Testament Embark On 'Damnation Vacation'
Testament Embark On 'Damnation Vacation'

After unleashing its first album of new material in nine years -- 2008's "The Formation of Damnation" -- Testament guitarist Eric Peterson says the heavy metal group plans to get its next album out significantly quicker.

"We're definitely not going to take as long," Peterson tells Billboard.com, adding that the band already has "a good four, five musical ideas that are pretty kickin'.

"We'll probably start writing a new record when we get back from Japan in late September. We'll probably start looking into recording or at least working on new stuff (in) October, November, December and then see where we're at. If we're ready, we'll start recording in January-February for, like, a June release."

Testament has just started its Damnation Vacation headlining tour of North America, and Peterson says the group tends to not be particularly prolific on the road.

"I don't think we could sit down and write a song. There's too much going on in the day," he explains. "Individually we may come up with ideas, like a cool riff, and remember it or tape it or something an then make a library of stuff we'll bring out once we're all together."

Damnation Vacation, meanwhile, is likely to be a particularly taxing trek for Peterson and company -- the "classic" Testament lineup of Peterson, fellow guitarist Alex Skolnick, singer Chuck Billy, bassist Greg Christian and drummer Paul Bostaph. This time out the group used on online fan poll to let fans choose from three prospective sets -- two that feature the entirety of Testament's first two albums, "The Legacy" (1987) and "The New Order" (1988), and a third option that Peterson describes as "a brutal set...just a lot of heavier, crazy songs."

"We're pretty excited about it," he says. "It gives the fans something special. If you're a band that's lucky enough to have a 'classic' kind of album, it's fun to play the whole thing and get into stuff you haven't played in years -- or maybe never played at all. We're all better musicians now, so the stuff just sounds that much better."