TESTAMENT’s Alex Skolnick Dicusses ALEX SKOLNICK TRIO in Interview
TESTAMENT guitarist and ALEX SKOLNICK TRIO mainman Alex Skolnick recently chatted with MusicRadar.com. Check out some of their conversation below.
MusicRadar.com: On past albums by the TRIO, you’ve done jazz versions of hard rock and metal tunes. What have you discovered about the songs when you change them so radically?
Alex: “That’s hard to say. I try to take songs that most fans know. You know there’s KISS fans and then there’s insane KISS fans [laughs], and by that I mean people who will stick with the band no matter what — the kinds of fans who think that ‘Crazy Nights’ is as good as anything the group ever did. I’m not one of those guys. But, of course, everybody agrees that ‘Detroit Rock City’ is a great song. So in taking these well-known songs, I’ve discovered that they have one thing in common: they all have fantastic vocal melodies. A lot of the jazz repertoire comes from the popular music from the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s, and that includes show tunes. All of those songs have great vocal melodies. Same thing with classic hard rock and metal tunes. I just change certain time elements of the riff and the main melodies and hooks.”
MusicRadar.com: You do a very cool version of “Fade To Black” on the new album. Have you played it for any of the guys in METALLICA?
Alex: “No, I haven’t. But they’re very aware of what we’re doing. Kirk‘s [Hammett] said some very nice things in the past about our version of ‘Detroit Rock City’. [laughs] However, I did sort of mention ‘Fade To Black’ to them: ‘We’re doing something kind of special on the new record. Hope you like it.’ I don’t think they’ve heard it yet; otherwise, I probably would have gotten some sort of word.”
MusicRadar.com: Shifting to TESTAMENT, I understand the band is in the beginning stages of a new album.
Alex: “We’re writing and demoing. I’ve made several trips to the Bay Area, where I’ll work with the guys very intensely. Then I’ll work on some things here in New York on my own. I even had Matt from the TRIO come by and work on the metal ideas, some of which might work for TESTAMENT.”
MusicRadar.com: So now you’re jumping back and forth between the TRIO and TESTAMENT.
Alex: “Yeah. And I’ve found a very happy medium with being in both. I don’t have as much input in TESTAMENT as I might like, but that’s part of being in a band as opposed to leading a band. But in the TRIO, I call the shots. The other guys will let me know if they don’t like something and I have to consider it, but ultimately, it’s my deal, and I need to have a group that I can call mine.”
Read the entire interview from MusicRadar.com.
A six-minute preview video for the ALEX SKOLNICK TRIO‘s fourth album, “Veritas”, can be viewed below.