TESTAMENT singer Chuck Billy has confirmed to the "Not These Two Fucking Guys" podcast that he has begun reaching out to various hard rock and heavy metal musicians about collaborating with him on his first-ever solo album. He explained (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, it started [to be] in the works, but then things just kind of got held up. I was recruiting some guitar players over the last six months to write a record with me, and I was gonna use a different guitar player on every song to help me write songs. Mark Morton [LAMB OF GOD], I've talked to him; he wants to work [with me]. I also want Gary Holt [EXODUS, SLAYER] to write some songs with me. Glen Drover [ex-MEGADETH] is gonna write some songs… I haven't approached my cousin Stef [Stephen Carpenter] from the DEFTONES yet, but I'm gonna see if he'll wanna write a song with me. I tried to reach out to Joe Bonamassa [to see if he wants to] write a song with me."
As for the musical direction of his solo LP, Billy said: "I want it to be different. And what I've told all these guys [is] that I wanna do a solo record, but I don't want it to resemble TESTAMENT; I wanna do something different. And the direction I wanna go is the old classic vinyl-sounding records — just real, clean and dry and big. Real tones — not compressed digital stuff. I want it to be classic sounding, but have it rock, have it bluesy. Have some metal, but just have it where [it doesn't sound like what people are used to hearing from me]."
He continued: "I've done these compilation records for this Cleopatra label, and I've done anything from Michael Jackson to Christmas songs. And every time people hear it, they go, 'Man, that's kind of cool.' And I was thinking about it — it's fun to do, and it's challenging and different. So when I think of a solo record, I want it to be different — I want every song to kind of have its own personality and stand on their own. So that was kind of my goal. If I do a solo record — maybe I'll do a few, but if I do one solo record, I want it to really be something that [is] challenging to me, different for me and different from [people's] expectations, when somebody puts it on, [but] that they'll enjoy it still.
"So that's what I wanted to do," Chuck added. "So I've been telling [the various guitar players], 'Just start writing. Put the song together for me. But don't think metal. Don't think TESTAMENT. Don't think the bands you're in. Just write something cool that's got a vibe. And give it to me. Let me do my thing on it.'"
TESTAMENT's "The Bay Strikes Back Tour" with EXODUS and DEATH ANGEL will kick off on October 6 at the Fremont Theater in San Luis Obispo, California and make stops in Austin, New York, and Detroit before concluding on November 27 at The Fox in Oakland.
TESTAMENT's latest album, "Titans Of Creation", came out in April 2020 via Nuclear Blast. The disc was produced by guitarist Eric Peterson and Billy, 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 new artwork for the cover of this release.
Early last year, TESTAMENT completed "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" European tour with EXODUS and DEATH ANGEL.