Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station recently conducted an interview with lead guitarist Alex Skolnick of San Francisco Bay Area metallers TESTAMENT. You can listen to the chat via the widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On taking part in the North American leg of SLAYER's "farewell" tour:
Alex: "It's hard to believe, but SLAYER, they don't mess around. I believe them. I don't think this is one of those situations…I don't think this is Cher or Barbra Streisand, or even Ozzy [Osbourne], who did his farewell tour in what was it? '95 or something. [Editor's note: It was 1992.] I don't think that's going to be the case here. I think it's going to be a celebration. I think it's a great way to do it. They're very clear about their intentions. This is going to be a big traveling celebration and we're very happy to be invited."
On how he stays busy while on tour with TESTAMENT:
Alex: "Yeah, the show is only, even when we headline, the show is about 90 minutes, I think. You know, there's a bunch of time during the rest of the day, especially midway through the tour when we don't need to soundcheck, the sound is dialed in. During that time, that's the great thing about modern times, technology, you can bring a laptop on the road and you have a little recording studio with you. So, I'm able to work on music during the day, send it to other artists that I'm working with. Warming up for the show is the big incentive just to play your best. If I'm not touring, it's hard to get at the level that people want to hear myself play. [Laughs] It's kind of like every time you record, you set the bar for yourself for the next record. Touring helps you keep up at that level. One of the ways I prepare for each show is to work on new music and study new music, even if it's a completely different genre; most of the time it is. That helps me play my best during concerts with TESTAMENT."
On the status of TESTAMENT's next studio album, which is tentatively planned for a 2019 release:
Alex: "Yeah, it will be realistic. It takes time. I think it will be 2019 for us."
On whether vocalist Chuck Billy's desire to keep touring pushes back TESTAMENT studio albums:
Alex: "There is that and then there's these great opportunities that come up. How can we say no to the SLAYER farewell tour?"
TESTAMENT will support SLAYER on the first two legs of the Tom Araya-fronted outfit's last-ever North American run of dates. Also scheduled appear on the bill are LAMB OF GOD, ANTHRAX and BEHEMOTH (with NAPALM DEATH replacing BEHEMOTH for the second leg).
TESTAMENT is continuing to tour in support of its latest album, "Brotherhood Of The Snake", which was released in October 2016 via Nuclear Blast. The cover was once again created by renowned artist Eliran Kantor, who also handled the art for TESTAMENT's previous album, 2012's "Dark Roots Of Earth", and worked with bands like HATEBREED, SOULFLY and KATAKLYSM in the past.