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Interview: Testament's Alex Skolnick on Practicing, Gear and Taking Lessons from Joe Satriani

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.

Interview: Alex Skolnick Discusses Playing with Ozzy and His Journey As a Crossover Jazz Guitarist

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.

Present/Former Members of Metallica, Lita Ford, Holy Grail Added to NAMM Metal Jam 2012 Lineup

Some new guests have been added to the lineup of NAMM Metal Jam 2012, which takes place tomorrow night, January 18, at Chain Reaction in Anaheim, less than a mile away from the Anaheim Convention Center, which will be hosting the Winter NAMM show this Thursday through Sunday.

Interview: Tommy Emmanuel Discusses Influences and His New Album, 'Little By Little'

After flying under the mainstream radar for years, Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel is enjoying the recognition his millions of YouTube views are bringing him. His strategy for success is simple: Tour relentlessly, and be so damn good that they can’t ignore you. And it's working.

Interview: Leslie West Discusses Tone, Offers Advice, Answers Readers' Questions

The first thing would be, tune up. I hear a lot of guys who can shred and play fast, but they are out of tune. And it's hard for me to listen to someone that sounds out of tune. That is so important, and you know I can tell in two seconds. It's so important. And I wish I could tune my guitars. I have somebody who tunes my guitars for me. I'm not really good at doing that, but I can tell when they're not. If you practice, you know, I don't really play fast. It's like guitar: You don't have to play fast.

Interview: Michael Angelo Batio Discusses Tone, Gear and His 'Speed Kills' DVD

Here's the second part of my recent interview with shredder Michael Angelo Batio. To see where we left off, check out part 1 right here.

Interview, Part 2: Leslie West Discusses His New Album, 'Unusual Suspects'

Here's part 2 of my recent interview with Leslie West. When we left off, Leslie was discussing his leg-amputation surgery -- and his wife. "They put me on Propofol, believe it or not, for two days, and she wanted them to wake me up so she could tell me, 'Listen, this is what's going to happen.' " West said. "She didn't want me to all a sudden one day say, “You cut my leg off." I made a joke with her. I said, you know honey, I meant to say, "Pass the salt” and it came out, “You evil bitch, you cut my leg off” (laughs).

Interview: Michael Angelo Batio Discusses 'Shock 'Em Dead,' the Joys of Touring and His Upcoming Album

I recently interviewed Michael Angelo Batio, who discussed touring, meeting his guitar heroes and recording his upcoming album, which will be out in 2012. Here's part one of our three-part conversation.

Interview, Part 1: Leslie West Discusses His New Album, 'Unusual Suspects'

Recently it was my great honor to sit down with rock legend -- and one of my all-time favorite players -- Leslie West to talk about his new record, Unusual Suspects. The album features Leslie's classic searing and smooth guitar tone, as well as guest performances by music heavyweights like Slash, Zakk Wylde, Joe Bonamassa, Steve Lukather, Kenny Aronoff and Billy Gibbons. Leslie had me fascinated and laughing my ass off.

Interview and Video: Guitarist Florent Atem Discusses His Slide Picking Technique

For this week's column, I wanted to give some attention to a buddy of mine who is a very promising young guitarist. His name is Florent Atem from Tahiti. He has a very cool technique that he created called slide picking that he will explain in this interview.