Check out this article of Eric Peterson in Total Guitar....

Eric Peterson of Testament

Born in Northern California in the city of Alameda and raised in Lafayette, Eric Peterson has climbed the ranks to become one of heavy metal’s all time riffmasters. The American guitarist of half Swedish/half Mexican descent is the founding member of Bay Area thrash kings Testament and black metallers Dragonlord.

Raised on a steady diet of Black Sabbath, Led Zepplin, and Creedence Clearwater Revival, Eric first discovered the metal that would help shape his career as an 8th grader at a local music shop in Lafayette, The Record Exchange. There, he found “Tokyo Tapes” by The Scorpions, Iron Maiden’s self-titled first album, Angel Witch’s “Pandemonium,” and Judas Priest’s “Hell Bent For Leather.”

The New Wave of British Heavy Metal was crucial in helping to form Eric’s signature style. The twin guitar attack of Judas Priest’s KK Downing and Glen Tipton, as well as early Iron Maiden, was an enormous influence on his playing. For leads, Eric looked to guitar soloist Michael Schenker (UFO/The Scorpions) and Uli John Roth. Over his 20+ years in music, Eric has developed his playing into a style that is easily identifiable and always innovative. Seamlessly blending melodic riffs that dance above crushing grooves, Eric’s playing is heavy, unique, and always hard-hitting. With his percussive right hand technique, Eric has carved out his own place in metal.

After his first gig (a talent show at his junior high school), Eric was hooked. Having only taken lessons for a short period of time, Eric was almost entirely self-taught. He continued to practice and play on his own, and in 1983 formed his first band, Legacy. At first, local clubs didn’t know how to characterize the young band, whose blend of metal and punk evolved into what is now popularly known as thrash. The band’s first big show was at a packed house with contemporary thrashers Slayer and Laaz Rockit in 1984.

After the addition of vocalist Chuck Billy, Legacy became Testament and released 1987’s classic The Legacy on MegaForce Records/Atlantic. It was on this album that Eric and lead guitarist Alex Skolnick first discovered their twin guitar harmonies, specifically on the tracks “The Haunting” and “Burnt Offerings.” The band also released the Live in Eindhoven EP to support their debut, which was recorded in Holland when the band took their first trip to Europe. On the strength of The Legacy and the Live in Eindhoven EP, Testament exploded in the heavy metal world and released the highly acclaimed follow-up The New Order in 1988. Magazines both domestic and international sang the band’s praises.

1989’s Practice What You Preach was a huge commercial success for the band, and it was 1990’s Souls of Black that finally got the band the huge arena tours they so deserved, including a spot alongside Judas Priest and Megadeth, as well as an supporting slot for Slayer.

The Ritual in 1992 opened even more doors, landing them a supporting slot for Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath. However, inner turmoil began to pull the band apart and the original lineup shifted for 1994’s Low. Skolnick left the band to pursue other musical ventures, and Eric was left to handle both rhythm and lead duties. This also solidified him as the main songwriter in the band. It was at this point that Eric really improved and grabbed the bull by the horns in becoming a true riffmaster.

The Low album saw the band return to their darker roots. After the rise of grunge, metal became a dirty word in music, but Eric and Testament remained 100% committed to the sound that had gained them popularity. The band headed back into clubs and began to turn things around with 1997’s Demonic. Testament was selling out clubs every night and reclaimed their crown.

The band lineup went through several iterations between Low, Demonic, and 1999’s The Gathering, but Eric and Chuck persevered.

In addition to his duties as Testament’s main axeman, Eric indulged his taste for the new wave of European black metal that hit in the early 2000’s, and formed Dragonlord, where he played guitar and sang lead vocals. Influenced by such bands as Dimmu Borgir and Emperor, Dragonlord released Rapture in 2001 and Black Wings of Destiny in 2005. Eric’s work also gained him a guest spot on the Old Man’s Child album, Vermin, playing lead.

The Gathering gained Testament so much success that the original lineup got back together for 2008’s The Formation of Damnation. On their latest album, the band updated their old-school songwriting style with a modern sound, which defines contemporary Testament. The band was a last-minute addition to the 2008 Download Festival in Donington, England, and soon after won “Album of the Year” at the 2008 Metal Hammer Golden Gods awards.

Eric is currently gearing up for a UK Testament tour with Judas Priest and Megadeth. He is proud and excited to have his own signature DEAN guitar, the “Old Skull V”. Eric has been a huge supporter of DEAN for over 10 years and is glad to be on their roster.

March 20, 2009



Starting at 10AM (local time) today, tickets and VIP packages for TESTAMENT's upcoming US headlining tour will go on sale to the public. Included in the special VIP Packs are TONS of merch and opportunities to meet the band! The US headlining tour also features thrashers Unearth and Lazarus A.D. as support.

