Testament’s Chuck Billy guests on thrashy new Lamb of God song about No DAPL movement
Lamb of God's new self-titled album arrives June 19 via Epic (pushed back from May 8 due to you-know-what) and newest single "Routes" is a thrasy new song that features thrash legend Chuck Billy, frontman of Testament. It's also about a very powerful topic, the oppression of Native peoples in America, and Chuck Billy -- who is of Pomo Native American heritage -- was chosen to appear on the song because "was imperative for [Randy Blythe] to have a Native voice represented on the song." Randy explains:
I went to Standing Rock because I had heard reports of violence committed on the peaceful protestors there by both state law enforcement and private security contractors, and this violence was not reported in mainstream media for the most part. I went to bring supplies and support these people, who were trying to protect their water, and thereby protect everyone, as everything in the natural world is protected. I was there a week, made some great friends, and learned a lot. It was a very profound experience in my life, and I knew one day I would write a song about it.
My experience, although my own, was tempered and shaped by the hundreds of years of brutal oppression of Native peoples in our country. So, it was imperative for me to have a Native voice represented on the song, and Chuck Billy was happy to be that voice. At the end, there is a call and response section - Chuck calls and I respond. This is intentional. Musically, it is symbolic of my experience there. A native voice leads, bringing forth positive energy and calling to the people to unite, and I reply, providing support. That was my physical experience, and it is reflected in the song.
It was a great honor as a proud Pomo Native American to be asked by Lamb of God to do some guest vocals on this song. The No DAPL movement by the indigenous people of this country was a historic event. Being able to lend my voice to represent the Native American people, complementing Randy's storytelling and lyrics, is something really special to me. I’m glad this movement was put in a musical message, and I am extremely happy to have been a part of it.
Lamb of God's tour with another legendary thrash band, Megadeth, was recently postponed until 2021. Randy also recently teamed with thrash legends Charlie Benante (Anthrax, Stormtroopers of Death), Scott Ian (Anthrax, SOD), and Dan Lilker (Nuclear Assault, SOD) to record two Discharge covers in quarantine.
Testament's Alex Skolnick has also been taking part in Charlie Benante's quarantine video series. Chuck Billy and other Testament members tested positive for COVID-19 but fortunately they seem to be getting better. Chuck is also set to make an appearance on the Slay At Home livestream festival on Saturday (5/30).
Check out photos of Testament at Riot Fest 2019 and at Jones Beach in 2018: