It was scorching all around. Hundreds of guitarists gathered in Union Square in New York City last week for Mass Appeal Guitars. This event, part of MakeMusic NY day, was a mass play-along that many braved despite the brutally blistering weather. And it was probably one of the most fun guitar-related events I’ve ever been a part of. Such guitar camaraderie!
Thrash titans Testament have just announced a July 31 release date for their upcoming album, Dark Roots of Earth. The album will come in three configurations — CD, CD/DVD and vinyl — with the latter two including covers of Queen's "Dragon Attack," Scorpions' "Animal Magnetism" and Iron Maiden's "Powerslave."
Here's part two of my recent interview with guitarist Alex Skolnick of Testament and the Alex Skolnick Trio. To read part one, which focused on Skolnick's unique journey as a jazz player, head here. When we left off, Skolnick was answering questions from readers about a variety of topics.
While there is still no firm release date for Testament's forthcoming new album, The Dark Roots of Earth, vocalist Chuck Billy revealed in a new interview with Decibel that recording for the album has been finished, and it's now on to the mixing stages.
Alex Skolnick is one busy man. He has been touring relentlessly, promoting his latest Alex Skolnick Jazz Trio album, Veritas, and co-headlining a tour with Anthrax and Death Angel. He even hosted a guitar camp, the Winter Guitar Retreat, with Megadeth's Chris Broderick over the holidays. On January 20 at the 2012 Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, California, Skolnick and his band, Testament, headlined the Dean Guitars NAMM Jam.
What do you do when metal just doesn’t work out? Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela answered that question by moving to Europe and playing intricately fingered acoustic versions of their metal favorites. Gabriela’s unique quasi-flamenco hand tapping and speed-blurred strumming technique fill in like a one-woman rhythm section. With Rodrigo’s lead stylings dancing on top, their performance is spellbinding.
In a recent interview with The Gauntlet, Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick took some time to reflect on taking lessons from guitar great Joe Satriani, including seeking Joe's advice on joining a metal band. An excerpt follows:
With their new album, The Dark Roots of Earth scheduled for a February 2012 release, Testament - with original members Alex Skolnick and Greg Christian back in the fold - are well on their way to reclaiming the Bay Area thrash dominance they held in the late eighties and early nineties.
Scratch that new Les Paul off your Christmas wish list and add this: Testament's Alex Skolnick and Megadeth's Chris Broderick have just announced the first annual Skolnick & Broderick’s Winter Guitar Retreat, which is set to take place at Full Moon Resort in New York’s Catskill Mountains from December 26-30.