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"I'm not gonna lie to your readers. I choose to smoke pot, and I like it." -Chuck Billy, vocalist *=---=* { the } -=/*> Buzzz Bros. <*\=present.. TESTAMENT - HIGH TIMES Interview (May, 1991) and TESTAMENT - 'Souls Of Black' (lyrics) { *=-text entry by Havoc } --=*

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Combining the resounding of original hard-rock purveyors like Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin with the urgent sonic velocity and aggressive intent of early 80's hardcore a la Black Flag and Discharge, modern-day speed-lace heavy metal is arguably the most important force in music today. Spearheaded by the massive and seemingly-unlikely successes of bands like Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax, a second generation of speed-metal has evolved. Leading the way are Bay Area bad boys, Testament. Born out of teenage suburban boredom and a diligent fervor for playing frenetically brain-jarring hyper-riffs, these five merchants of mosh (slang for the often hazardous acts of stage diving and slam dancing by fans at concerts), vocalist Chuck Billy, guitarists Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson, bassist Greg Christian and drummer Louie Clemente are soaring towards legendary status. Over the course of their four mind-blistering vinyl/laser efforts (1987's debut "The Legacy", followed by '88's "The New Order", '89's Practice What You Preach", and last year's ground-breaking "Souls Of Black", all released through Megaforce / Atlantic), Testament have built a reputation or unleashing no-frills, uncompromising music. Last year saw them touring European arenas (as part of the heralded "Clash Of The Titans" tour with Slayer, Megadeth and Suicidal Tendencies), similar-sized American venues (with Judas Priest), and most recently, in support of death-metal icons, Slayer. The tried-and-true rock success formula of non-stop touring and recording has paid off for the Testa-men, with significant radio and MTV airplay for their single "Souls Of Black," lucrative merchandising and some serious six-digit sales figures (over 400,000 units of Souls Of Black sold at press time). They've made their mark as keepers of the speed-metal flame, and don't plan to change anytime soon. "I think the main reson we've survived is that we do what we like, we never sold out," offers Chuck Billy, the band's imposing vocalist. "Not to sound corny or anything, but we've always played music from the heart. We're

fans of the music we play -- which is hard, fast speed-metal and thrash music. It's all about playing music with lots of energy, and keeping it challenging. As far as I'm concerned, that's what heavy music should be. We don't wanna be like Metallica or Slayer -- but we're obviously fans of their style from over the years, and they've been a major influence on us. Testament is a heavy band, but we try to do something different from the average thrash band." A major part of Testament's essence is their bond with their somtimes-anarchic audience, and their fandom's extremely physical reaction to the music -- namely, "the pit," where participants mosh and otherwise get wild. "Yeah, we're into the action," Billy relates, "We get off and we get excited when the crowd gets into it. The wilder they get out there, the more hyped we get. A lot of bands may say something like that, but in our case, we need it. That's a major part of what Testament's all about. If they're not goin' crazy out there, I'm probably not going to be able to give the best performance, if you know what I mean." "Now that we've mover up to a bigger level -- playing arenas and big halls instead of the clubs -- we've been lucky that things haven't really changed. Sure, there's a barrier between us and the audience now [arenas and concert halls usually erect a wall between the stage and the front row, for photographers and/or protection of the artists], but as long as we can see the kids out there goin' wild, we're okay. We're glad that things are movin' on for us real well, but we don't wanna lose sight of what got us there in the first place. Our music's still heavy and in-your-face, and that's the main thing. We're not gonna get weird about things now that we're becoming a little more well-known. There's some people out there who think it's bad to make it big -- some kids think you've sold-out just because you start sellin' some records. And some bands think that you shouldn't go big-time. We're not into that. We want our music to become as big and popular as possible -that's what it's all about. We don't wanna be an unsuccessful underground band, we want people to remember Testament, and hopefully they'll be somehow influenced by what we do and say." What Testament offer that's different from standard metal fare are lyrics with significant meaning. While they're not exactly Jackson Browne or U2 (many of the band's lyrics are steeped on the darker side of life and/or fantasy characters), Testament have garnered considerable acclaim for songs with social significance -- like 1989's "Greenhouse Effect" or "Perilous Nation," which comment on various environmental / political issues. "We're not here to change the world; we're just a band," Chuck says. "We're not a political band, we don't wanna get ourselves stuck in that trap. But we do observe a lot of things that go on in day-to-day life, and as a band, we should be free to express ourselves as we see fit. As far as the kinda political songs we have got, there's a lot of fucked up things going on out there in the world, and we shouldn't not talk about them, just 'cause we're a metal band. The greenhouse effect is a universal thing, even thrashers are gonna have to deal with it. It's important for people to know what's going on in the world, and music should be just another place for them to learn. But like I said, that's only one small part of our music, and because of that, it does sometimes get overexaggerated." "Also, when we play live, the songs are a little bit different and faster, and it's pretty much there for the kids to mosh to, and let off some aggression. So, we don't really expect people to get the words we're sayin in our songs when it's live at a club or theater or somethin'. But when the fan goes home, and listens to the record and read the lyric sheet, that's

