October 7, 2013
He has ESP custom models coming out, that is. Genre hopping guitarist Alex Skolinck has been added to the roster of ESP endorsers with his new Alex Skolnick EC and LTD AS-600 signature guitars, available in early 2014. Via Blabbermouth, the Testament guitarist says he was initially skeptical:
(I)n recent years, I’ve become a vintage guitar enthusiast, with standards that are tough for any manufacturers to live up to (and) what was being promised was a tall order: a new guitar bearing the same traditional quality I’d grown accustomed to, but with a fresh feel, a modern aesthetic, options for variation and greater durability. I’m thrilled to report that the project has succeeded on all counts.
Read more and take a look at the instrument at Blabbermouth.
February 2, 2013
Guitarist Alex Skolnick is a diverse talent who has created disparate music with Testament and his own trio. It’s no surprise, then, that his list of essential guitar albums, as described to Music Radar, is an eclectic assortment. In addition to landmark fare as Jeff Beck’s Blow by Blow and Van Halen’s debut, Skolnick points to Miles Davis’ We Want Miles (featuring Mike Stern on guitar), Question and Answer by Pat Metheny and Live Album by Col. Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit which stars guitarist Jimmy Herring. Skolnick on Live Album:
This is one of those records that, anytime I play it for somebody, it’ll make that person scratch his head and say, ‘Why have I not heard of this guy?’ It’s really that good. I was very impressed by Jimmy’s vocabulary on the guitar. His total approach to the instrument is vast.
Read the entire list at MR.
May 22, 2012
Alexander Nathan Skolnick
This ad for the Ibanez 540S Series ran in Guitar School, September 1992. At that time Alex Skolnick was still on his first go round with Testament, supporting The Ritual. Alex and his gear are encased in glass as relics of the past. Prophetic for ’92?
May 17, 2012
That’s certainly a lot of firepower for one ad. This is Ibanez saying, “have we shown you our ridiculous stable of endorsers?” and commemorating “The Ibanez Axe Attack,” a concert held in conjunction with Winter NAMM ’93. I find no evidence that anything similarly branded has been held since.
It’s rather absurd to heap Steve Vai under “et al.,” but he doesn’t seem to be pictured. Those that are listed and pictured: Paul Gilbert, Joe Satriani, Shawn Lane, Alex Skolnick, Andy Timmons, and Reb Beach, along with the apparent rhythm section of Gerald Veasley and Simon Phillips. Someone played an arpeggio.
Taken from Guitar for the Practicing Musician, May 1993.
November 15, 2011
Did you catch Guitar World’s “11 Essential Thrash Metal Albums”? Finally, a list that makes good sense. Aside from justifiably ubiquitous names like Megadeth, Slayer, and Metallica, GW also hits on bands from the second and third tiers of thrash popularity, including Possession, Kreator, and Testament, about whose The New Order they note:
On the group’s second record, Alex Skolnick is a teenage shredaholic happily splattering sweep arpeggios all over the band’s thrashy grooves …
Check out the complete list right here.
March 27, 2011
Guitarist Alex Skolnick is busy these days, as summarized in a recent interview with Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles. In the article he touches on changing record labels, a new Testament album and the new Alex Skolnick Trio album, Veritas:
I just wanted to make a statement about doing something that feels truthful. It’s a scary concept. People freak out about the truth. We all get in situations where we’re not being truthful, especially to ourselves. This was an album where I really felt like it felt right. This is what I want to do.
Read more and see the cover of Veritas at BW&BK.
November 17, 2010
As noted previously, Alex Skolnick is blogging for Guitar Player. His most recent monolith of an entry reveals the pageantry (and nonsense) surrounding the New York City unveiling of Gibon’s “revolutionary” Firebird X model. He was not impressed with Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz’s presentation:
Describing the Firebird X’s thousands of pick-up configurations, third party ‘apps,’ audio interface, wireless Bluetooth footswitch, robotic tuning pegs and more, he resembled a budget impersonation of Apple CEO Steve Jobs introducing the iPad.
Nor with the guitar’s on-stage demonstrator:
… a chubby, middle aged guy from the factory. With his short dark hair, moustache, and miniscule Firebird X resting upon his belly, he made the guitar look like a plastic toy, as if it were a game controller for Rock Band or Guitar Hero.
He does note that the unnamed guitarist was a good player, if not in line with the spirit of the spectacle.
Check out the entire titanic description of the debacle right here.
September 11, 2010
Guitar Player recently ran an interesting blog by Alex Skolnick. Though he’s been known as a guitar hero for decades, there was a lot more to the man’s playing than speed, even dating back to his thrash days in Testament. And that’s the point of his piece, “The Shred Epidemic,” wherein he concludes:
I’m not telling anyone to stop shredding. Shred away. But get your priorities straight about your playing. Making good music that affects people on a deeper level should be placed ahead of impressing your peers and fellow guitar players.
Check out Skolnick’s insightful shred observations right here.
March 22, 2010
It’s a blueprint for collectible guitars: A large company issues an instrument that is overlooked or not well received, then the next thing you know—poof, they’re gone. I Heart Guitar is featuring a cool article about a few such Ibanez models, including the B40PII, about which they say:
Heavily associated with Testament’s Alex Skolnick … this guitar answers the unasked question of what would happen if Jimi Hendrix took better care of himself and went on to play Ibanez shred axes.
See also the AT Series and the very pointy VBT700.