AUGUST 17th 2018



“We’re playing near Portland?!” asks Testament guitarist Eric Peterson. “I’ll have to look at out schedule! I really didn’t know?” Peterson spoke with Metal Titans about the upcoming Dragonlord album ‘Dominion’ set for release on September 21st, 2018 via Spinefarm Records. ‘Dominion’ will be the 3rd in the band’s catalog and the 1st in 13 years. “Everything on this record came together; it’s an epic, cinematic record that is rooted in fantasy.”  Also Eric Peterson has also stepped into the world of comic books and graphic novels with a ‘black metal’ inspired superhero that he created ‘The Burner’ [currently not for sale, but coming soon]  which made its debut at 2018s Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA.

Ruben Mosqueda

Metal Titans: Dragonlord released ‘Rapture’ in 2001 and ‘Black Wings of Destiny’ in 2005, did you ever think you’d put together another Dragonlord album?

Eric Peterson: I always wanted to, I have always felt that ‘Black Wings’ was a great record. I have mixed feelings about the mix on ‘Rapture.’ This was the first Dragonlord record I recorded in The United States, the previous two I recorded in Sweden. When we did the previous two albums we could take a tape of the stuff we’d been working on and we could listen back to the stuff we’d be working on and jump into a rental car and play it back. On this album; we didn’t have that it was like we’d either be listening to stuff back on $70,000.00 speakers or some cheap system! [laughs] We could listen to it on just about anything because it handled everything including the low end.
I always felt a little bit unsatisfied, I guess? Even if I liked the previous records, I wanted to make a Dragonlord that I would completely happy with. I can certainly say that with ‘Dominion’ even though there were a lot of hurdles along the way.  I don’t think I was ever given a problem in the making of this record with some kind of gift.  There were a lot of opportunities in the making of this album that just made it better.

Metal Titans: This album has been in the works for a period of time, years. You worked on ‘Dominion’ in between Testament records and tours. You’d record a Testament record, tour, work on Dragonlord, then leave on another tour, record another Testament album, tour for the album, work on Dragonlord and tour some more. How hard was it to write and record for Dragonlord, leave it and come back to it a later time?

Eric Peterson: [burst into laughter] You just described it in a nutshell! [laughs] No, you really did! [laughs] It was exciting, there was anxiety, there were ups and there were downs in the making of ‘Dominion.’ In about 2015, I was home and I wasn’t doing anything and I really just forgot about it. There was a period of time when I was like “Dragon what?” [laughs] It was around that time that I started to think that maybe this wasn’t going to happen. There was one night when I woke up and I was overwhelmed with emotion. I felt like I was in mourning, like something had died.  It was at that time that I knew I needed to finish this, I think there were a couple of songs that were needed complete lyrics. I got to work and finished the record. It did take some time to wrap the record up because of the people I was working with and I didn’t feel like I wanted to take it somewhere else. I enjoy working with [producer] Juan Urteaga [Testament, Vicious Rumors]. The inspiration for the last song we wrote “The Discord Of Melkor” which was inspired by Lord Of The Rings. I was so excited to come up with lyrics like that on my own! I’m so proud of that song, it’s super crazy! 

Metal Titans: Was there ever a time when you felt you’d be losing perspective? You handled vocals, guitar and bass tracks on this album.

Eric Peterson: I ran into this stuff mostly when it pertained to lyrics, there were times where I’d question if one thing was better than the other, in the end I just wanted to be happy with this album. This was my project, this was my album--there was no compromise on this one. The only person I had to compromise with was myself.  The ‘other Erics’ were “like no!” [laughs] After I turned it into the label, I left it for a couple of months, then I went back and listened to it and I was amazed; because what I heard was exactly what I envisioned the album sounding like when I first started working on it.

Metal Titans: When did Alex Bent [Trivium] get involved with Dragonlord? I know he filled in for Gene Hoglan a while back.

Eric Peterson: Yeah, he did. At the time that I brought Alex on board to work on the album he was still in Battlecross. Alex is an underground drummer, he’s known for being a ‘blaster.’ What Alex does with Trivium is more of playing in the pocket, where with Dragonlord, what he does here is more where his head is at, in terms of his style of playing.  I would describe to Alex where the punches were, when the rolls come in. I had it mapped out based of how I envisioned it but I had hime interpret what I was describing to him. I didn’t tell him to do all the ‘knicky-knacky’ stuff! [laughs] When he came in he felt that he could get all the drum tracks wrapped up in 3-4 days. I was like “Man, that isn’t going to happen!” [laughs]

Metal Titans: On ‘Black Wings’ you featured a couple of covers “Black Funeral" [Mercyful Fate] an “Emerald" [Thin Lizzy], did you record covers during the sessions for this album? Any chance that they’ll surface at a later time?

Eric Peterson: There were no covers recorded for ‘Dominion.’ I loved recording those cover for ‘Black Wings.’ They were definitely fun. Who doesn’t like Mercyful Fate and Thin Lizzy?! We did a bonus track for the Japanese release, it’s an original track it’s called “Cymoril.” It’s like harpsichord with bass and guitar. It’s like being inside of a painting from the 17th Century! [laughs] It’s got that vibe of like people standing around in a room with candles, fanning themselves! [laughs] You’ve got to hear it! [laughs] As like with everything, eventually it will make its way onto the internet, I would imagine! [laughs] There another one that is titled “Immortal Beloved” but it’s more ballady than “Love Of The Damned.”  I couldn’t find the right vocal pattern for that, I recorded some vocals for that but when I went back to listen to was a ‘hot mess!’ [laughs]I pulled that. It’s one of those songs that is so good that it just needed to be redone correctly. It has some great parts to it but in the end it just wasn’t arranged right. I’ll revisit that song again at some point and get it right.

I wasn’t feeling that covers would be a great fit for this one, I wanted all original material. I wanted to keep the album at about 8 songs, the first few songs clock in around 4 minutes then the songs start getting longer as you get deeper into the record. There are songs that end the record that are 6,7, 8 minutes long. We played around with the sequencing of the record a bit and this just seemed like the best way to present it.
Metal Titans: In terms of promotion, will there be any live appearances for Dragonlord?

Eric: Peterson: The live promotion for Dragonlord, remains to be seen. I’d love to do a series of shows. Right now, I’m promoting Dragonlord with several interviews a day and I’m also promoting ‘The Burner’ an adult themed comic about a Black Metal superhero.  I really wanted to get the word out about ‘Dominion’ and ‘The Burner.’ I would imagine if there’s a ‘gig’ it would be in late fall and I would have to assemble a band. I already have people in mind and I will reveal it at a later time. That’s going to be...right now I just have to get through this tour! [laughs]

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