Alex Skolnick of Testament Interview — ”Creep Show’
It’s not exactly guitar whiz Alex Skolnick’s fault he won’t be joining Testament on their tour with Exodus and Megadeth. The multi-talented axe man was all set to play the American Carnage dates with Slayer and Megadeth, then Slayer bassist Tom Araya hurt his back and needed surgery, postponing the entire tour.
In scramble mode, Megadeth put together their own ‘Rust in Peace’ 20th Anniversary Tour and invited Testament and Exodus to open. Stoked by the offer, Testament announced they would play their 1987 debut album ‘The Legacy’ in its entirety on the tour, which will also feature Megadeth’s classic 1990 album ‘Rust in Peace’ in full.
The problem was, the tour was scheduled for after the time when the American Carnage shows were supposed to happen (those shows have been postponed until August), and Skolnick had already committed to touring those dates with his nu-jazz band, The Alex Skolnick Project opening for Rodrigo y Gabriella. As a result, ex-Megadeth guitarist Glenn Drover will be filling in for Skolnick on the tour. Then, when Skolnick is done with Rodrigo and Gabriella, Skolnick will return to work with Testament to write the follow-up to 2008’s ‘The Formation of Damnation.’ And after that, he’ll play with Testament, Megadeth and Slayer this summer on the rescheduled American Carnage Tour.
With all that Skolnick’s got going on, we decided to invite him to sit down and explain it all on ”Creep Show,’ and to provide his insight on this week’s news stories, including the surprise announcement that Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson would be returning to band following his tension-filled departure in 2002. Joining the talkative guitarist on this week’s podcast are Noisecreep editor Seth Werkheiser, Noisecreep head writer Amy Sciarretto, Revolver senior writer and Noisecreep freelancer Jon Wiederhorn, and Noisecreep news expert Chris Harris.
In addition to talking about the Megadeth developments, we discussed how Killswitch Engage vocalist Howard Jones had to vacate the band’s current tour for “personal reasons” and how All That Remains vocalist Phil Labonte has been filling in. We also talked about the lineup for this year’s New England Hardcore and Metal Fest, the departure of the Red Chord‘s drummer Brad Fickeisen, who was replaced by the band’s original drummer Michael Justian, The departure of Black Label Society drummer Craig Nunenmacher and the bizarre Pennsylvania bar stabbing that killed Dirty Looks bassist Gregory Pianka.
During our album discussion, the ”Creep Show’ panel gave props to Carnifex‘s deathcore hailstorm ‘Hell Chose Me.’ We also talked about Barn Burner‘s poorly named stoner metal debut ‘Bangers,’ Aeternam‘s exotic self-titled death metal debut, Chelsea Grin‘s extreme death metal offering ‘Desolation of Eden,’ Story of the Year’s hook-laden alt-rock album ‘The Constant’ and Wrath and Rapture‘s eponymous proggy power metal debut.
Check it out and come back next week.