Legendary U.S. thrash bands Testament, Exodus and Death Angel were touring Europe together as the coronavirus outbreak was escalating, though like pretty much every other tour, that tour was cut short to help ensure the safety of the bands and their fans. Unfortunately, though, this past weekend Testament frontman Chuck Billy revealed that he, his, wife, and some crew members have all tested positive for coronavirus. The band writes:
As many of you already know, after returning from the BAY STRIKES BACK over Europe Tour last week, some of us in TESTAMENT have been feeling unwell and have made the decision along with our Doctors to be tested for the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. As of yesterday morning, Chuck and Tiffany Billy’s tests have come back positive as well as some crew members.
We wanted to reach out to everyone who has been supporting us and expressing concern to inform you that we are doing what’s right, and what’s safe, and have all been quarantining ourselves since our return home; since before we were even tested. We are of course concerned for our families, our friends, our crew, our fellow musicians, and our fans. We’ve reached out to support our fellow Bay Area Bands who are also being proactive in their own camps, staying quarantined and safe, and will speak on their individual situations if and when they are ready to.
At this moment we are currently focused on staying safe and quarantined, resting, getting ourselves back to health, and of course, sending well wishes, prayers, and positive energy towards our friends who are also sick. We also want to send well wishes to all of our fans and supporters in this time of crisis. We’re taking all the necessary steps to stay safe at home and we ask our friends and fans to do the same. Please take care of each other, and stay healthy so we can continue to thrash in the not so distant future!
UPDATE (3/26): Chuck Billy says he and Tiffany are recovering.
The news follows of a series of other related reveals that all tie back to that same tour. Exodus guitarist Gary Holt (who was also a member of Slayer from 2011 through their 2019 breakup) recently said he was "suffering from all the symptoms of Corona" and self-quarantining, and Holt also revealed that Death Angel drummer Will Carroll has been in the ICU, "WAY worse that anything I’m dealing with, by a long shot. Not even close. He is very ill." Holt also added, "There are several of us that have symptoms and are waiting for test results." Here are his statements in full:
So I’ve been locked away with @lisaholt777 , suffering from all the symptoms of Corona, without the beer! Mildly sick, better today after repeatedly waking up soaked in sweat last night. Self monitoring with my better half, and unfortunately, won’t be able to visit my grandkids until I’m symptom free for seven days. Ugh. Movie time, binge watching TV, and waiting this out!
And, on Will Carroll:
I remained quiet on this earlier, not wanting to say anything until I was certain it had become public knowledge, but Will Carroll, @bleedingpriest , is in need of some massive positive vibes. Me, I appreciate all the warm wishes I’ve gotten, but I’m sick, nothing more, Will is in the ICU. WAY worse that anything I’m dealing with, by a long shot. Not even close. He is very ill. There are several of us that have symptoms and are waiting for test results. Will needs some healing vibes from everyone. Here we are recreating the Scorpions pyramid with @bonsloth Get well Will
This is all sad, scary news and we're hoping for the best for all of these legendary musicians, their crew, and their families. Stay tuned for any further updates.
UPDATE: As Metal Injection points out, Exodus vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza discussed Gary, Will, and Chuck's situations on his YouTube show Zetro's Toxic Vault, and he also said that he has not been experiencing any symptoms. Here's more:
If I have [the disease], I don't have any symptoms of it," he said. "I don't feel bad at all. I am sleeping really well. I feel strong as an ox. I wish the gyms weren't closed; I'd be there every day, unfortunately.
The only one from our camp who seems to be sick is Gary, who showed signs of it. But his test won't come back for quite some time now — seven to 10 days, I believe. Why that is, I don't know. But him and his wife were tested. Now, I spoke to him this morning, and he feels better, although he still has a little bit of the symptoms sometimes, but he says he feels much better on that.
Obviously, everybody knows, yesterday, Chuck Billy and his wife Tiffany had went on the Internet and told everybody that they have contracted it as well, which means now more people, it looks like. And I believe there's two of their techs in their camp, that worked for them, have contracted it as well.
I don't even know if Will [has tested] positive. Will Carroll is very sick. He's in the ICU right now. I heard he's doing a lot better, but the news is very vague.
We're doing all right in the Exodus camp. Really, Gary's the only one that's sick as far as the techs. And the rest of the band, everybody's doing good. A couple of guys in Death Angel are not feeling too well but getting better. Chuck and his wife and a couple of their techs not feeling too well, but they're getting better. So just keep your fingers crossed.
UPDATE (3/26): Death Angel have now issued this statement:
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your overwhelming support, well wishes, and kind words regarding our friend and brother Will Carroll. The messages have reached us and all of his loved ones. We ask that you keep putting that wonderful energy out there for him. It will help all of us, and most importantly Will, to get through all of this.
We also ask that at this very sensitive time to also please respect his family’s space and privacy, as well as ours regarding this matter, as we all want the same result...Will’s full recovery as soon as possible.
Once again, we all truly appreciate the incredible support and love for him! Please keep it up!
We look forward to reuniting with all of you on the other side of this sensitive time that is new to all of us.
Please be safe and kind to each other!
We’re all in this together...And United we’ll live forever!!
Depending on how things go, Testament are also scheduled to tour North America with The Black Dahlia Murder and Municipal Waste.