Skip to main content

Testament’s Skolnick avoids creative rut

Guitarist Alex says having broad interests keeps him productive

Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick says he never finds himself in a creative rut as he can always find something to inspire him.

And he reveals taking an interest in a wide variety of subjects away from music helps spark his imagination.

Skolnick tells Music Radar: “I honestly don’t remember what it’s like to get in a rut. It’s always possible to find something inspiring to work on as long as you recognise that what inspires you may change over the years. 

“When I was younger, in order to be inspired by a live music recording, I required the energy and excitement of a huge rock concert. UFO’s Strangers In The Night, Deep Purple’s Made In Japan and The Jimi Hendrix Concerts were all favourites.

“Nowadays, I gain insight from talks, articles and podcasts by creative folk in other fields: writing, visual art, comedy, cooking, science and technology. Just find a topic that interests you and you’ll never walk away without feeling stimulated creatively and that always carries over into guitar. No Jedi mind tricks necessary.”

Skolnick is set to launch Planetary Coalition on November 10, an album he describes as a “global music and cultural project.” 

On the record he’s teamed up with more than two dozen artists from different musical backgrounds, including Cuban drummer Horacio ‘El Negro’ Hernandez and Mexican classical guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela – and Skolnick says it’s a good idea to take risks musically as it’s always a learning experience.

He continues: “Fruitful periods on guitar may come and go but I’ve always found that development as a player has been boosted by some form of professional incentive – a gig, a recording, a tour or any other obligation that requires preparation.

“There is nothing like taking the risk of putting yourself out there, even if you make mistakes.”

Testament continue to work on the follow-up to 2012’s Dark Roots Of Earth and will play Motorhead’s Motorboat cruise, which sets sail from Miami on September 22.

Get Involved

Trending News