Former TESTAMENT Bassist Says He Only Made $38K For A Year's Worth of Performances
Former Testament bassist Greg Christian has been stirring the pot since his departure from the thrash titans. First, he said the band wasn't really friendly with each other, that he's poor and famous and revealed that the final straw for him leaving was frontman Chuck Billy upgrading his European flight seat to first class, with the upgrade costing more than he made on the entire tour.
Naturally, some Testament fans are calling into question the validity of his claims, so Christian decided to post one final rant to prove his case once and for all:
"I know last week I said I'd talk about a band meeting that happened in São Paulo.
"I don't care anymore. I'm done airing the ridiculous, and (believe it or not lol) I'm saying my final piece here.
"I could go on for as many years as I was back in Testament with stories of being slighted, lies, and greed, but my only real point or complaint is about live-performance money.
"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-and-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.
"For your information, for ALL the shows I played in 2013 and ALL the travel and ALL the time away from home and family, [I earned] before taxes $37,775 [and] after taxes about $25,000. With no PD's [per diems] and our travel schedule, that's actually more like about $21,000. That's reality, and considering the $$$ TESTAMENT brought in for live performances in 2013, [it was] cruel and unusual.
"Thanks, guys. Love you too.
"[I have posted] a pic of my W2 [see below]. [I] don't want it to be the first thing people see, but if anyone has any doubts, there it is.
"Anyway… I know I can be a long-winded fuck, but I finally said my piece…
"This signals an end to my three weeks of throw-up Thursdays.
"I don't know how anyone else even reads this shit. Makes me sick, but I had to let it out, and now that I have this summarized, it may be time to see what an attorney thinks… I dunno??? But I'm not holding my breath lol.
"Anyway… on to new music…"
Here is the accompanying photo:
Look, $38,000 dollars is not chump change, but at the same time, it's the equivalent of an entry-level salary at an office position. This was certainly not entry-level work. And, as he mentions, after taxes and having to pay his own travel expenses, $21,000 for a year's worth of work in one of the top metal bands in the world does seem like it's not at all luxurious. It's a very similar complaint to that of Dave Lombardo, who revealed his earnings with Slayer earlier this year.