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FORMER TESTAMENT BASSIST SPEAKS

1907740_10202362209447128_5633185896234047348_nEarlier in the year Testament made a line-up change when original bassist Greg Christian left the band and the re-hired former Death bassist Steve DiGiorgio. Ok Testament at this point are famous for their line-up changes so here’s the bass timeline for Testament.

Greg Christian:        1983-1997
Derrick Ramirez:    1997-1998
Steve DiGiorgio:     1999-2002
Greg Christian:        2004-2014
Steve DiGiorgio:     2014-Present

(Image from Greg’s Facebook page)

Understand? Greg just went to his Facebook page to explain his reason for leaving the band…again.

“F— it. Last week I said I’d do this, so here it is. And if this gets picked up by any sites, all I have to say is, I can say whatever the f— I feel like on my own page. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. I’m in the US of A and this is my free speech.
Anyway…

”The last straw [was as follows]. [I was] sitting at the bar in the Seoul/Incheon airport [in South Korea], with a couple of the entourage, and Chuck [Billy] walks up and casually says he just spent three grand, cash, on a first-class upgrade. [He] said he thought it was worth it to be more rested for the first Euro show, in a couple days. Then, of course, Eric [Peterson] gets up and walks over to the ticket counter (gotta keep up with the Jones’s or the Kardashians or whoever lol).
[Here's some] perspective. As my employer, in a business I helped start and put (at that time) just over 20 years into — 12 then 8 — and helped build from nothing the first time and helped resurrect from almost nothing the second time, this $3K for one first-class upgrade stuck in my mind, and when I got paid a couple weeks later, I was just thoroughly disgusted and done with Testament. ‘My employer’ thinks that his ass being in a more comfortable seat for one ten-hour flight is worth more than I was worth for five festival performances (on two continents — neither this one), a half dozen shi–y flights plus a week and a half away from home and my family.
I did this as a job…
I don’t make anything off anything else, so it’s not a situation where I get anything off the back end. In other words, promoting the band only helped my employers — not me.
I made $350 a day for show days, $175 a day for travel days / days off since 2005 — with not a penny more and no PD’s [per diems] so I had to spend about $300 out of pocket to eat in hotels and airports — or starve.
I don’t know actual numbers‬ — no one ever told me — but I heard rumors the band made $100K just for the one Korean show and watched both Chuck and Eric spend $$$ like it was true (of that I got about $700).
That’s disgusting.
Tune in next week if you want to read about a ‘band meeting’ a few years ago in Sao Paulo, Brazil (the last time I tried to talk to those guys about $$$) and hear a few of the things that were said…
Beyond ridiculous…”

Since it’s been more than a week there was no post about a band meeting but he did say this:

“- I know last week I said I’d talk about a band meeting that happened in São Paulo – I don’t care anymore – I’m done airing the ridiculous, and (believe it or not lol) I’m saying my final peace here – I could go on for as many years as I was back in Testament with stories of being slighted, lies, and greed, but my only real point or complaint is about live performance money. I don’t own any part of the records or anything else and don’t really care. But to use my name and likeness, as an original member, along with a ‘recognizable personality’ (for lack of a better term) on stage, along with what I actually brought to the stage, pretty consistently (just look at YouTube) and refuse to give me anything other than the beyond ridiculous deal of NOTHING EVER of show money – though I went through all the shitty travel, and all the other ‘downsides’ to everything, and had my face on the ads, did all the meet n greets, signings, and everything else – is simply wrong. Everything else aside – I worked for and earned, at least some kind of piece of that. That’s undeniable. And I’d’ve been happy with a much smaller piece than I felt I was worth. But not zero.

- I believe it’s personal. Directed solely at me. And I think there’s a high likelihood it’s a direct result of words I spoke back in ’96 – though not very tactful, I wasn’t exactly wrong about.
And to push a petty grudge like that to this point is something I just can’t understand. I would never do that to someone I hated, but to do that to someone you spent 20 years on the road with and helped you get where you are??? In my humble opinion (for whatever it’s worth) – that… that leaves me speechless – I just don’t understand it.

- FYI – for ALL the shows I played in 2013 and ALL the travel and ALL the time away from home and family – before taxes $37,775 – after taxes about $25k – with no PD’s and our travel schedule that’s actually more like about $21k – ya. that’s reality – and considering the $$$ Testament brought in for live performances in 2013 – cruel and unusual – Thanks guys. Love you too.
- I’ll post a pic of my W2 in the comments. Don’t want it to be the 1st thing people see, but if anyone has any doubts – there it is -

anyway… I know I can be a long winded fuck but I finally said my peace…
- this signals an end to my three weeks of throw-up Thursdays. I don’t know how anyone else even reads this shit. Makes me sick, but I had to let it out, and now that I have this summarized, it may be time to see what an attorney thinks… I dunno??? but I’m not holding my breath lol. anyway… on to new music…”

Sounds good Greg, looking forward to some new tunes!