where we're gonna make some impact. But we're not preaching either. We don't offer any solutions to these things -- after all, we don't have the answers ourselves. We do pose the questions, so the kids can go out and decide for themselves what should be done to help -- if they want to." To the casual outside obsever, a heavy-metal concert can be a violent experience. Metal fans ain't exactly angels, to say the least, and their collective reactions to their fave acts is usually rabid and out-of-control. Frontman Billy explains this unique artist-fan relationship: "Our music, and [that of] bands like us, gives the fans a chance to release some of their built-up aggression or frustration. When they come to a Testament show, they can go off and get really into it. Our music is heavy and we use it to let off some steam too. As a fan, I always liked metal because it was powerful and heavy, and that's what we try to do. But people have got to realize that while things get really crazy sometimes, it's all in fun. We're not trying to get people to kill themselves. We don't write songs that say 'Kill your mom.' We're not into that. The only times we've had any real problems with real violence is when gang members would come to a show and try to start fights -- that happened a few years ago when we played with Suicidal Tendencies -- and that was pretty much the only time. Those people should realize that if they wanna fight, they should stay away from the shows and go fight in the street. But yeah, luckily, we haven't had many problems with bad violence at our gigs, most people don't take it to that extreme. There's violence at our concerts, but it's friendly, and the fans know that. That's why you haven't heard of anyone getting killed at one of our shows, or anything like that." Another thing which seperates Testament from the mindless metal millions is that they're not one of those groups who are the real sell-outs, doing "Just Say No" propaganda/public service announcements for radio and television while privately feeding costly cocaine/heroin habits. Testament are proud weed smokers, who fight for their right to party. "It burns me up. I don't do coke or crank or any other shit like that -- I smoke pot. It's just a plant, and I get shit for that. They say drugs are drugs, which is bullshit. My manager always gives me shit whenever I say anything about this subject, but I'm just telling you the truth. I'm not gonna sit here and say I'm an angel when I'm not. I'm not gonna lie to the kids, and I'm not gonna lie to your readers. I choose to smoke pot, and I like it. I'm not tellin' people that they should smoke pot too -- that would be wrong and hyppocritical -- but I do support people's freedom to do what they choose. The way things are now in our society, you can get arrested for smoking a plant, and that seems ridiculous to me." Beyond Neanderthal metal and bullshit music-biz posturing, Testament are a band that simply makes hard rock that matters -- incorporating politically-conscious lyrics with fantasy metal tales, and mixing speed-laced power chords with memorable harmonies. Testament have stuck to their guns and are reaping the rewards of hard work. All this and mosh music too. ____________________________ HIGH TIMES May, 1991 - Steven Bush ____________________________




Souls Of Black (lyrics)



Beginning Of The End -------------------Music: Peterson Face In The Sky --------------Lyrics: Billy Music: Peterson, Skolnick Shadows glow from the full moonlight Hear clouds cry, it's so insane Souls hold on to the key of life See how it's bleeding from the pain Chorus: ------When will they open up their eyes Stop to face our demise It's live or die Who am I? Face in the Sky Walk with me, my friend to a darkened place Welcome down to the abyss Caught between two worlds with no advocate The legions' army Hold on to your fate Chorus Screams from the night seem to intensify as the air shifts silent through ghouls crowded in the clouds on a misty night guarding secrets man has brought to you Chorus



Falling Fast -----------Lyrics: Billy Music: Peterson, Clemente Locked in a darkened world Made to never last That's where the dreams you seek

are like stories from the past Sweet infant child's born Sweet mother of the womb Hope it is over soon Not much more I can take Help me lord I'm falling fast Bring me Back Nerves slip away from within your conscious mind Translucent hopes are now nothing but dismal lies You lived your life so down to the bitter end Better think it over now You life has just begun Help me lord I'm falling fast Bring me back From suicide Just show me life is how And not a bitter war The odds in favor now It's hard to live and learn Silence the sorrow and don't let it slip away Think of tomorrow as the future of today Help me lord I'm falling fast Bring me back from suicide I'm falling fast Locked in a darkened world Made to never last That's where the draems you seek are like storie's from the past Sweet infant child's born to the mother of the Womb Hope it is over soon not much more I can take Chorus 4. Souls of Black -------------Lyrics: Billy Music: Peterson, Skolnick, Clemente Can't you see

that in the world we live in political lies are just corporate decisions They'll take away all the hopes, not their promises They'll put an end to all this land of the living Chorus: ------Look at the lost souls They seem so black Look at the lost souls Souls of black The get control of the heart of a nation Their social bribes seem so graciously as time goes by 'Cause time as you can see will slowly die for you and me Chorus So put an end to this idolization Antagonizing so commonly Open your eyes 'Cause the lie's there so plain to see Life goes on There's no gaurantees Chorus They're bleeding so black 5. Absence Of Light ---------------Lyrics: Billy, Skolnick Music: Peterson, Billy Life, as we know, is full of gloom Oppress the massess We'll lead to our doom We want the right to live or die Can't take away What we feel inside Like empty shadows afflict our brains Envision our dreams just to ease the pain There's more to life

