Alex Skolnick: fretpoint interview

3. Testament are obviously an iconic thrash metal group. What was it like being
part of the Bay Area thrash metal scene?

Alex Skolnick: It was interesting. It was a bunch of misfits from all the different areas. The other guys in my band came from a little further away. I came from Berklee, university town. Had academic parents. However some of the other guys came from about 40 mins away in the suburbs and we'd play with bands like Death Angel and other groups that came from all over the area.

Death Angel came from South San Fransisco and others from Sacramento so there was this really interesting mix of people that found themselves together in the same scene. From the very beginning I really wanted to do something different. I really liked the high standards of guitar playing by the guys I listened to. Most of the thrash guys at the time however were listening to Motorhead and Venom and stuff like that which was great but it had garage style guitar playing and I refused to do that. I saw no reason why I couldn't include the musicianship of somebody like Randy Rhoads in thrash metal.

Fretpoint: Sure, and I think that really shines through with testaments material.

Thank you, it was just really different. I don't think I reinvented guitar playing or anything. Most of the guys I knew were trying to form bands like The Scorpians, or IronMaiden. If it was bands from South California then there was a trend towards glam rock. Some of these bands had great guitar players but with thrash it wasn't about the guitar solos and I was determined to change that. more