On rejoining TESTAMENT:
"I got a phone call from Chuck [Billy, TESTAMENT frontman]'s wife Tiffany — I'm really good friends with Chuck and Tiffany — and she asked me, 'Where are you and what are you doing?', and I was like, 'I'm not doing anything'. I wasn't in EXODUS, I'd just left the band and was like, 'Why? What's going on?' Evidentially, Nick Barker wasn't allowed in the U.S. because of some visa issues and they had two weeks worth of shows to play and they had no drummer and they didn't want to cancel. I think that when we got off the road the band was going to jump right into pre-production to finish the record and that's when we heard that Nick was having trouble getting into the country and probably wasn't going to be able to. In a bittersweet way I ended up doing the record and in a strange way it makes sense, because we all grew up in the same scene.
"I grew up watching TESTAMENT in clubs, right before FORBIDDEN got signed, and it really feels like the real thing all the way down to how the songs are written now. This line-up for me has more of a feel of a family than any of the other line-ups did."
On Bay Area thrash:
"Thrash metal is a West Coast thing, not that nobody else can do it but there's something special in the Bay Area sound, we had a scene going on, we had VIO-LENCE, DEATH ANGEL, FORBIDDEN, TESTAMENT, METALLICA, EXODUS — not to mention a ton of other bands. Literally five or six nights a week I could go to a club in the Bay Area with Tegio, the old bass player for FORBIDDEN, and there would always be a show. Sundays, no shows, but Monday through Saturday always a show."
"One of the things I've always loved about being in a band is that you get to see great music for free and you get to drink beer for free, that's cool. And I love to watch other musicians. When you go on tour you get to see some fantastic drummers play like Joey Jordison and Tomas from MESHUGGAH and then you go home and practice and go, 'Well, I suck,' so you have to practice, you have to practice very hard and you take that energy into the writing process.
On the FORBIDDEN reunion:
"Everything happened at the same time, we got together and met with FORBIDDEN and said, 'Yeah, we're gonna do this', and right that same week TESTAMENT had called me and I said, 'Hey guys, TESTAMENT have called me, we're writing songs and this is what to expect,' and after that TESTAMENT asked me to join and it's impossible to be in two places at one time. So Craig [Locicero, guitar] thought of Gene Hoglan [DEATH ANGEL, DEATH, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD] and they called up Gene, I mean c'mon, it's Gene Hoglan, it's gonna be fine, it's gonna a great reunion. I've been in a couple of bands in my life — one or two! — and I've seen SLAYER with Dave Lombardo, I've seen SLAYER with Jon Dette, I've played in SLAYER, I been out with them and I've watched them play with someone else , it's not weird for me anymore. It doesn't matter who's in the band, I'm a fan of music and if I'm there, I'm there to enjoy the music. My only concern with FORBIDDEN was who's going to play drums for them as they were, and when I heard it was Gene — it's going to be a great live show for everybody."
On moving between bands:
"Every band that I'm in, I never think, 'Well, I may not be here'. I never approach coming into a band from the standpoint of 'it's gonna end'. When I was in SLAYER I jumped into it heart and soul, when I was in EXODUS I jumped into it heart and soul because that's the only way to give 100 per cent. Let's face it, I wasn't there for money, I was there for the music and every time I'm in a band I treat it as if it were my own band because that's the only way I'm gonna give the best I got."
On his discography:
"One of the last records I did was SYSTEMATIC and that's not my favourite, that's right at the bottom of the list. I liked the punk record I did with SLAYER, 'Undisputed Attitude', that was a fun record because I didn't grow up a punk kid and that was my education into punk. My favourite part of that record was 'Gemini', the last song on that record because that was probably the slowest SLAYER song I ever played on so it gave me a chance to stretch out and play some big long fills.
"I'd have to say my second favourite is actually 'Shovel Headed Kill Machine' with EXODUS because Gary is one of the most brutal guitar players, I think, in my opinion, ever, he's very underrated and more people need to pay attention to how that guy plays guitar. When I first came in to record that record, I had two weeks to learn that record and record it, which is also one of my favourite things about it, the first rehearsal I started playing with Gary I was like, 'Holy cr*p, this guy's got to be the best rhythm guitar player I've ever played with!' It's brutal, when they asked me to join I asked them to send me some songs and Gary send me a demo. I was talking to him on the phone and he said, 'I was thinking of throwing these songs out, I think I like one of them,' and I was like 'Okay, cool' and I didn't ask him which one. I listened to it on the way home and I parked in front of my house and listened to it again and was like, 'Holy f*ck, this is good shit.' I called Gary on the phone and was like, 'Gary, just curious, which one of these songs did you like and which ones were you thinking of throwing out?' and he was like, 'well you know,' and I was thinking about this one song that was my least favourite and it turned out to be 'I Am Abomination' and I was like, 'Dude, you're crazy.'"
For more information, visit www.terrorizer.com.