than to satisfy I ask myself for the reason why. Chorus: ------If it were my way I'd deliver us from this hell If it were my way. If ever there comes a day Renovations blown away. Is there no end to this endless war The fear of man is now what's in store We look at life as a memory Long live the dreams That they took from me Chorus 6. Love To Hate -----------Lyrics: Peterson, Clemente & Billy Music: Peterson, Skolnick Hail to the new leader now Ruler of this land, with plans that follow to demonstrate Fear the blackened band So horrid and deathly true Dishonest and powermad Unspoken, sealed fate Bursting so desolate Chorus -----His love to hate He'll murder souls like you and me But along the way He'll have you to dwell in his own hell Clear the streets See them marching while columns take a stand Time provoked, their mirrors of hatred with dark uncanny plans to take out and follow through Just following their orders with death rates and death's tolll

Those poor unfortunate souls Chorus Twisting and turning through the mazes in your head But in a time like this you're better off dead The time has come now Put up or shut down The feelings that you have were lost and never found Chorus 7. Malpractice ----------Lyrics: Skolnick, Billy Music: Skolnick, Peterson We all will go and stay sometime Soon to be a victim of a crime Loss of blood and death is near Take a number, can you wait right here Chorus: ------Check in - to the place Reduce you life into disgrace Isn't there some kind of better way When it's time to operate fatalistic figures hold your fate Just relax you'll feel no pain Hope they put you in the right domain Patients helpless to defy Negligence is why Chorus Within the laws they'll rip you off then write you off Malpractice! And in the end they'll let you in Please come again Malpractice! Suffer until you get well Bleak exsistence like a prison cell If you find your life is lost Dedicate the world to pay the cost

Patients helpless to defy Negligence is why Chorus Within the laws they'll rip you off then write you off Malpractice! And in the end they'll let you in Please come again Malpractice! 8. One Man's Fate -------------Lyrics: Billy Music: Peterson, clemente Time is nothing but life's decay Pitch your reverend path This is the path you paved What you will find is life's only way There's no looking back There must be a better way Lightning skies Prayers from an open grave A dead man's day Black skies fade to shadow grey The darkness is so deep Prayers for the light of day What you will find is life's only way There's no looking back back to a better way Lightning skies Prayers from an open grave A dead man's eyes Must be a dead man's day that leads to one man's fate There ain't no better way to die Fate, there's no compromise Hate leads to suicide Trapped in a crystal haze Hail to a dead man's day Time is but a passageway trying to believe your life was sanity

A matter of time is all that you need Life's not coming back, back to those better days Lightning skies Prayers from an open grave A dead man's eyes Must be a dead man's day 9. The Legacy ---------Lyrics: Skolnick, Billy, Peterson Music: Peterson, Clemente, Skolnick We're gonna take you back through the pages of the past Just another lonely boy I could laugh and play and live in any other way Then the devil took my soul The fortune and the fame I knew I was not the same and I know I'd never return Looking at the sky I knew I would never die And forever shining through Wish the sky would say that blue would turn to grey and I know I'd be there Chorus: ------Life was like a fantasy taken by reality Does anyone remember me Flashes of the sky I knew I was here to stay But no one stays the same Turn the pages back in time through the chapters in my mind Life's too short to leave behind It's too late now Chorus Flashes of the day I knew I was here to stay But no one knows my name


Seven Days Of May ----------------Lyrics: Skolnick, Billy Music: Peterson, Skolnick Put your life on the line To hesitate is a waste of time No giving in to repent unto the system of the government It's called the Peoples Republic here The propaganda so sincere Oh, what a joke and a blatant lie from criminals ranking high Chorus: ------Born a political prisoner Raised outside the law I'm gonna keep on fighting until I die for the cause Put an end to hipocracy Lead the way to Democracy No longer will we play the fool to brutalized military rule They started forty years ago We never could say yes or no Million souls made our voice We want the right to make a choice Chorus Freedom, freedom calling out from the pain Freedom, freedom calling seven days in May They tried to show a peaceful path then it turned into a blood bath In the Square they plan the game That's when the tanks of the army came. They called the Described their Dead souls like who only wanted Chorus Freedom, freedom calling out from the pain murders minimal victims as criminals you and me free society

Freedom, freedom calling seven days in May ----------------------------All melodies by Chuck Billy All arrangements by Testament All compositions (c) 1990 COTLOD Music (adm. by Zomba Enterprises Inc.) Zomba Enterprises Inc. (ASCAP) All Rights Reserved. Used without permission. ____________________________ Special Thanks to: ____________________________ Kilbourn Alannah and Vanessa at Kroozin' Music HIGH TIMES (c) MCMXCI -=*/> Buzzz Bros. <\*=################################################################### X-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-X Another file downloaded from: & the Temple of the Screaming Electron Rat Head Burn This Flag realitycheck Lies Unlimited Jeff Hunter Ratsnatcher Zardoz Poindexter Fortran Mick Freen NIRVANAnet(tm) 510-935-5845 510-524-3649 408-363-9766 415-567-7043 415-583-4102

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