date of “The Bay Strikes Again Tour” final November on the Fox Theater in Oakland, California. The gig passed off lower than two months after the three bands shared the stage on the Aftershock pageant in Sacramento.
“The Bay Strikes Again Tour” was initially scheduled to kick off on October 6 on the Fremont Theater in San Luis Obispo, California and make stops in Austin, New York, and Detroit earlier than concluding in Oakland. The tour has since been rescheduled to happen in April and Might 2022.
Photograph credit score: Stephanie Cabral