The last time Bay Area thrash icons, Testament, graced Boise, was on March 2, 2010 as part of their American Carnage Tour with Megadeth and Exodus. The band’s set got cut short that night due to a fire alarm that emptied The Knitting Factory, supposedly as a result from a smoke machine during the set by Exodus. This time around, Testament will share the stage with Slayer and Carcass at the Revolution Concert House and Events Center on Thursday, March 17. Tickets for the show are still available here for only $35.
Testament founder and guitarist, Eric Peterson, spoke with AXS this week to talk about the upcoming tour, the band’s next record, and much more. The guys will be playing a tight, 40-minute set, and Peterson hopes it will include some deeper cuts they seldom play as well as a new song he wrote and recorded for the new album.
During our recent interview with Peterson on Martin Luther King Day, we asked him if there was a chance the new song might be in the Testament setlist:
“That would be awesome.” Peterson offered. “I think that’s what we should do. We’ll get the single out and we’ll probably play it live. The only thing that could possibly happen is I know the lyrics aren’t done yet. I know Chuck will come through eventually. I’m just hoping that it happens sooner than later. So we’ll see what happens.”
In keeping with the Martin Luther spirit, we asked Peterson about his own dream for the future, and he admits to being tired of people preaching negative prophecies which seldom come true and yet stress so many people out. He prefers to focus on the positive, but he acknowledges, he also has a creative outlet for venting about the darker side of everyday life:
“It makes for a good metal song, for sure. Villains and plots, and stuff like that definitely fit into the category of what we talk about and stuff. It’s definitely a crazy time and we can definitely channel and use some of that into our music, and turn it around to be a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel, Still carrying the weight of the cloud in the darkness and turning it into something fun (laughs).”
Slayer will be headlining the March 17 show at the Revolution Concert House. British death metal stalwarts, Carcass, will open the festivities, and Testament will provide direct support for Slayer. Peterson gave us his thoughts on the tour’s line-up:
“The marquee on this tour is awesome. All three bands are definitely viable and can headline, but I really appreciate Slayer picking us and Carcass. They could have been more political about it and picked an opening act that has a record label working for them or just being more political about it. I think they chose more of a street kind of vibe. It just sounds great. And it is great that the bands, the records that we’ve all put out—it’s classic. And it’s gonna be killer.”
Peterson also provided an update on the next Testament record. Last spring, he and vocalist Chuck Billy believed the band would be back in the studio in the fall of 2015 to complete the new album in time for an early 2016 release, but as Eric admits, touring opportunities keep getting in the way:
“Before the Slayer tour, we were planning on recording at the end of January. Then the Slayer thing came up, and we were just kind of, like, ‘Ahhh…’ I mean, for me, I was, like, ‘No. Let’s get the record done.’ But Chuck was, like, ‘Dude, we’ve gotta do this. We’ve gotta do this.’ Now that we’re doing [the tour], I’m excited to do it, but it is another… The reason why we haven’t done the record yet is just that there’s all these hurdles and choices to make, and we seem to be picking to play shows still. That’s the only thing stopping us; we keep doing stuff. (laughs) So the plan now is… I was, like, ‘Look, we’ve gotta get something out.’ So I recorded a single this weekend with Gene [Hoglan, Testament drummer]. We picked one of the tracks and we just said, ‘Let’s get this out.’”
Peterson expects to finish the new Testament record this spring for a fall or winter 2016 release. While Gene Hoglan is expected to be the drummer for the new Testament album, scheduling conflicts could see Battlecross and Dragonlord drummer Alex Bent manning the kit. Bent has been helping Peterson demo the new Testament songs. You can check out the full interview with Eric above.
Slayer is touring in support of its newest album, last year’s Repentless. Carcass is touring in support of it’s monster 2014 release, Surgical Steel.