Let’s see. It was probably ’88 or ’89 when I heard The New Order.
I had a friend in high school named Shawn Washabaugh. He was amazing. He would buy every single release from cock rock to thrash, jazz to experimental. And this was pre Internet and a lot of times, you’d go to Tower Records on the weekend and buy cassettes or CD’s. Shawn had it all, and he’d crank it in his car, and we’d love it. In South San Jose, we were the metalhead kids. Massive metal clique. Parties, friends, everything and everyone loved metal.
Back to Testament. Finally, a thrash band with a MAD lead guitarist! And no disrespect to the Exodus guys or the Forbidden guys (Twisted Into Form hadn’t come out yet). Usually you get a band with great rhythms and shit leads, or vice versa. What I really wanted was George Lynch in Anthrax. What I got was Alex Skolnick in Testament, and I was totally cool with that.
I love about 80% of the album. Eerie Inhabitants has that mad ass arpeggiated thing that is (for me), still mind blowing. The chorused clean tone was fucking mesmerising. Totally dug it. Sounded like bridge pick up straight a lovely Roland Jazz Chorus. I enjoyed the cleans as much as the dirties.
Sinister Sam used to play The New Order title track with our then drummer, Dave Shuster. I think he drums for Ed to Shred now.
I saw TNO tour at The Omni in Oakland. Primus were supporting. I was more interested in talking to two girls than watching the band. But I was smart enough to excuse myself for the mad bit in The New Order. Girls were pretty important to a 19 year old guy. Both are now Facebook friends whom I haven’t seen in 20 plus years.
I’ve spoken to Alex Skolnick at a Lääz Rockit show at The Stone in San Francisco 200 years ago. He wouldn’t remember me or my dumb ass questions if he wanted to. All the thrash metal royalty at the time were easily approachable at gigs, and pretty happy to chat.
Am I rambling? I feel like I am. Anyways, I’ll stop. I will say that out of the Testament catalog that TNO was my favourite album, and when Testament were out here for Soundwave, I had the privilege of chatting with Chuck Billy.