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Chuck Billy recalls ego clashes and backstage dust-ups on the 1990 Clash Of The Titans tour

Chuck Billy
(Image credit: Press)

Testament frontman Chuck Billy and Slayer guitarist Kerry King have opened up about the tensions on the Clash Of The Titans tour.

The epic package tour was a co-headliner by Slayer and Megadeth that kicked off in September 1990 and ran until July 1991. Over the tour’s run, Anthrax, Alice In Chains, Suicidal Tendencies and Testament all joined the bill. 

Speaking in the new issue of Metal Hammer magazine, Chuck Billy remembers clashes behind the scenes, with Dave Mustaine and Dave Ellefson both on the wagon after battling addictions. 

“A couple years before, we’d toured with Megadeth and Dave [Mustaine] was smoking, drinking and everything, which meant the guy we toured with a couple years later was a completely different person, telling us not to smoke in the building!” Chuck remembers. “We were young, like, ‘That’s your problem not ours’, but it must’ve been tough being on their own. We were too immature to realise what was at stake.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Slayer’s Kerry King also remembers that it was tense at times: “Mustaine and I were on the rocks at that point, but we made it work. It’s funny – when we did The Big 4 shows together later he took me aside and said, ‘You know, you and me are the only guys who have played in two of the Big 4!’ But back around Clash we were all peaking, but we also had a chip on our shoulders about proving ourselves and that made every show special for fans.”

“There was definitely some butting of heads,” Chuck says, “between Kerry and Dave Mustaine, myself and Dave Mustaine... Dave Mustaine and Dave Mustaine... ha ha! In the end we all worked through it.”

You can read more on the Clash Of The Titans tour in the new issue of Metal Hammer magazine, which is onsale now