Thomas Stanley Orwat Jr. of recently conducted an interview with vocalist Chuck Billy of San Francisco Bay Area metallers TESTAMENT. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. TESTAMENT is about to hit the road, headlining a major tour, “The Dark Roots Of Thrash” tour. This tour also features thrash metal legends OVERKILL and FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, with a new upcoming thrash band, 4ARM. Do you find this time, leading up to a tour, stressful and exciting? What is your mindset right now?

Chuck: Yeah, I’m a little of both, actually. We have a new show, with new songs that we are going to perform. We had previously played three legs of a tour with ANTHRAX, so we are trying to put in some new songs for this one, do a new show. We also plan on filming a DVD on this tour. We did a couple live DVDs/CDs, and we want to do some songs that are not on those, and to create something new. Without giving too much away, how long will your set be and how many new songs will you be performing?

Chuck: Our set will be about an hour and a half, with five songs off of the new record, “Dark Roots Of Earth”. Who was responsible for putting this tour package together? Did you have any input in the process?

Chuck: Well, our agents out a lot of it together for us. All the bands have a new record, or a new record coming out. I’ve learned from doing the ANTHRAX and MEGADETH tours that fans and promoters want bands that fit together. So, when we were approached with this tour, we said, “OK” and the promoters thought it was a good package as well. As far as the new record, “Dark Roots Of Earth”, it has received some great reviews, and his even been referred as the best hard rock/metal record of the year. How gratifying and satisfying was it for you to get all of these accolades at this point in your career?

Chuck: It really was great, especially with all the hard work that we put into the record, and into the writing process. It probably was the first record we wrote, not thinking about what the fans and critics were going to think. Songs such as “Cold Embrace” are in the style of songs that we haven’t had on a record for like fifteen years, or so. I think getting the original lineup back together has given us more self confidence. When we started writing the songs, we were really into it, and didn’t really think or question what people were going to think. And now with people giving us props for the record, we are glad that we stuck with our instincts, because it really paid off. But, yeah, it’s a very gratifying feeling.

Read the entire interview at