Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick has been using his downtime of late to show his diversity in playing online. After recently joining several other musicians to cover Queen and Rush, Skolnick goes solo in accepting a challenge to take on a track from a less obvious choice, pop star Dua Lipa.

"Two of my favorite people and artists on this planet - Rodrigo y Gabriela - recently challenged me along with a few others, to perform this song and put an original spin on it. It’s been great to see the creativity of folks who’ve stepped so far. Here is my take. This was fun yes, but indeed a challenge," explained Skolnick.

He then offered some disclaimers about his take. "The original is an uptempo mainstream pop mega-hit that many would be dancing to in nightclubs at this very moment were they not stuck sat home," says Skolnick. "I went more for ambient/moody, which seems to fit the emotion being expressed in the lyrics, along with slower tempo (a bit inspired by Pink Floyd). Not just anybody could get me to do this, but this is RyG we’re talking about (everyone else, don't even think about it)."

He added, "The melody is quite unique and contagious and even though I’m not listening to much dance pop these days I can totally see why they chose this tune. There are a few parts I could’ve spent weeks on (and can think of a few friends who’d play them better) but in the interest of expedience, I’m abandoning some of my usual perfectionism. I’ve been inspired by Brian May‘s recent posts where he proudly shares mistakes (and am still over the moon that the man himself raved about and shared the recent #BrianMaychallenge I participated in)."

Speaking about his approach, Skolnick says, "I went full on one man jam band after the melody ends in minute two. Feel free to skip past if not interested in hearing many notes (probably too many). I admit I got a little carried away. Bottom line: does it work? I think so. Hey, you do the best w[ith] what y’a got. And it ain’t called a 'challenge' for nothing!"

Skolnick has been keeping busy during the coronavirus enforced break. He recently joined a number of fellow musicians in completing a Brian May challenge video, taking on Queen's "Hammer to Fall." He also joined Anthrax's Charlie Benante and Suicidal Tendencies' Ra Diaz on a social distanced cover of Rush's "YYZ." This comes as Testament also recently released their latest album, Titans of Creation.

The guitarist has shown his appreciation for music outside of the metal spectrum, praising Billie Eilish earlier this year and even suggesting he'd be open to a possible collaboration.

Have a listen to Alex Skolnick's take on "Don't Start Now," followed by the Dua Lipa original.

Alex Skolnick, "Don't Start Now" (Dua Lipa Guitar Cover)

Dua Lipa, "Don't Start Now"

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