Testament's Chuck Billy shocked the world earlier this month, revealing that he had tested positive for COVID-19, and he wasn't the only one. Testament were on tour in Europe with Exodus and Death Angel, and multiple musicians and road crew members caught coronavirus. Exodus' Gary Holt was among them, who is currently recovering at home, and still awaiting his test results to confirm he has coronavirus. Death Angel drummer George Carroll is still in the ICU of the hospital. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Billy went into detail on the symptoms and how he recovered.
Billy said as soon as the bands got home, some of them starting feeling ill. “Once we hit the ground, we just kept in contact with each other, and one by one, people just weren’t feeling good. And then talking amongst the other bands, other people weren’t feeling well, either. It was this common thing that was occurring in this 24-hour window amongst all of us that were traveling together. So we all just stayed in touch and had the suspicion that we all had the same body aches and the headaches. And we just felt really wiped out. For us, we could have mistaken it for jet lag. You know, 'Tour’s over, we’re tired, we traveled a long way.'”
Billy said it was hard to even get a test, until they were really not feeling well. He and his wife did a drive through test at the local hospital, and Billy describes the process.
"So we jumped in the car and didn’t even have to leave the car. We just rolled down the window. They swabbed your throat and your nose and you’re on your way." Billy said. "It’s painful. It’s, like, gagging in the throat, and then they stick that swab to touch the top of your skull. That’s what it feels like as they scrape the inner nostril. I swear, me and my wife both said, “After that scrape, my nose just feels itchy and irritated.” I just felt I was sneezing more at that point. It was awful [laughs]. It’s not fun."
Thankfully, Billy says he's feeling better, at about 85%.
Billy also revealed that they're pretty sure bassist Steve Di Giorgio has it, but his doctors won't test him, so he doesn't know for sure. "Steve Di Giorgio seemed to have all the symptoms. And when he went in, the doctor didn’t want to test him. But he has the same symptoms. So we assume that’s what it is. But he’s doing the same thing. They didn’t give him any medication. He’s just riding it out. I know he was down for days. I know the last couple of days, he’s been communicating and writing with us and must be feeling better as well now."
That's the big problem right now, tests are very scarce, and also take a few days, so it's hard to get a grasp on just how huge the issue is.
Billy issues a stern warning to fans reading his words to take this seriously. "Something like this is so mysterious. Right now, it takes everybody to be involved. Here in California, our governor is shutting down all the state parks and the beaches, because we’re having people flooding these places and ignoring the six-foot rule [for social distancing]. And the beaches are just packed. And everybody is just carrying on like it’s vacation time. It seems to be leaning towards more of a younger crowd. So I think with something like this, people need to take it a little more seriously."
Billy added "It hits so close, because being the ones on the road, watching people talk about it on the internet with conspiracies and don’t take it so seriously. Their attitudes are like, “What’s the big deal?” But we’re actually the ones living out there and being part of it. To be sick from it … people need to understand, it is a real thing. It’s happening and it’s happening really quick."
Read the full interview at Rolling Stone.
Even though the touring world may be affected, Testament will still release Titans of Creation this Friday, April 3 on Nuclear Blast. Order below.