Tickets and VIP packages go on-sale to the public Friday, March 20th with the exception of San Francisco going on sale Sunday, March 22nd.

There are two types of VIP packages available: Meet & Greet Package and Hot Sound Package. The Meet & Greet Package includes a special meet and greet opportunity, access to the sound check, a ticket to the show, autographed poster, merchandise item, collectible laminate, personalized Music Skins, and more! The Hot Sound Package includes a ticket to the show, early entry into the venue, access to the sound check, autographed poster, merchandise item, collectible laminate and more.

The TESTAMENT US tour is being presented by Revolver Magazine and is sponsored by DEAN Guitars,, and Dark Star Skateboards. All three sponsors have killer new TESTAMENT items including DEAN Guitars Eric Peterson "Old Skull" Flying V guitar, Dark Star's Testament skateboard, and The Formation of Damnation-themed Music Skins for portable electronic devices to be included in part of the VIP packages. Also available in the packages will be a Paul Bostaph drumhead to be autographed by the whole band. Links are provided below.

TESTAMENT guitarist Eric Peterson said: "Finally, with a well-received new record that's long over-due, it's time to tour our country! We've jumped around here and there, but it's been a while since we've toured most of the country. There are some places we are not hitting up, so check and see if you might need to drive out...we'll make it worth the drive! Life''s hard, but Testament is harder!"

Unearth vocalist Trevor Phipps added: "One of the main reasons I started singing was through inspiration from Testament and Chuck Billy's voice. At 12 years old I grabbed a shitty microphone and plugged it into my six inch Gorilla guitar amp and started singing along to my 'Practice What You Preach' tape. Needless to say, Testament helped mold my life in heavy metal, and I personally couldn't be looking forward to touring any more than this.

"Testament have made, and continue to make, important thrash albums over 20 plus years, and we are pumped to be part of their reunion headlining tour. We are, and have been, big fans of their music since we were kids, and sharing the stage with them is going to be a huge honor for us. "We will be sure to bring our best show every night for our fans and theirs. Our set length is a solid one that will allow us to play new songs off our latest album 'The March' as well as some tunes from our earlier CD's. Get ready for six weeks of blazing metal, as this tour is sure to be one for the ages."

(with Unearth and Lazarus A.D.)


05/02 - Seattle, WA
El Corazon
Tickets|VIP Package

05/03 - Spokane, WA
Knitting Factory
Tickets|VIP Package

05/04 - Vancouver, BC
Tickets|VIP Package

05/06 - Calgary, AB
MacEwan Ballroom
Tickets|VIP Package

05/07 - Edmonton, AB
Edmonton Events Centre
Tickets|VIP Package

05/09 - Winnipeg, MB
The Garrick Centre
Tickets|VIP Package

05/10 - Maplewood, MN
The Rock
Tickets|VIP Package

05/12 - Milwaukee, WI
Eagles Theater
Tickets|VIP Package

05/13 - Sauget, IL
Tickets|VIP Package

05/15 - Chicago, IL
House of Blues
Tickets|VIP Package

05/16 - Detroit, MI
Tickets|VIP Package

05/17 - Cleveland, OH
House of Blues
Tickets|VIP Package

05/18 - Cincinnati, OH
Tickets|VIP Package

05/20 - Toronto, ON
Sound Academy
Tickets|VIP Package

05/21 - Montreal, QC
Tickets|VIP Package

05/22 - Sayreville, NJ
Starland Ballroom
Tickets|VIP Package

05/23 - Hartford, CT
Webster Theater
Tickets|VIP Package

05/24 - Worcester, MA
The Palladium
Tickets|VIP Package

05/26 - Baltimore, MD
Ram's Head Live
Tickets|VIP Package

05/27 - Philadelphia, PA
Tickets|VIP Package

05/28 - Norfolk, VA
Tickets|VIP Package

05/29 - Raleigh, NC
Lincoln Theater
Tickets|VIP Package

05/30 - Atlanta, GA
Tickets|VIP Package

05/31 - New Orleans, LA
House of Blues
Tickets|VIP Package

06/02 - Houston, TX
Scout Bar
Tickets|VIP Package

06/03 - San Antonio
Scout Bar
Tickets|VIP Package

06/04 - Ft. Worth, TX
Ridglea Theater
Tickets|VIP Package

06/06 - Kansas City, MO
The Beaumont
Tickets|VIP Package

06/07 - Denver, CO
Tickets (No VIP Package)

