Testament really is one band that hit the ground running. Their very first
album, "The Legacy," released in 1987, brought them instant recognition from
Germany's Metal Hammer magazine as the Best International Newcomer of 1987
and the Biggest International Hope of 1988. The English edition of the same
magazine ran a reader's poll which named Testament as the Number Two Band of
1987. Guns 'n' Roses was Number One.
Testament's second album, "The New Order," sold more than 250,000 copies leading Circus magazine to state, " The New Order' puts Testament right up there with Metallica and Anthrax."
Their 1989 album "Practice What You Preach" sold 450,000 copies, and stayed in the Number One spot on the hard rock charts for 14 weeks, and the national pop charts for over 3 months.
A sold out tour of the U.S. followed, with tours of England, Holland, Germany, and Japan selling out as well.
Guitarist Eric Peterson spoke with us about this truly amazing group.
Q. What do you think Testament has that no other group has?
A. I just think our music is really heavy, really catchy, and really song oriented. There's been a couple of cases where people have actually called into several radio stations saying they heard our ballad "The Legacy" on the radio, and it changed their life. That's something you don't hear. People never want to talk about the good things of heavy metal.
Q. It's rather strange, but, Testament has no gimmick. You've
made it on the strength of your music.
A. It's really funny though, we have a look. We're all so different, but we're all the same. There's a lot of character onstage when we're playing. I think that's one thing the audience likes. I think that's how we based ourselves. We have 300,000 people who will buy a record right away. But, you're right, it's the music we rely on. We project that onstage with the character we have. People can see where that comes from.
Q. It almost seems like its been non-stop work for you guys.
A. Oh, it has.
Q. How do you find 5 guys who are into it?
A. We have been working since '87 non-stop. We keep talking about each record, and how we're going to take a break, but something always comes up. We always seem to make the right moves.
Q. How long has this group actually been together?
Q. And this is your first group?
Q. What's your background?
A. I met Lou in late '83, and we started jamming in his bedroom. Just me and him. We decided to make a band out of it. Get another guitar player. Get a bass player. And, that's it. It's really funny, I had a guitar in my room since the eighth grade, but I never really played it. I was into soccer and playing Pop-Warner football. When I met Lou, I was really into metal. We both were learning. We just taught ourselves. Got our style. And, we got Alex, who's a real musician. He knows everything. With our ideas of being heavy and his melodic stuff, it just worked out pretty-good.
Q. Any last comments?
A. I'd like to say "Hi" to Alex Peria-lias and Bill Benson of Ithaca, and all the people at The Lost Horizon.