Testament have been undergoing a creative renaissance since 2008’s The Formation of Damnation. Some high profile touring and an even more successful album, Dark Roots of Earth, has put them at the top of the thrash game, possibly even moreso than their late ’80s/early ’90s heyday. You probably don’t want to talk to former bassist Greg Christian about that though. He already said he wasn’t “bros” with the band, and wasn’t exactly making that much money from them before he was dismissed at the beginning of the year. In a Facebook post today, we found out exactly how little he made – about $25,000 after taxes, and he backed it up with by showing his W-2 form. In an epic Facebook rant, he states that wasn’t that concerned with making money from the albums, but believes he was shafted for live performance:
I don’t own any part of the records or anything else and don’t really care. But to use my name and likeness, as an original member, along with a ‘recognizable personality’ (for lack of a better term) on stage, along with what I actually brought to the stage, pretty consistently (just look at YouTube) and refuse to give me anything other than the beyond ridiculous deal of NOTHING EVER of show money – though I went through all the shitty travel, and all the other ‘downsides’ to everything, and had my face on the ads, did all the meet n greets, signings, and everything else – is simply wrong. Everything else aside – I worked for and earned, at least some kind of piece of that. That’s undeniable. And I’d’ve been happy with a much smaller piece than I felt I was worth. But not zero.
– I believe it’s personal. Directed solely at me. And I think there’s a high likelihood it’s a direct result of words I spoke back in ’96 – though not very tactful, I wasn’t exactly wrong about. And to push a petty grudge like that to this point is something I just can’t understand. I would never do that to someone I hated, but to do that to someone you spent 20 years on the road with and helped you get where you are??? In my humble opinion (for whatever it’s worth) – that… that leaves me speechless – I just don’t understand it.
– FYI – for ALL the shows I played in 2013 and ALL the travel and ALL the time away from home and family – before taxes $37,775 – after taxes about $25k – with no PD’s and our travel schedule that’s actually more like about $21k – ya. that’s reality – and considering the $$$ Testament brought in for live performances in 2013 – cruel and unusual – Thanks guys. Love you too.
– I’ll post a pic of my W2 in the comments. Don’t want it to be the 1st thing people see, but if anyone has any doubts – there it is –
Making over $37,000 for touring isn’t anything to sneeze at, but the band probably made considerably more than that just for playing one show at a European festival. And it’s somewhat refreshing to see an artist in a popular metal band pull back the curtain to reveal just how much (or how little) he made on the road. Testament likely won’t have any comment on this, nor should they have to. Further in the comments thread, Christian says he would consider suing, but would need to find a lawyer to take it on pro bono, and that there are no guarantees that he would make anything anyway. While there are two sides to every story, it’s hard to refute a W-2, so it doesn’t look like Chuck Billy will be winning a “boss of the year” award anytime soon.