Andrew Magnotta of The Aquarian Weekly recently conducted an interview with vocalist Chuck Billy of San Francisco Bay Area metallers TESTAMENT. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
The Aquarian Weekly: How does the upcoming album [“The Dark Roots Of Earth”] compare stylistically to the last one?
Chuck: Well, I think all of our records are different in their own way. I’d say it’s right in the same vein as “The Formation Of Damnation”. There’s some really good songs on the record that really stand out. We weren’t just trying to focus and say, “Okay, let’s just thrash as hard as we can from start to finish.” We kinda wanted to make it more dynamic and just more of a good record that you could put on and listen to over and over again, sonically it sounds good and the songwriting is good as well.
The Aquarian Weekly: Did you feel like when you got into the studio, you had a lot of ideas ready or were you going in for the writing of the album?
Chuck: Once we got into the studio, most of the stuff was thought-out and finished writing-wise. There, of course, was still a few songs that when we started the recording process weren’t really finished — they were still kind of in the works. But after massaging them over, they’ve turned out to be some of the better songs. Usually the last songs we write are kind of at the bottom of the priority list as far as what’s making us feel good. That’s the way it always ends up, but those songs ended up being some of the better ones. For this record, I think we had about seven songs that were solid going into recording and another three that we kind of had to put together.
The Aquarian Weekly: Did everything you write go on the record?
Chuck: Yeah, that’s just the way Eric [Peterson, guitarist] writes. We always say it, every time, “Let’s write 15-20 songs and we’ll pick the best 10.” It never ends up that way; we always end up stealing a riff from another idea, another song and then building one, so parts get scrapped. So we’re constantly robbing other songs, so there’s no extra tracks.
The Aquarian Weekly: How is Paul Bostaph? Is he still recovering from that back injury?
Chuck: He’s fully recovered. He chose not to come back to the band and he’s starting his own project now. We expected Paul to come back once he was better and the record was done and start touring like normal, but he chose to not come back to the band and he wants to start his own project. We can’t stop him and wish him the best. Life goes on.
Read the entire intervie from The Aquarian Weekly.