It was huge news last year when it was announced that former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo was reuniting with the dudes in Testament more than 20 years after his guest spot on the band’s 1999 album The Gathering. He went on tour with the band and by all accounts, kicked some serious ass — as he’s wont to do, really.
But if you were hoping to hear some new Testament with Lombardo behind the kit or expected to see him kill it with the rest of the band live in 2023, you’re shit out of luck. While speaking with Blabbermouth, he revealed that his plans for the year just don’t include Testament at all.
“With Testament, we were having several scheduling conflicts. I couldn’t back out of them. I won’t be joining them on their upcoming tours for 2023. My focus is on [Mr.] Bungle, who I’ve recorded an album with back in 2019 and we did a live album. Empire State Bastard I recorded an album for them in 2020. That’s going to finally see the light of day later this year.”
Later on in the interview, he added that his commitments to Mr. Bungle, Empire State Bastard, and The Misfits means he’s unsure where he stands with Testament. Given his touring schedule with those other bands, it’s very likely that there’s not a lot of time to tour with a band that’s always on the road like Testament.
“Everything is starting to snowball with Mr. Bungle and Empire State Bastard, and the Misfits. I’ve been with the Misfits since 2016. Testament is a well-oiled machine. They’re always touring and releasing albums. To try to find that space or that time to release something… I don’t know.”
He then later elaborated on the scheduling conflicts, saying this was something the band was aware of by the end of last year.
“It’s wait-and-see. I can’t guarantee anything because of my commitments. I did fulfill my contractual commitment for 2022, which was quite extensive. We did one of the longest tours I have done. It was like seven weeks in Europe, which was great. I really needed to get out there and build my chops after the pandemic. That was a lifesaver. We’ll see. The relationship is good. The doors are open. The communication is there. I told them that I was seeing some clashes coming up. This was in the first week of January when I reached out to Eric [Peterson, guitar] and told him. This has been brewing for a while. Actually, I saw it in November/December of last year. I started seeing, ‘Oh no. This is going to happen. This is not going to happen.’ It’s very tricky.”
Testament has had Seven Spires drummer Chris Dovas fill in for Lombardo when he was unable to play on the first six dates of the band’s last summer/fall leg of “The Bay Strikes Back Tour” due to his commitments to play for the Misfits.
Testament has yet to comment on Lombardo’s status within the band. Once we hear back, we’ll update this story.
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