 

CLASSIC ALBUM SPOTLIGHT: IMAGES AND WORDS

In 1992 the unknown progressive metal band Dream Theater came out with their 2nd album and first with singer James LeBrie. (Hear our conversation with James from earlier in the year right here.) After the success of single “Pull Me Under” an eight minute power metal assault Dream Theater never looked back. This is the album that made progressive metal cool in the nineties. It’s also the album that my guitar teacher gave me and said “listen to this” with a devilish smile.

Dream_Theater_-_Images_and_WordsArtist: Dream Theater

Album: Images and Words

Release Date: July 7, 1992

Recommended listening: Pull Me Under, Under a Glass Moon, Take the Time

Anthony Maisano from Metal Insider says:

This is Dream Theater’s first album to feature James LaBrie, and it’s distinctly different from their debut album, Where Dream and Day Unite. The debut was more of a hair metal album, to me, but still featured awesome drumming and guitar work. Of course, this goes without saying, but John Petrucci is a god among guitarists, and Mike Portnoy is an amazing drummer. The instrumentation on the album is just great, as expected by Dream Theater. Petrucci’s solos are just…wow. Their work is both heavy, and interesting to listen to. No matter who their keyboardist, I’ve always loved the keyboard sounds Dream Theater used on their albums, too. Overall, the album is an almost thought provoking one that you can listen to and really analyze for hours.

 

 

ON THIS HOLIDAY WEEKEND IT’S ALL ABOUT OVERKILL

overkill4Overkill are a New Jersey thrash metal band, in fact they are one of the original thrash metal bands with over thirty plus years of history. They are about to release their 17th studio album which means it’s time for our yearly visit with lead singer Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth.

(Live picture of Bobby Ellsworth from Overkill’s official website)

Also this week we are going to go In the Vault with Corrosion of Conformity’s drummer Reed Mullin and his random appearance on an episode of MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball in 1992 to Rock the Vote.

AnthraxOur Power Set this week comes from Loudwire’s Top 10 Anthrax songs. We play back the top 4 and you will be in for a couple of surprises. To the see all top 10 click here.

(Old Anthrax promo picture from Island Records)

killer-be-killed_killer-be-killedWe get a taste of new when the week’s Then & Now rolls around with a supergroup made up of Troy Sanders from Mastodon, Max Cavalera of Sepultura/Soulfly, Greg Puciato of The Dillinger Escape Plan and Dave Elitich of The Mars Volta called Killer Be Killed.

(Killer be Killed artwork from Nuclear Blast Records)

Plus this week’s heavy metal soundtrack recommendation comes from the movie Scream 3.

Plus another 3 hours of classic metal inside Hangar 19.

 

INTERVIEW: MARTY FRIEDMAN

martyfriedmanMarty Friedman was the guitarist in Megadeth for the album Rust in Peace through Risk. That means that Marty played on some of the best metal records of the 90′s. In 2002 after he had quit Megadeth he moved to Japan and has called the land of the rising sun home ever since. Marty has just released a new solo album called Inferno and he sits down for conversation about all the above on the latest Hangar 19 Podcast edition.

 

MARTY FRIEDMAN STEPS INTO THE HANGAR

martyfriedmanBetween 1990 and 2000 Marty played lead guitar for the legendary heavy metal band Megadeth. To put that into album’s terms that’s Rust in Piece through Risk, and includes some of the best metal albums of the 90′s. In 2002 Marty had already left Megadeth and moved to Japan where has done some solo work and has worked as a producer, musician for hire, and even a TV host. With the release of his amazing new solo album Inferno Marty is stepping back into the heavy metal limelight and he’s joining us inside Hangar 19 this weekend to debut a bunch of tracks from this record.

(Marty image from martyfriedman.com)

During the show Marty talks about some of his biggest influences and maybe his biggest was the double live album from Kiss called Alive! This week we will go In The Vault with Gene and Paul about the be all end all of live records.

metalmassacreFor this week’s Power Set we go back in time to 1982 and for a compilation put out by then completely unknown record label Metal Blade Records. A compilation that allowed us to hear Ratt and Metallica for the very first time. This collection of metal classics was huge on the tape trading circuit and it was just simply called Metal Massacre 1.

(Metal Massacre artwork from Metal Blade Records)

INFERNO_FRONT_FIXThen our Then & Now this week will feature more Marty Friedman, in fact throughout the show this week we will feature Megadeth/Marty Friedman Then & Now’s. The Thens will be songs that Marty co-wrote in Megadeth and the now are songs from his new album Inferno. An album which features CHILDREN OF BODOM’s Alexi Laih, REVOCATION’s Dave Davidson, Danko Jones and more.

(Inferno artwork from Martyfriedman.com)

Finally our heavy metal soundtrack recommendation comes from a soundtrack that Ministry’s Al Jourgensen oversaw that featured songs from Ministry, Rev Co, Prong among others. The Movie was 2008′s Wicked Lake.

It’s another 3 hours of metal inside Hangar 19