Watch Anthrax, Testament and Suicidal Tendencies members play Rush’s Freewill in epic quarantine jam

We recently reported on an all-star quarantine video jam featuring Brian May, Alex Skolnick, Stu Hamm and others taking on Queen’s Hammer to Fall.

Now Skolnick has joined up with a new crew consisting of Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante, Suicidal Tendencies bassist Roberto "Ra" Diaz and Crobot vocalist Brandon Yeagley to take on Rush’s classic Freewill, with Skolnick handling the impressive Alex Lifeson electric guitar solo with ease.

This is not the first Rush song Benante, Diaz and Skolnick have covered while quarantined - the three also previously tackled YYZ and La Villa Strangiato.

Regarding their latest clip, Benante wrote in a message: “Freewill is about thinking for yourself, accepting difficult truths and avoiding superstition, magical thinking and herd mentality (most pertinent during these times).

“We now have a Rush trilogy. When we ‘made a choice’ (as the song says) to take on this tune, we had a new challenge on our hands: Our previous two (YYZ and  La Villa Strangiato) are both instrumental and doing this one would require a vocalist who is up to the task (sadly that excludes the three of us). Fortunately, we know just the guy. On vocals, we proudly present Brandon Yeagley.

"In addition to Neil Peart (the great Rush drummer and composer of these lyrics, whom we lost in January), this song is dedicated to John Horton Conway, genius mathematician who recently left us due to Covid-19, whose influence extended beyond mathematical circles, including artists (such as musician/producer Brian Eno), software developers, game makers etc. and whose achievements include a personal favorite entitled Free Will Theorem.”

As for what song the makeshift group might tackle next, may we use this space as an opportunity to put in a request for 2112?

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.