06/09 - Las Vegas, NV
House of Blues
Tickets|VIP Package

06/10 - San Diego, CA
House of Blues
Tickets|VIP Package

06/11 - Los Angeles, CA
House of Blues
Tickets|VIP Package

06/12 - San Francisco, CA
The Fillmore

April 16, 2008


The Formation of Damnation, the crushing new release from thrash metal heroes Testament, has been nominated for Best Album at this year’s Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards. The awards ceremony will take place at the O2 Arena in London on Monday, June 16, where Testament will be performing LIVE, along with Disturbed, In Flames, and Children Of Bodom.
Metal Maniacs calls the album, “Freshly brutal and heroically nostalgic…The culmination of a decade of dedication and perseverance for the Bay Area Kings; the entire band sounds brilliant.” Revolver Magazine says, “Don't call it a comeback. Just call it AWESOME.”
Die-hard fans from the UK will have the opportunity to win tickets to see the band perform LIVE at Golden Gods 2008. The contest is available to UK residents only. Entrants must send their e-mail address, full name, date of birth, address, post code, and contact number to Entrants must be 16+ (with ID) and able to arrange travel to the gig. Doors open at 7pm and close at 11pm. All entries must be received by May 21, 2008.
The Formation of Damnation streets in the US on April 29!!

19 May 2008

Rhap Session: Testament

by Jen Guyre

For thrash legends Testament, MTV's artist of the week for May 19 - May 26, a lot has come full circle. Born of the groundbreaking Bay Area scene in the early '80s, they have undergone various lineup changes over the years, and even in the face of vocalist Chuck Billy's bout with cancer, they've persevered. They've consistently put out records since ’87 and never strayed from their signature sound, and after having stood the test of time, these O.G. thrashers find that their time is still now. With a thrash resurgence upon the metal world, and the original lineup again in tact, Billy, guitarists Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick, bassist Greg Christian and drummer Paul Bostaph agree that “music is all about timing.” Explains Billy, “We stayed true to what we started at the beginning, we never got off path. It’s cool [thrash] is growing again … all these [new] bands inspire me.” In an interview originally printed in The Aquarian, we learn where Chuck Billy & Testament come from, what they’ve been through, and what their tenth full length - and first with the original lineup in over 15 years - The Formation of Damnation is all about.

On the birth of thrash
In the early '80s, this type of music was definitely something new and wasn’t normal. It was all about L.A. glam music --  “poser music” -- and in the Bay Area we had Metallica playing thrash music, which to us had attitude and aggression and confidence. We really dug that and were inspired by that. It wasn’t about the image, it was about the power of the music, so I think a lot of us Bay Area bands aspired to be that. We didn’t want to be glam, we wanted to go against the grain, and I think that’s really what kicked off that whole '80s thrash/Bay Area movement. It’s really nice that we were a part of that.

On the original lineup reuniting
When I was sick they put on [a benefit concert called] Thrash of the Titans, and that was actually the first time that all of us were on a stage together at the same time, and that kind of broke the ice. After First Strike Still Deadly, [ed. note: a remastered, re-recorded compilation of seminal Testament hits], I was trying to get on the Dynamo Festival, and the promoter said that he just got the original Anthrax to confirm, and what are the chances of getting the original Testament? And right away I was like, "Wow, that’d be cool," [chuckles] so I called everybody up and within a week’s time, everyone said, "Let’s do it."

We had one show, and then one show turned into five shows that week. We realized we had such a good time performing and the fans were really into it that we ended up taking more shows – it turned into about 20 or 30 shows that year. Then we toured some more the following year, and at that point we kind of just said, "Well, what do you guys think about all of us trying to write a record together?" And they were all into it, so we got home and were working on songs while we were taking breaks between touring, and in September, after all the touring was done, that’s where we really focused on it, and put 100 percent into getting the record done.

On The Formation of Damnation
It’s a statement about where we are politically in the world today with the environment. I wasn’t very fond of President Bush and the war in Iraq. It was upsetting when you’d see these young kids carrying guns and burning flags and basically being raised to hate. It’s strange to see this in our lifetime, and think how it’s gonna be in our children’s lifetime and our grandchildren’s lifetime down the road. I see all these countries building nuclear bombs, and who knows in 10, 20 years from now who’s gonna be in power and possibly use these weapons. Where’s society gonna be? Where’s the planet gonna be? Looking at Nostradamus' predictions, a lot of them came true, and it just seems to be going in that direction where its not gonna be a real friendly world 20 years from now. We’re just lining ourselves up for damnation.

Most of [the songs] have personal messages. “The Afterlife” is a tribute to people who lost their fathers out there; me and Eric lost our fathers in the last four years, and it's saying that we’ll meet again in the after life if there really is an afterlife. There’s a song called “F.E.A.R.” which is "False Evidence Appearing Real," which is a psychology term. “Leave Me Forever” is inspired by friends who have had bad relationships; it’s about letting go and moving on. They’re all personal issues. I think personal messages in lyrics mean more, because they touch people who’ve had experiences like that. After our first record, we kind of stepped away from writing typical heavy metal lyrics about ghosts and goblins and death and blood. We wanted to talk about real things, and real situations that people can relate to.

