Alex Skolnick on

January 1, 2005

“A lot of metal fans still ask me why I left Testament,” says former speed metalist Alex Skolnick, “and the main reason was that I felt limited playing only heavy metal.

I wanted to be a versatile, all-around musician. For example, I was recently asked to do Jekyll and Hyde—a concert version of the Broadway musical—and that call never would have come my way if I was just a metal guitarist. And what if I ever wanted to play with a famous pop artist? I was also in the throes of a growing interest in jazz, which put me in touch with why I got into music in the first place. Suddenly, it was about art. I found I wasn’t worried about pop trends, or the influence of image and MTV. Now I just focus on the music. Before, I was frustrated because I had all these musical things to say, but didn’t feel like I was able to say them. But now I can say, ‘This is really where I’m coming from as a musician.’”

““Part of what I brought to Testament was an interest in other music. Every solo I played was affected by the fact that I was interested in Django Reinhardt and Miles Davis.””

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