TESTAMENT guitarist Alex Skolnick has issued the following update:"Just back from a whirlwind of shows, starting with ALEX SKOLNICK TRIO on the East Coast (touring with new projects by Dave Ellefson [ex-MEGADETH] and Marc Rizzo [SOULFLY, ex-ILL NINO], respectively) followed immediately by TESTAMENT on the West Coast and Europe (hottest summer in 100 years over there!). "After a few days home, went to Pittsburgh to rehearse with the amazing modern dance company Attack Theatre (www.attacktheatre.com) which incorporates live music, multi-media and dance (AST's Matt Z was also there playing drums; between this, the trio and Jim Steinman's DREAM ENGINE project, we're turning into a 'package deal'). We then flew to Düsseldorf, Germany to showcase at an international dance conference and perform a concert in Dortmund, Germany at a medieval church. It was exciting to step (no pun intended) into the dance world; looking forward to more collaborations with them. "From Dortmund, I jumped on a plane (actually, three with connections) to Bulgaria where I was met by three guys in black wearing 'terminator' sunglasses who barely spoke a word. With German industrial metal band RAMMSTEIN blaring on the stereo; they took me on frenetic high speed drive right out of a James Bond film, getting me to the Kaliakra Rock Fest just in time to jump on stage with TESTAMENT followed by HELLOWEEN and TWISTED SISTER. "And how was your summer? "As fall approaches, there is a lot going on, starting with the AST (ALEX SKOLNICK TRIO) 'pre-production' tour. We've got our material sketched out for our next album and invite you to join us as we road test and develop the new songs before jumping into the studio in early October. We're especially looking forward to our tour of Florida (assuming the weather gets better) and the Earthdance Cultural Event hosted by our friends in Sarasota, which promotes political and environmental awareness. "In October, there are some TESTAMENT shows in Canada and on the East Coast. To those asking why TESTAMENT hasn't played [New York City], believe me, no-one wants that to happen more than me (I live here!). The problem is that the larger NYC venues tend to require more advance booking. I'm definitely pushing for it and next time we'll plan the other shows around NYC, not the other way around. Also, to answer questions about a new TESTAMENT album: yes, we are planning to do one. We've been exchanging and developing ideas; we're setting aside time early next year to get things to the next step. Patience is a virtue. "In November, it's time once again for the TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, the annual holiday arena rock show which keeps getting bigger every year. It's a lot of fun for the whole family and we're all looking forward to it. As usual, there are two touring groups, and I'll be appearing at the East Coast shows only. Full tour dates to be announced this week at www.trans-siberian.com." TESTAMENT's last collection of new material, "The Gathering", came out in 1999.