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Alexander Nathan Skolnick (born September 29, 1968, born and raised in Berkeley, Californiamarker) is an American jazz and metal guitarist. He is a member of the thrash metal band Testament from its formation in San Franciscomarker in 1983 until his departure in 1992. He returned briefly to re-record some old material for the band's First Strike is Still Deadly release as well as the "Thrash of the Titans" all-star performance in 2001. He joined the band Savatage for the recording of Handful of Rain, as well as its follow-up live album and home video release Japan Live '94. He has also recorded and briefly toured with the Stu Hamm band, and played with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. In 2004, Skolnick made a guest appearance on Lamb of God's Ashes of the Wake album, recording a solo for the album's instrumental title track.

After leaving Savatage, Skolnick fronted several projects in the Bay Areamarker during the mid to late 1990s, such as Alex Skolnick and the Skol-tones, Exhibit-A and Skol-Patrol (a funk band exclusively dedicated to cop-show themes, both covered and original, featuring Michael Manring). He also recorded two albums with Attention Deficit, a 3-piece featuring Tim Alexander from Primus as well as Manring. Recently Skolnick relocated to New York Citymarker and began devoting all of his energies to jazz, enrolling in the jazz program at The New School. Most recently, he has been touring and recording with the Alex Skolnick Trio, a jazz group known for playing rousing bebop renditions of classic rock and heavy metal tunes.

In the spring of 2005, Skolnick and the rest of the classic Testament lineup reunited for a short European tour (10 Days of May Tour), with some American dates appended on. The tour was successful and a CD/DVD release was put together from the May 8, 2005 London show. The Formation of Damnation was the first studio album of all new material for Testament in nine years as well as the first to feature Skolnick on guitar since 1992's The Ritual, was released in 2008.In 2007, Skolnick contributed a solo for Egyptian Artist Nader Sadeks project " Faceless", which was composed by Steve Tucker (formerly of Morbid Angel) The song was only to be heard in an art gallery in New York. As of July 2009, according to Blabbermouth.net, Testament has begun recording their next studio album, which is due for release sometime in 2010.

Trivia

  • In October 2007, the Alex Skolnick Trio were support act to Rodrigo y Gabriela on the US East Coast.
  • He was a student of Joe Satriani in the early 1980s.
  • Raised in the Bay Area, he now considers Brooklyn, New Yorkmarker his home.
  • His parents Jerome and Arlene are both professors of sociology at New York Universitymarker and previously taught at UC Berkeleymarker.
  • He has an older brother, Michael (b. 1962).
  • Composed music for the USA Network's broadcast of the 2002 Westminster Dog Show (a big band jazz piece), and the MTV series "Makin' The Band."
  • Married and divorced at least once, according to his blog.
  • Has begun a regular writer of fiction in his spare time while touring, but nothing has been published.
  • Skolnick now usually plays Heritage Guitar electric and hollow-bodied models. In his early years with Testament he endorsed Ibanez guitars and mainly played the 540SLTD model.
  • He also briefly played guitar for Ozzy Osbourne's backing band in 1995.
  • Skolnick also tours with the East Coast set of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in the winter months alongside Chris Caffery.
  • Skolnick also played one of the solos of the song "Ashes of the wake" of Lamb of God with Chris Poland, formerly of Megadeth. In Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Skolnick would work with Al Pitrelli, also formerly of Megadeth.


References and footnotes

  1. http://www.jazz.com/encyclopedia/skolnick-alex-alexander-nathan
  2. http://www.ibanez.co.jp/anniversary/expansion.php?cat_id=199&now=8


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