TESTAMENT guitarist Alex Skolnick was interviewed by Eddie Trunk on this past Friday's (April 4) edition of the "Friday Night Rocks" radio show on New York's Q104.3 FM. During the listener call-in portion of the program, Alex discussed his controversial "review" of METALLICA's "St. Anger" album which created a "firestorm" after it was posted on BLABBERMOUTH.NET shortly after the CD's release in June 2003.
Responding to a fan who told Skolnick on the air that he was looking forward to Alex's review of the next METALLICA album, the guitarist explained how he "got into a little bit of trouble" after his opinion of "St. Anger" was first posted online. "This was actually my introduction to a web site called Blabbermouth, which some of you may have heard of," he stated, before adding, "Look, I read it just like everybody else. [JUDAS PRIEST singer] Rob Halford, actually, described it in a recent interview as the 'TMZ of heavy metal.' Knock on some wood [chuckles], my press on there lately has been great."
He continued, "What happened was I answered a question on my web site 'What do you think of the new METALLICA album?' which at that time was the album 'St. Anger'. And I gave my honest opinion it was not a favorable one. I wrote a long opinion about it mentioning how I remember METALLICA was this band that went against the grain they were an anti-mainstream band. I remember [METALLICA drummer] Lars Ulrich saying that BON JOVI was everything wrong with the music business. They [METALLICA] had nothing in common with mainstream bands at that time, and here was years later, and they seemed to have a lot more in common with mainstream bands like LINKIN PARK and whatnot. And I'm not knocking those bands either. I just flat-out didn't like the record I didn't think it had anything of what the original METALLICA had.
"Well, a bunch of people I think it was mostly newer METALLICA fans just jumped all
"Well, first of all, this [Alex's opinion of 'St. Anger'] was [posted] on my web site it was tucked away in the bulletin board of AlexSkolnick.com; it's a nice, safe place. [Laughs] Well, it got posted on Blabbermouth with the headline, 'Former Testament Guitarist: New Metallica Is Everything Wrong With The Music Business.' So I started getting these e-mails, 'You've gotta check out this web site Blabbermouth you've caused a firestorm over there.' And there was hundreds of comments It was everything from 'Skolnick should run for President,' 'Skolnick's the only one with the guts to tell it like it is,' to 'Somebody shut this punk up,' 'He's just jealous, he wishes he was as successful as them.' And that's so not where I was coming from 'cause I'm a fan. I just didn't like the record.
"Everybody can be anonymous now that's the thing. Anybody can say anything they can pose as somebody else. The Internet has just opened up this huge can of worms. Obviously, it's been great in a lot of ways, but it creates situations like this.
"But as far as the next METALLICA record [is concerned] I hope it's great. Rick Rubin [METALLICA's current producer] is a hero of mine. Seriously, I think anybody that can go from producing JOHNNY CASH to the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS to PUBLIC ENEMY to SLAYER is brilliant. And if anybody can bring out the best in METALLICA, or any other band, I think it's him, and I really hope he does his stuff. My fingers are crossed."
To read the original BLABBERMOUTH.NET article (dated June 30, 2003) containing Skolnick's "review" of "St. Anger", go to this location. Alex's follow-up statement/clarification, which he sent to BLABBERMOUTH.NET on July 6, 2003, can be found here. (Note that some of the particularly colorful and over-the-top user comments may have been removed after the articles were originally published.)
A five-minute interview with Alex Skolnick conducted during this year's NAMM show (National Association of Music Merchants), which took place January 17-20 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, can be viewed below.