ALEX SKOLNICK - Alex Skolnick,
born in 1968, grew up in Berkeley, California. At age nine, a fascination with
the rock group Kiss led to a desire to learn guitar.
At age sixteen, Alex tried out for a local band called Legacy. Shortly after
graduating from high school, he found himself recording his first album with the
group, who by this time had changed their name to Testament. What followed were
five albums and countless tours with, among others, Megadeth, Slayer, Judas
Priest, and White Zombie. Alex received critical acclaim for his lead guitar
work, which had been inspired by heroes such as Eddie Van Halen and Randy
Rhoads, ranking high in many guitar magazine polls, often as ‘Best Thrash
Guitarist’ and ‘Most Underrated Guitarist.’
In addition to his metal accomplishments, Alex has made a mark that no one would
have predicted: as a jazz guitarist. In 1988, while working on the second
Testament album, nineteen year old Alex happened to capture one of Miles Davis
guitar driven electric bands on television. This inspired an intense study of
jazz, leading to, his eventual relocating to New York City, where he earned a
BfA from New School University’s jazz program (class of 2001).
It was at the New School where Alex Skolnick Trio was born. Their first
recording, “Goodbye To Romance:Standards For A New Generation” brought together
the worlds of metal and traditional jazz in an unprecedented blend. ‘GTR’
reached the top 30 on the US jazz radio charts, earned a full page article in
Billboard and received rave reviews from Downbeat, Jazziz and other magazines;
on-line retailer CDBaby listed GTR among it’s top sellers. What followed was a
recording contract with Magnatude Records and a sucessful follow up CD,
Transformation. Alex Skolnick Trio continues to tour at jazz and rock venues as
well as festivals, including the Rochester Intl. Jazz Festival and the Riverbend
Festival in Chatanooga.
Alex is also a featured member of several high profile rock/pop/theater
projects. Most notable of these is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, which performs
to sold out crowds across the U.S. at such venues as New York’s Madison Square
Garden. With TSO, Alex has regular television appearances including Good Morning
America and Live With Regis And Kelly. Alex is also featured in Jekyll & Hyde In
Concert, the first touring version of the hit Broadway show, and is a key
element in the new Jekyll soundtrack album on Koch records. Jekyll & Hyde
composer Frank Wildhorne writes in the liner notes ‘It all became clear when I
heard Alex’s incredible guitar playing. It is his sound, his sense of theater
and the passion that lives in his playing that was, for me, the musical voice I
had to have for these songs.’ Another hit composer who Alex has been working
with lately is Jim Steinman, who created the songs for Meatloaf’s classic album
‘Bat Out Of Hell.’ Jim’s latest project, the ‘Dream Engine’ is a group including
Alex and AST drummer Matt Zebroski, performing a collection of his new songs and
classics including ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ whose singer, Bonnie Tyler, is a
frequent guest at the Dream Engine’s live shows.
Past collaborations have including bassists Stu Hamm (Joe Satriani/Steve Vai),
Les Claypool (of Primus), Michael Manring (Wyndam Hill recording artist), singer
Ozzy Osbourne (the Prince of Darkness himself), rock band Savatage (Atlantic
recording artists) and more. Alex has composed pieces for the EA video game “Hot
Wheels Turbo Racing”, the USA Networks broadcast of the 2002 Westminster Dog
Show (a big band jazz piece), and the MTV series “Makin The Band.”
In 2005, Alex reunited with Testament (after 13 years) for a series of sold out
concerts in Europe and Japan, including festivals with groups including Korn,
Def Leppard and Guns’nRoses. These reunion shows were such a success that more
dates continue to follow and a new album could be in the works.
Alex is also a big fan of modern fiction.
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