Back in January, we reported that longtime Testament bassist Greg Christian was leaving the band. Christian, who was an original member of the group, opened up about his departure on his Facebook account, detailing discrepancies in payment and treatment.
“The last straw [was as follows]. [I was] sitting at the bar in the Seoul/Incheon airport [in South Korea], with a couple of the entourage, and Chuck [Billy] walks up and casually says he just spent three grand, cash, on a first-class upgrade. [He] said he thought it was worth it to be more rested for the first Euro show, in a couple days. Then, of course, Eric [Peterson] gets up and walks over to the ticket counter (gotta keep up with the Jones’s or the Kardashians or whoever lol). [Here’s some] perspective. As my employer, in a business I helped start and put (at that time) just over 20 years into — 12 then 8 — and helped build from nothing the first time and helped resurrect from almost nothing the second time, this $3K for one first-class upgrade stuck in my mind, and when I got paid a couple weeks later, I was just thoroughly disgusted and done with Testament. ‘My employer’ thinks that his ass being in a more comfortable seat for one ten-hour flight is worth more than I was worth for five festival performances (on two continents — neither this one), a half dozen [expletive] flights plus a week and a half away from home and my family.
“I did this as a job,” he continued. “I don’t make anything off anything else, so it’s not a situation where I get anything off the back end. In other words, promoting the band only helped my employers — not me. I made $350 a day for show days, $175 a day for travel days / days off since 2005 — with not a penny more and no PD’s [per diem] so I had to spend about $300 out of pocket to eat in hotels and airports — or starve. I don’t know actual numbers — no one ever told me — but I heard rumors the band made $100K just for the one Korean show and watched both Chuck and Eric spend $$$ like it was true (of that I got about $700). That’s disgusting.”
Christian played with Testament from its creation until 1996, and then from 2004 when the original members reunited. After he left in January, the band recruited fretless bassist Steve DiGiorgio to return to the fold. The band will be starting a European tour starting later this month and runs through August.