On how beating cancer changed his life
I’ve been six-years healthy now ... I definitely have a different perspective and outlook. When I was sick, I didn’t think I’d actually be playing music anymore. The person I saw in the mirror with no hair was a different person. I looked at it as I'm done doing music, I'm just gonna get better and spend time with my family and friends, and just kind of focused on that. Once I had my surgery and was clear of cancer, I didn’t listen to any Testament for two years, and one day, I just put a Testament record on and it was brand new to me again. I got excited like, "Wow, man, this is a good song!" And that’s when I called Eric and we took it from there as far as playing goes. As for touring, at that point, I enjoyed performing, but I didn’t want to be gone all the time. I didn’t want to be away from my family and my friends, so when I started touring again, I started taking my family and inviting friends that never had the opportunity to travel around the world. So now it’s actually more enjoyable for me to be on the road. We get up in the morning, travel around town, see the local sights, and then I just so happen to have to perform later that night [chuckles]. When we were younger, we were just touring, partying, sleeping and playing shows. We never got to soak in where we were, and it’s a total different perspective now. I really appreciate the show more.

On the thrash resurgence

I think it’s great. In the early '90s, heavy metal kind of disappeared overnight, and in the early 2000s, it started to rise again with bands playing heavy metal starting to sell records and making a name for themselves. It’s cool it’s growing again; there’s newer bands like The Haunted, Trivium, Shadows Fall, Lamb of God. All these bands inspire me for what I'm doing today, because they’re making names playing the music I enjoy. They inspire me.  It’s like a full circle. It’s really cool because heavy metal fans are the most loyal fans in music. We travel around and see people bringing their 16 year old kids to shows to introduce them to Testament. It’s nice to see that they appreciate that we’re still playing music they enjoy listening to and are trying to inspire a younger generation.

[ read the Full Article here ]

May 21st, 2008


Legendary metal band Testament is featured as’s Buzzworthy Artist of the Week right now! Check out for Testament’s Buzzworthy page. The band is the focus of this MTV’s 52 / 52 programming for this week, with extras available online at is offering Testament fanatics EVEN MORE footage of the band. The clips are available at is also streaming two Testament albums, 1987’s classic The Legacy and the brand-new The Formation of Damnation, as well as an interview with vocalist Chuck Billy. Visit to check it out. Testament will be featured on until Wednesday, May 28.

Testament’s crushing new album, The Formation of Damnation, charted for the third week in a row, coming in at #162. The album debuted at #59 on the Billboard Top 200 two weeks ago. The Formation of Damnation is the band’s highest charting release in their 24-year history. Testament also continues to dominate the airwaves, coming in at #1 on both the FMQB and CMJ radio charts!

Testament is gearing up for a European tour in June and will return for the upcoming Metal Masters Tour in July and August in North America, where they will play alongside Judas Priest, Heaven and Hell, and Motorhead.

June 16, 2008


The legendary heavy metal heroes Testament have won the Metal Hammer GOLDEN GODS AWARD for Album of the Year for The Formation of Damnation. Testament beat out the other worthy contenders in this category: Atreyu, Bullet For My Valentine, Children Of Bodom and Down. All hail Heavy Metal Forever!

The Formation of Damnation debuted at #59 on the Billboard Top 200 and has sold nearly 33,000 copies since its April 29 release. The Formation of Damnation is Testamentˆ¢s highest charting release in their 24-year history. The album also dominated at radio holding the #1 spot on both CMJ and FMQB for several consecutive weeks.

Testament will be on the Metal Masters Tour all summer long with Judas Priest, Heaven and Hell and Motorhead.

June 30, 2008


Thrash metal titans Testament have teamed up with Miller High Life for a special promotion! 2 songs from Testament’s latest album, The Formation of Damnation, are available for download RIGHT NOW at Testament will be featured on the main MP3 page of Miller High Life’s “Extras” section beginning August 16.

“More Than Meets The Eye” and “Henchmen Ride” will be available for download for one whole year!

There are over 20 million, specially-marked cases of Miller High Life beer distributed with a unique code on each, which fans can then redeem for “Stuff” at

Testament’s The Formation of Damnation recently won Best Album at the 2008 Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards. The album debuted at #59 on the Billboard Top 200 and has sold nearly 33,000 copies since its April 29 release. The Formation of Damnation is Testament’s highest charting release in their 24-year history. The album also dominated at radio holding the #1 spot on both CMJ and FMQB for several consecutive weeks.

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